Editor’s Note – Design Trends Series

Editor’s Note_____________

From opening our flagship store at Two Rivers to wrapping up the Designer focus series, we want to bring some inspiration and style to your homes with our Design Trends Series. 

A lot has been happening these two months and 2017 has just began. We truly enjoyed the Designer Focus Series simply because that is what TDS started with, featuring the designers we found and were willing to share their stories with us. Designers are growing and we enjoyed hearing from the likes of Nawalika, Deepa Dosaja and cashmere comfort creators KSHMR.

We also launched our flagship store at Two Rivers in February which has been a labour of love for many years so to go from sharing their stories to sharing their products, we couldn’t be more excited to promote local brands and have them presented to the world. TDS was created to promote and celebrate Kenyan brands and with this new store (presenting 14 brands such as Bush Princess, Adele Dejak, Drop of a Hat, Achera, Urban Artefacts, Penny Winter and many more). Thank you all for believing in us and bringing us this far!

The Designers Studio Store at Two Rivers Mall - Kenya
The Designers Studio Store at Two Rivers Mall – Kenya. Image subject to Copyright.
The Designers Studio Store at Two Rivers Mall - Kenya. Image subject to Copyright.
The Designers Studio Store at Two Rivers Mall – Kenya. Image subject to Copyright.

So having had such a hectic couple of months, we must continue going up and doing what we love most. These next two months are all about the interior furniture designers and how we can grow to love them and choose them above others.

When it comes to buying furniture, here at home we know that Ngong Road is one of the key places to go to buy furniture especially for the custom made kind. Yes, we have the stores that sell interior fittings but there is something about getting a custom made designed dining table made out of mahogany with personal carvings that makes all the difference. So when it comes to design trends and the growing market for furniture designers in Kenya and Africa, we are keen to find out just what are the design trends locally and on the continent. Of course we cannot speak of design trends in the same light as fashion trends simply because it is not as fast paced. We are looking to see what is making its mark in design this year and what we can expect in our homes and offices.

Image ©UnityMakersKenya
Image ©UnityMakersKenya

According to Lamudi Kenya, the top interior design trends for 2016 were artisanal goods, sustainable materials with a mix of metallic and geometric shapes. I don’t think this trend ended in 2016 with more and more people seeking to buy not only eco-friendly furniture designs but also a growing appreciation for artisanal work away from the mass-produced sofa or dining table. We of course have selected a number of interior furniture designers to showcase what we can expect locally and in Africa this year and in the future.

First and foremost, we must note one key event. It’s that time of the year where design is the name on everyone’s lips; particularly Design Indaba (See out stories on the previous ones). This annual conference of creativity took place from 1-3 March 2017 at the ArtSpace Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa and broadcast live (today is the last day). This 3-day showcase provides needless inspiration, new perspectives, dialogue with design professionals and a space to create universal solutions. Under the art direction of Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane (read about her here) who states that “[d]esign, art and culture are strategic assets for the African continent and I see this collaboration as a unique opportunity to contribute to a more integrated, creative Africa.” Can’t wait to see how this year’s event goes.

Image ©Mossamania
Image ©Mossamania

There is nothing more exciting than innovation in design and finding out how we can buy into it and include these items into our spaces. Because we are all about that environmental vibe (see our Conservation Series here), Manufract made it to the list with their furniture inspired by self-healing trees. I will just leave the image below to give you a taste of how a broken tree can be re-used and become a beautiful unique piece of furniture. We also look into designers like Mossmania who have made tables, lamps and wall murals made from springy Nordic Moss – bringing moss right into your home in such a cool way.

Fashion and interior design are not too far from each other and with Gone Rural from Swaziland, we see them proving that contemporary design and environment sensitivity go hand in hand made from locally-sourced natural fibres. See below how they take these weaving into fashion pieces (they may not be totally functional but they are beautiful nonetheless).

Image ©RuralEvolution from Gone Rural Swaziland.
Image ©RuralEvolution from Gone Rural Swaziland.

On that playful note, we want to also look into Funkidz Kenya and see how they grew to be the foremost children’s furniture makers. For them, they like practical, happy, colourful furniture for children ages 0-16 and they find a way to bring the fun for the kids and the parents. We also want to look at Unity Makers who combine functionality with contemporary geometric shapes from quality hardwood committed to responsibly sourcing timber.

We won’t forget to feature fashion designers to note and watch these coming months seeing as though the industry is growing exponentially, we get excited when we find them and more so when we share. We have had such fun in our previous Designer Focus series, let’s delve into the Design Trends Series and be inspired in our homes.

Editor's Signature

Author: Wanjiku N. M | Editor and Founder of TDS | Twitter: @WanjikuNM

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