Wednesday, 30 April 2008


This is awfully late, as the exhibition has just closed, but nonetheless, I really wanted to show the work from Nicholas Hlobo's latest show at Michael Stevenson Contemporary.

The show is called Kwatsityw'iziko (meaning 'crossing the hearth') and works are made on large pieces of Fabriano that Hlobo cuts, punches and stitches together using ribbon, thread and rubber with his trademark mix of hardcore and delicacy.


See more of the works from Kwatsityw'iziko at the Michael Stevenson Contemporary site, and see Hlobo's previous show here.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Classic ceramics

I simply love this limited re-edition of a series of handmade 1950s ceramics from Bitossi.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Tradera temptation

Gosh, doesn't time fly? Especially at the Swedish eBay site, Tradera (thanks so much to Janne for this link). Fortunately, all the amazing things for sale are listed in Swedish, so I'm not too tempted to buy it all.

Take a look at the treasures I unearthed in a couple of lost hours...

Love the Domino plate by Stig Lindberg...

And how did I resist this Gustavberg dish (possibly also by Stig Lindberg).

Such a sweet double teapot by Gunnar Nylund.

And even though this might be an ashtray, this Uppsala Ekeby dish caught my eye too.

Now it's over to you. Isn't there a long weekend coming up? Go on, spend it over at Tradera.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Store visit - LavaLava

We're having a good dose of African style this week, following up Monday's post with these pics from my recent store visit to LavaLava at the V&A Waterfront.
LavaLava is an absolute treasure trove of fabrics from all over Africa, including Ghana, Senegal, Mali and the Ivory Coast. I took some pics of the fabrics that caught my eye, and the owner, Naomi Weir, has kindly given us some insight into their origins and production.
These traditional Masai shukas from Kenya are sold in 2 m lengths off the roll. Masai fabrics usually feature this incredibly vibrant red, as this is the colour traditionally associated with power.

I love this fishy print on cotton, made using traditional batik methods. Wax is applied to cloth using hand-carved copper rollers, then the cloth is immersed into a dye bath several times, after which the wax is washed off and the print is complete.
These vibrant wax prints are imported from Ghana, Mali and the Ivory Coast, and are sold in traditional 6 yard lengths.
The wax block prints are printed in the same way as the batiks, but hand-carved wooden stamps are used to block colour onto the base design. There are some of these wooden stamps on display at LavaLava too.

LavaLava also sells a range of South African fabrics, including isiShweshe prints and some hand painted fabrics too.

I rather liked the Delicious Monster print by local outfit Lula.

Next time you're at the Waterfront, take some time to visit LavaLava. Textile nuts, be prepared to spend a while there!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Go with the African Flo

I'm a big fan of this woven wicker Flo collection by Patricia Urquiola for Driade.

Photographer Katya de Grunwald did a shoot for an Elle Deco UK story on African Chic, putting the Flo chairs to stylish use, capturing a strong African style that avoids the clichéd safari style so beloved of our guest houses and hotels.

Take a look at more of Katya de Grunwald's African Chic pics at her website. Also, take a look at a local hotel that manages to be African without the cliché in this earlier post .

Friday, 18 April 2008

Mike Perry wallpaper

The versatile Mike Perry runs the Midwestisbest design studio in Brooklyn, doing illustration and design for a pretty impressive client list. He's recently published a "catalogue of type" called Handjob, and has also designed some pretty rad wallpapers, which are available at Studio Nommo.

(via Plush Patterns)

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Pixel sofa

Designer Cristian Zuzunaga has used the concept of very lo-res colour pixels for his beautiful colour blocks fabric design.

The fabric is being produced by Danish textiles manufacturer Kvadrat (who work with an extraordinary range of design luminaries), and has been used to brilliant effect on this 2.5m Pixel Sofa by Moroso.

Now, the question is: Once you have this sofa in your living room, how on earth do you choose a wall colour to match?

