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Duro Olowu’s Vibrant Patterned Textile Collection For Soane Britain

Fashion designer Duro Olowu has designed a textile collection for furniture brand Soane Britain. The collection sees Olowu’s signature style of colourful clashing patterns meet the furniture maker’s quintessential English sensibility. The collection came about after Olowu posted a picture of the Soane Britain storefront on his Instagram page. Founder Lulu Lytle saw it and reach out, beginning a conversation that uncovered a mutual interest in a love of pattern, deep respect for craftsmanship, and brought forth similar ideas for a textile range.

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Ikoyi Fining Dining Inspired by West African Flavours

London fine dining experiences focusing on African cuisine are few and far between. Enter Ikoyi whose West African inspired flavours have got the critics buzzing. Despite offering dishes such as Jollof Rice and Suya Ikoyi’s founders are keen to stress that the restaurant is not a West African restaurant rather one that uses the ingredients and spices to come up with something new. This approach sees ingredients unfamiliar to European palates combined with local British seasonal produce. The Ikoyi menu is created on a foundation of spices most of which are sourced from West Africa.

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4 Ways To Incorporate African Style Into Modern Interiors

  As the seasons change thoughts often turn to a new look or refreshing an existing one. To help you on your way we turned to Thandi Mbali Renaldi, founder of stylish online interiors boutique Kudu for some tips on how to incorporate African Style into modern interiors… With winter soon drawing to a close here in Europe I am really starting to enjoy the lunchtime spring sunshine that steams through my kitchen window. My thoughts turn to how to refresh our interior in preparation for the change of season. It is time to move things around a little. This will […]

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Graham and Green Chic African Print and Velvet Cocktail Chairs

  Currently crushing on these gorgeous Cocktail chairs from UK retailer Graham and Green. The chairs are upholstered in the front with sumptuous jewel-toned velvets in yellow and teal, and each colourway paired with a complementary intricately patterned African print wax textile to the back. The result is classic design with modern appeal. Cocktail chairs are a 1950s mid-century design classic, sought after for their simple yet chic silhouettes. The chairs make great accent pieces in living spaces, and these will be ideal for those looking to incorporate some Afro-chic interior inspiration. [Image credit: Alpana Velvet Chair – Graham and Green ]

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Adriana Hoyos Contemporary African Inspired Furniture Collection

The majestic Serengeti Plains were the basis for a contemporary African inspired furniture range by US-based designer Adriana Hoyos. Using rich hardwood grains available in a selection of finishes, the aptly titled Africa Collection features the distinctive markings of the giraffe moulded in a striking cutout pattern that is used in chair backrests, headboards, sideboards and table bases. The patterns are accentuated with upholstery materials like leather in neutral or contrasting shades.

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Design: Iman Deco Woven Patio Furniture

Iman Deco [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Iman Deco Hoop Chair via MeubleSoLoft] I recently received a request asking for help with finding African or African inspired furniture and interior accessories, in particular, patio furniture and during my research came across the designs of French-based company Iman Deco, whose colourful and skillfully woven product ranges include casual tables, chairs, benches, runners, trays, and handbags. Handcrafted in Togo in partnership with local artisans, Iman Deco was launched in 2000 by Parisian designer Michèle Nexer, who sought to combine contemporary and retro style inspiration with traditional West African weaving techniques. The result was a lightweight range of […]

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Design: Colonial House Design Inspired by Traditional African Sculpture

Colonial House Design [South Africa] [Image credits: Boma Chair – Colonial House Design] Colonial House Design is an interior and furniture design company based in Cape Town, South Africa; and reflecting on its name and location I was expecting a more traditional Cape Dutch-inspired design aesthetic, but instead found designs that draw on traditional African sculpture and the precision geometry of oriental forms. Colonial House Design was founded by Philip and Nicky Tyers; both of whom cite an eclectic range of design influences ranging from traditional African sculpture to those drawn from travels across Asia and South America.

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Art: Gayle Garner Roski Zulu Basket Series

Gayle Garner Roski [Africa Inspired]   American artist Gayle Garner Roski creates vibrant watercolours based on subjects drawn from her many travels and surroundings; injected with an inherent sense of realism Gayle’s work is incredibly life-like, capturing minute details in her often emotive work. In her Zulu Basket Series, Gayle captures the beauty and skill of basket weaving and the intricate details of the weave and patterns. The vivid watercolours give the baskets a luminous quality. I keep imagining the paintings rendered in glass and set into a door, window, or glass wall. Gayle shows her work at Tirage, a Fine Art Gallery […]

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Decor: Royal Design Studio Stencils

Royal Design Studio [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: clockwise from top left, African Flower; Raphia Graphic; Tribal Triangles; and Endless Moroccan Circles Stencils – Royal Design Studio] Wallpaper is not really my thing; I tend to find it quite fussy and would rather have smooth walls in a favourite colour or given a natural treatment. Its just that I always feel that wallpaper can date a room quite quickly, for me wallpaper always seems to conjure up hideous 70’s style decorating disasters; also growing up in Zimbabwe wallpaper was never a big thing as it is here in the UK. Having said […]

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Jewellery: Carolyn Roumeguere Jewelry Inspired by Global Culture 

