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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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Fashion: Golden Madagascan Spider Silk Cape at the V&A

Madagascan Silk [Madagascar]    I wouldn’t call this a daydream, just something I found quite fascinating if not a little weird… If the thought of hundreds of spiders crawling about creeps you out, what more wearing a garment spun from their silk. I came across several web articles trending the very thing a few days back but paid them no mind beyond a quick note of the headlines until by coincidence a search for ‘Madagascan Silk’ brought them up again causing me to read on in-depth. The week of Monday 23rd January saw a cape handwoven from the silk of more than a […]

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Fashion: Lauren Pierce Atelier Chic Wrap Dresses on L-attitude

Lauren Pierce Atelier [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: Lauren Pierce, Silk Wrap Dresses – L-atitude] I love wrap dresses, so easy to wear and creating a flattering silhouette for most figures, so was instantly taken with these stunning ones I found on L-attitude, a one-stop online boutique for chic global fashion and accessories. The dresses are from the US-based fashion label Lauren Pierce Atelier which was relaunched in September 2008 by designer and social entrepreneur Lauren Bush, whose goal was to create a label that would be more meaningful than just being about pretty clothes and was the reason for choosing her middle name in […]

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Textiles: Tamara Magel Kanga Fabric Cushions

Tamara Magel [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: patterned Pillows – Tamara Magel] Cushions galore! I have featured quite a few, but they are such a quick and easy way to instantly transform an interior and whilst on the US edition of Elle Decor I came across some pillows by New York-based interior designer Tamara Magel, that use East African Kaanga fabric, in a range of assorted graphic patterns.

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Design: Pfeifer Studio Wooden Stools Inspired by traditional African Seating

Pfeifer Studio [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Abaidoo Wooden Stool – Pfeifer Studio] I can’t remember what I was looking for when I stumbled upon the blog for Pfeifer Studio and saw a post on their African inspired stool. Called ‘Abaidoo’, the stool was named after a friend’s Ghanaian father-in-law and is a bestseller within the Pfeifer Studio collections. Based in New Mexico, USA Pfeifer Studio designs, produces and sources a range of stylish interior and personal furniture and accessories for retail; as well as working with designers and architects to source unique interior products for their projects and have included luxury hotels […]

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Decor: Wooden Spoons Handcarved in Kenya

Wooden Spoons on Leif [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: Leif] Wooden spoons are a kitchen staple and bring a natural rustic touch to the table. I love the striking effect that African Blackwood brings to these servers from Leif, a lifestyle retailer based in Brooklyn, USA. It’s like they have been dipped in blocks of colour, giving a luxurious twist to the humble wooden spoon. Hand-carved in Kenya detailing includes the addition of patterned tips made from bone. …very elegant  Additional details:Wooden servers priced at: $28-$30For further information about Leif and to purchase visit: www.leifshop.com

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Interiors: Christian Louboutin’s Egyptian Retreat

Christian Louboutin [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Christian Louboutin’s Egyptian Retreat – Elle Decor US edition] Doing a bit of light reading I was flicking through Camilla Morton’s ‘A Year in High Heels’ when I happened to land on the page about Christian Louboutin on Egypt. The French shoe designer has a home there, in the desert near the city of  Aswân, and inspired by the beauty and tranquility of his surroundings is the place he goes to draw all his shoe collections, I guess away from all the distractions of modern living and fast-paced glamour of the industry he operates in. Recalling his first visit to […]

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Lifestyle: Luxury Handcrafted Paper Notebooks

Lovely Notebooks [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: top and bottom left, Africa Range; bottom right, Signature Range – Lovely Notebooks] Looking to record thoughts and goals for the year ahead, for me the fresh pages of a brand new notebook always have the effect of optimism and promise, I can hardly wait to get stuck in, and this is the time of year when I inevitably end up accumulating an assortment of journals, diaries and notebooks from usually from gifts and giveaways. Stationery tends to be so visually stimulating that with so many designs to choose from it becomes tempting to […]

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