(Via Alan, via hrrrthrrr)

Monday, 14 April 2008

Alta Stegmann

Today I want to share with you the sweetly inspiring work of freelance illustrator, Alta Stegmann.

Alta sells her limited edition digital prints on exhibition and has also had them in a couple of interiors shops in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

Although Alta doesn't have any of her work online, perhaps she'll head that way soon. But however she chooses to proceed, I have no doubt we'll see lots more of her work around for a while yet.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Look Familia?

Loving the charmingly chunky Familia series designed by Ole Jensen for Normann Copenhagen. It's just so cute, it makes me want to sew little clothes for it!

Check out all the other wonders at Normann Copenhagen if you've got a minute. It's a treat.

Wednesday, 09 April 2008

RSS feed

Good news for Deco fans. We've got an RSS feed for you to subscribe to, so just click the little orange logo on the right and get online updates on our updates daily!

Mini Moderns

Mini Moderns is a range of wallpapers, fabrics and tablewear, designed and produced by London-based design and branding agency, Absolute Zero Degrees.

Mini Moderns started out with wallpapers for kids, like this design called Six of One.
I rather like this Moo! wallpaper and the matching Pat the cow floor cushion.

For grownups (or for people who're not quite sure), there's the Tick Tock Snow wallpaper, which is designed to be coloured in!

But I'm sure you'd agree that no coloured pencils should be allowed anywhere near the gorgeous Sitting Comfortably? wallpaper. Love it!

Visit Mini Moderns to check out the rest of their fab products, and to hunt down a stockist near you.

Tuesday, 08 April 2008

More patchwork

Many thanks to one of our readers for the late addition to yesterday's post about Casamento's patchwork chairs. Jakaranda Prinses pointed me to this extraordinary work by Lebanese outfit Bokja (via Decor8).

Bokja's haute bohemian chic combines old and traditional textiles with modern furniture, to stunning effect.

Read more about them at Decor8, and also at the Bokja website.

Monday, 07 April 2008

Starry Eve

I was in Casamento again recently (see my previous post about this shop here), and saw these beautiful chairs which really deserve mention.

These reconditioned 60's oak chairs have been beautifully upholstered in a patchwork style, with bamboo silk embroidery detail, all by Starry Eve of Casamento.
Starry Eve works from Casamento's studio in Kommetjie, hunting out mid-century relics to renew, restore and re-create them into once-off accent pieces like these, using embroidery, tapestry, patchwork and crochet.
I've been seeing lots of other patchworky things around lately. Hella Jongerius's Polder sofa , and Squint's great patchwork chairs come to mind. Can you think of any others?

Giveaway - Euro Groove

Featuring leading musicians, producers and DJs from Europe, Euro Groove is the latest release from Putumayo World Music . Click here for a preview of these cool, contemporary grooves.

The first lucky reader to email to us at, naming one of the artists on the album gets their very own copy of Euro Groove . Please remember to include your name and address in your mail.

Friday, 04 April 2008

Issue 54 - Between Sand and Sky

Ten hours away from Buenos Aires is a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, called Cabo Polonio. For the few in the know, "El Cabo" is a favourite Summertime getaway, and two young Buenos Aireans have built themselves a cottage to do just that.

Page 112 - 119 of Elle Deco SA show you some of the vast duned spaces around the tiny one-roomed cottage, but here on the blog we've got some of the more intimate landscapes to show you.

Top Tip - be your own stylist

Some people really are gifted with an eye that allows them to put things together in a way that simply works. All those little corners of the El Cabo house are put together just "right", aren't they? Of course, as with everything, practise improves your skills, and looking closely at the way in which things are styled in photographs will help to develop "the eye". Try some styling of your own things, using a digital camera, and you'll start looking at your little collections differently.

I always enjoy the way that Denise of the Freshly Found blog constantly uses the things around her to make lovely compositions in her Durban home. Look at what she's done with the autumn leaves picked up in her garden.

Try being your own stylist this weekend - look at the corners of your own home through a camera lens, and surprise yourself.