Carolyn Roumeguere [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Carolyn Roumeguere Swahili Choker – CoutureLab] Jewellery designer Carolyn Roumeguere is a nomad at heart, a sentiment that is reflected in her eclectic jewellery creations such as the Swahili Choker, a stunning piece that is handmade using the precious gems diamond, sapphire or emerald, and coral. Taking a month to complete the Swahili Choker incorporates traditional Maasai beading, and features an enamel pendant and the beads sourced from Jaipur, India. Having grown up in Kenya amongst the Maasai, Carolyn’s upbringing was unconventional, to say the least. Her, mother, a social anthropologist was married to a Maasai Warrior […]

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Design: Jonathan Krawczuk Morocco Table for Made.com

Jonathan Krawczuk for Made.com [Africa Inspired] I couldn’t help but be transported to alfresco dining on a sun-drenched patio when I saw some simple yet striking coffee tables on Made.com a UK-based furniture and interiors e-tailer that works with select designers to create original furniture designs that are sold directly to customers at affordable prices by cutting out the middle man. Sporting a bold diamond cut-out pattern that runs a ring close to the table edge, the Morocco Coffee Table sits on hexagonal legs and was inspired by traditional Moroccan tray tables. 

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Food & Drink: cctreats Award-Winning Cupcakes

cctreats [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Midnight Safari Cupcake – cctreats] Yesterday in the heart of London’s West End, a cupcake inspired by Africa wowed some of the UK’s top bakery and patisserie chefs to be awarded the National Cupcake Awards title of ‘Most Innovative Cupcake of the Year 2011’. Beating off competition from bakers drawn across the UK, the stylishly titled ‘Midnight Safari Cupcake’ was the creation of cctreats, whom African Daydreams profiled about a month ago.

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Decor: Calabarte Hand Carved Gourd Lamps

Calabarte [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Standing Gourd Lamp XI – Calabarte] Oh…my…goodness…how incredibly beautiful are these lamps and light fittings from Calabarte, a business based in Lodz, Poland that was founded by Przemek, a Polish artist-designer. It took a while for the fact that they were made from gourds to sink in, because I saw the lit versions first; and illuminated they look like glass reminding me of the Art Deco glasswork style. Found in Africa and Asia gourds, also referred to as calabashes, have long been collected for their; functional qualities as bowls, spoons, scooping utensils, water bottles and drinking cups; and […]

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Accessories: Italian Crafted Eyewear Inspired by Modern African Cities

L G R [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: Victoria and Tripoli Limited Edition Sunglasses for the Corviglia Ski Club – L G R] Denoting the name of founder Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, the initials L G R represent a range of Italian handcrafted eyewear inspired by Africa. Luca was born in Italy but his family has strong ties to East Africa and it was between these two parts of the world that Luca spent his childhood. His father lives in Kenya, his mother was born in Eritrea which is where his grandfather opened an optical store in the 1930s, selling frames imported from Italy. It was […]

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Design: Stephen Burks Man Made Contemporary Basketry Exhibition

Stephen Burks [Africa Inspired]   Having grown up surrounded by basketry and woven grass products I do feel a deep connection to the tradition; marveling at the patterns and the way the long grass stalks can be transformed into beautiful functional products. So immediately fell in love with the woven light fittings from New York-based industrial designer Stephen Burks. So stunning, so contemporary; I just love the colours and the ingenious designs that celebrate the basket weaving traditions seen across the continent and show that far from being confined to the past, basketry is continuing to evolve into a contemporary art form. Produced […]

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Beauty: L’Occitane Marks International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day with L’Occitane [Burkina Faso] [Image credit: L’Occitane Women’s Day Soap] First observed in the early 1900s, Women’s Day has grown into a day of appreciation; inspiring women, celebrating their achievements and acknowledging the challenges still to be overcome. The Day sees a diverse range of events being held across the globe and in some countries today has become a tradition taken as a holiday, which sees men taking the time to honour their Mother’s, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with symbolic gifts. In celebration of the Day, French Skincare care company L’Occitaine has created a special limited edition bar of […]

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Design: Moroso, the Rift Collection Designed by Patricia Urquiola 

Moroso [Africa Inspired]        Stretching from the Middle East through Eastern African and ending in Mozambique, the Great Rift Valley is considered one of the wonders of the world. Teeming with amazing biodiversity the Great Rift Valley splits into two once it reaches Eastern Africa, forming the Eastern and the Western Rift Valleys. Commonly associated with Kenya and Tanzania, the Western Rift Valley is home to high mountain ranges and some of the deepest lakes in the world, offering visitors spectacular views. The Great Rift Valley is the result of Tectonic plates; unimaginably massive irregular shaped slabs of […]

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Design: Vermont Wood Studios African Sofa Table

Vermont Wood Studios [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: African Sofa Table – Vermont Wood Studios] Hand-carved from Mahogany, this elegant sofa table was inspired by East African wood carving traditions and features intricate detailing based on floral and geometric designs from the region. The attention to detail and finish gives it the look of a precious antique. Each table is custom built-in Vermont, USA by a highly skilled furniture maker from Vermont Wood Studios; a local company that works with artisans drawn from the small workshops scattered across Vermont, giving them a platform to bring their products to a wider market.

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Accessories: FIGS Neckwear Fashion Inspired Global Sophistication

FIGS [Africa Inspired]   Attending an all girl’s school, my senior school uniform was not the most attractive thing, well at least until I entered the sixth form. In the summer terms, it was a short-sleeved belted green and white check affair that was far from figure-flattering, improving in the winter term when it changed to a bottle green tunic and a khaki long-sleeved blouse complete with tie, both styles would be topped off with bottle green cardigans or pullovers. Sixth form brought a much smarter grown-up look in bottle green a-line skirts, khaki short and long-sleeved blouses which we […]

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