Classic African-Inspired Interior

Like other design philosophies, African inspired offers a range of interpretations – the idea that we all look at our spaces through different lenses. When I explore the work of London-based David Champion, his interiors evoke an instinctive journey back to the South Africa where he grew up. The classic approach in the use of textures, color and textiles creates this sense of place and history.

Captured so vividly in the book Ethnic Interiors by Dinah Hall, these rooms speak not only to the cultural heritage of the classic artisans but to a sensitivity in creating warm and comforting spaces.


4 responses to “Classic African-Inspired Interior

  1. Hi,
    Firstly I like your site and love the fact that you are inspired by as you say, African design. However, what exactly is a Classic African look? Is it a look that is naturally created by us, or is it a look that is someone else’s fantasy of what an African look ought to look like?

    I have the opportunity of living in Africa. I’ve lived in two different parts of the continent and visited others. But I’m ‘originally’ from the UK. I use the word ‘opportunity’ because the benefit of living in an environment that is not so well endowed as its Western brothers and sisters, means that you have to literally take what is there and put it to use. Added to that, you can build from scratch and have the freedom of creating your own: stealing ideas from popular interior design magazines and the internet.

    Since being in this country, my husband and I have renovated several properties. And with the help of a London trained interior designer, we created environments using mostly European furniture and fabrics, but embellishing the walls and spaces with incredible local art and crafts. The end result I have to say was fantastic as it would not have been possible to create this look back in the houses in London as they would have been too small.

    But my point is the look shown in your photographs is exactly the same African ‘look’ shown in shops owned by Europeans here, in this country. As this is their idea of Afrocentricism – a home adorned or dominated by crafts. But if you check the homes of the African professional classes their definition of an Afrocentric look is European that is accented by African artifacts – which keeps everything ‘light’ but still makes an Afrocentric statement.

    I think it’s great that you want to renovate spaces with African arts and crafts and see from your portfolio the interesting assignments you have completed. But I hope we can evolve a look that, dare I say, naturally belongs to us.

  2. Wonderful. It’s great to see a range within interiors.

  3. Plantini, let me first thank you for your important comments. I fully understand your overall perspective in creating spaces that are not only African inspired, but personal and fashionable as well. We have always supported the position that our clients, in addition to their love of African culture, nevertheless have personal style preferences – Classic, Contemporary, Casual, or some place in between. What we see in our model is an opportuinity to move away from the traditional thinking of crafts, skins, and baskets to leverage a new energy that is driving the trend toward a new positioning for African-inspired designers.

    We have adopted a strategy of what we describe as “African fusion”. It is not our attempt to duplicate the products offered by the major suppliers, but to create our own branded approach, demonstrated by how we employ African-inspired textures, patterns and a more modern sense of accessorization.

    I belive we are moving past the adornment phase, into a space that is powerful and committed. I agree with your view that many professionals have continued to accept “African light”. As designers, it is our role to advise and encourage them to create spaces that reflect their personal styles, and, at the same time, create a fashionable connection with our culture.

    What we seek are opportunities to work with others who are in this same space and find ways to drive home this awakening


  4. Dear Bill,
    Many thanks for your response, and I will be looking forward to seeing your forthcoming assingments as well as reading other areas of your site.

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