Thursday, 14 March 2013

Highlights from Design Indaba Expo 2013

The 2013 Design Indaba, an exhibition of South Africa's best names in Design, Fashion and Art took place from Wednesday 27th February to Friday 1st March 2013 in Cape town South Africa.

Amongst the speakers were John Maeda of the Rhode Island School of Design, reknowned architect David Adjaye, South African musician Hugh Masekela, and graphic designer Louise Fili.

Take a look at some of the highlights.

(All photos by Henk Hattingh )

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Art Photography: Akuol de Mabior

Sudanese model Akuol de Mabior is a vision of beauty. Her striking features and rich complexion make her a vision in front of the camera.

Art Attack!

Salah Benjkan was born in 1968 in Marrakesh, Morocco, where he lives and works as a painter, an engraver and teacher of applied arts.

Childlike, somewhat comical creatures are distinctive features in Benjkan’s paintings. These fabulous beings are painted in bright coloured blotches and invade the white textured canvases. At first glance his playful depictions seem joyous and light hearted; at further exploration one notices a sense of melancholy. 
(Courtesy Renée Pfister, Art and Gallery Consultancy, London, 2012)

Larbi Cherkaoui was born in 1972 in Marrakesh. He works as a painter, calligrapher and Professor of Applied Arts in Marrakesh.
Cherkaoui’s powerful and painterly abstractions explore and emphasise the Arabic script. His paintings in distinct writing patterns suggest an endless expansion of the visual field. Secretive glyphs and vivid colours are applied to canvas surfaces, achieving lyrical and stunning masterpieces. Cherkaoui perpetuates his art through constant experimentation, coupled with his instinctual relationship to the sign and the appearance of the letter. This is a language he fully understands and has mastered.

(Courtesy Renée Pfister, 2012)

African Designers: Vol 1

Kossi Aguessy

Born in 1977 in Lomé, capital of West African country Togo,  Kossi Aguessy had always wanted to create with his hands. As a child, his passion for archaeology made him a perfectionist in an industry that strikes a balance between art and engineering.

Kossi has a B.A. from Central St. Martins in London, and has also lived and worked in Brazil and France. His aesthetic is influenced by this rich combination of different cultures.

His philosophy of creation is a philosophy of life:  there are no problems, only solutions.


White Interior Spaces

White is an interesting colour to use as a predominant background in a space.

In the image below, Dutch architect Laura Alvarez transformed a dark, dingy, two-storey apartment in Amsterdam into this bright, light-infused loft space. The loft's chic, minimalist aesthetic is made to soothe the soul while still satisfying the most demanding style cravings.

In the image below, notice how the beams and the wall collage provide texture as well as contrast to the stark white in the background.

In the three images below, we see a blend of contemporary and casual in this modern interior  by Spanish designer Susanna Cots. The designer demonstrates an effortless flow from one living space to the next while drawing colour and lighting into the home.

This white home interior, also designed by Susanna Cots is white done right. The key is balancing the right textures and patterns. Light wood accents warm up the space, shaggy rugs, patterned pillows and plenty of shapes keep the space interesting and active. The abundance of light is also enhanced by all the white surfaces.
When using white as a dominant background, it is important to throw in other colours to give the eye a "break".  Notice in the image below how the brown curtains  and pillows allow  the eyes to rest after taking in so much white.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Getting rid of clutter

Removing clutter can is always an uphill task.  The key to dealing with clutter is proper organization. My rule of thumb is if I have not used any item in over six months, I probably don't need it.
The simple easy to follow steps below can help reorganize your home.

Recycle & Donate

Recycle old furniture by reupholstering or changing position. Donate clothes and other items you rarely use.

Organize All Spaces

Opt for side tables with drawers and multipurpose furniture. Also, furniture with hidden storage space helps keep things out of sight, preventing clutter.


Organize by Frequency of Use

Items should be arranged by frequency of use.  Items that are less frequently used can be stored in top shelves or in a store, closet or under the stairs. Leave the highest and the lowest shelves and drawers for things used less often.

Stick to Necessary Things

If you don’t want to accumulate clutter or stress over where to store thing especially if there’s lack of precious space then try to think carefully before purchasing things. How often will you use them? How important it is to have them at home?

Sort Out Once in a While

Sort out things once in a while to reevaluate their importance. This will give you more space for newly acquired things and prevent clutter from accumulating.

For more information and tips, go to:
<a href="" target="_top">Click Here!</a>

Luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton creates line of foldable furniture

Luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton ( has created a collection of foldable furniture called Objets Nomades made from the brand’s nomade leather. To create a 16-piece collection the brand collaborated with such designers such as Oki Sato, Patricia Urquiola, Maarten Baas, Atelier Oi and Christian Liaigre. The collection also includes travel accessories.
Below, a hammock by Atelier Oi is made of leather strips fixed together with metal parts.

Below is Maracatu, a limited-edition hanging travel cabinet. With its fringe-heavy design, it features a zip fastener and a metallic hanger detail.

Also below, handbags by Patricia Urquiola when turned upside down, become stools with metal bases.

The collection also features a folding beach chair

Friday, 1 March 2013

One for the weekend: Trends to look out for in 2013

This should have come in January, but hey....better late than never!  Here are the top 10 most talked about decor trends for 2013

1. DIY projects
Man has an inate desire for self expression. We like to express ourselves through the way we dress, the car we drive and definately, the pad we live in. We want to have furniture and decor that mean something, and tell our guest a little more about who we are and what we stand for.  Remember Diane Von Fursenburgs pent house from last month?  I would have been surpirsed if her pad was anything less than that.
 DIY could come in the form of an old couch being revamped or painting being reframed. Creativity is once again taken to the next level and the home owner is now more than before in control of their interior space.

2. Texture and Touch
People are in search for “touchable” textures, which inspire warmth and comfort as a way to engage and experience a proper home atmosphere. Suede and wood are two of the materials which will define the interior design world in 2013. Variety of textures will also be a key factor in arranging spaces

3. A New Relationship Between Men and Interior Design

As men continue to spend more time at home as a result of changes in societal norms, interior design as we know it will begin to be influenced more and more by their tastes.  
Clean lines, sober furniture details, less flashy colours and functionality are just some of the features expected in a home with male dominance. If you think about it- strictly from an aesthetic point of view- this situation can create a great visual balance, one that will make both partners feel at ease in their own home.

4. Embroidery and knitting
Unfortunately, by the 80's it was no longer fashionable to learn how to knit or embroider, hence most of us didn't see the need to learn everything our grandmothers taught us.
Embroidery and knitting is a major trend for 2013. From storage baskets to quilts to carpets, handmade is back.

5. Stripes, stripes more stripes
In 2013 social spaces will likely turn to design dynamics, in order to inspire vibrant living and energy. One of the most simple ways to achieve this effect is by employing stripes in an elegant manner. Carpets, wallpapers, upholstery, graphic art- each of these elements can wear the distinct feature of movement as long as they are defined by… stripes.
The idea is to make things stand out, without compromising in elegance or visual harmony.
6. Group Dynamics
Another interesting shift will be made from personal tastes to group tastes and from a single designer to interior design teams.
For example, when it comes to designing a room, one team member could do the planning, another could take care of the lighting effects and the third designer could take on the finishing touches. Having more people dealing with a project is a good way to share responsibilities and speed up the work process for the client.
7. Floral patterns with a white background
Floral patterns are also back in style, only this year they come with a twist: a white background. Ensuring a very romantic touch and giving the feeling of a perpetual holiday, these stylish additions make a strong statement in a room.
You can go experiment with several colours. Try new fabric covers, graphic art, wall paintings and wallpaper.
8. African themed decor
More and more modern villas are starting to showcase unique design themes and African influences are particularly considered exotic. In 2013 African themed decor may be a major trend, bringing warm colors and animal skin imitations back into the eclectic interiors of most style enthusiasts.
 In luxury holiday villas across the globe you will likely observe wooden furniture elements decorated with carvings or wrought iron, sculptures and handmade decorations, all defined by the African style.
9. Hand sketching and wall writing
Hand sketching and wall writing will be more and more popular this year, as graphic artists will start collaborating with interior designers in creating original wall imprints.

10. Green
Green living will be a key factor in design and architecture this year. From framed plant screens with lighting effects, to roof top gardens, this idea can bring a fresh and homely touch to any apartment or public space.
Green living is not only healthy, but also original and elegant.