I came across this beautiful Lamu home in Architectural Digest a couple of years ago. The aesthetic resonates with what I want for my living space and, to think that this beauty is in my homeland? Makes it even more fabulous a find. I actually ripped out a page to put up above my desk – a constant reminder of one of the things I'm working so hard for.
I'm glad that I found an online version of the article so that I can share it with you all. Check out Architectural Digest for more pictures.
Photography by Tim Beddow (found on Architectural Digest)
A few years ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful coastal house on the website of stylist and photographer, Pia Jane Bijkerk. It is home to Kenya-based, Italian designer, Marzia Chierichetti of Be Clever Ltd.
What I love most about the house is how it uses local materials and works with its environment rather than stand out like many an eyesore seen on our continent. A lot of hotels that I've visited on the Kenyan coast do attempt to incorporate local materials and local style sensibilities (e.g. Swahili architecture) into their interiors and exteriors. Some very successfully, some less so. It would be great to see more homes do this (and inland too, not just on the coast). Let's explore, take advantage of and enhance the unique beauty that exists around us!
Images via Pia jane Bijkerk. See her post to learn more about the house and see it in all its splendor.
My mother comes from Tanzania and with a lot of family living in Dar es Salaam, it's a city that I have spent some time in over the years. I always love visiting Dar. Having grown up in Nairobi, I am always struck by the contrast I see in Dar in terms of the more communal nature of life. I am always delighted by how Dar neighbourhoods come alive, especially at night, with people sitting outside, catching up and interacting.
Today, I am happy to share with you an interview with an artist who is celebrating this vibrant spirit of Dar es Salaam and specifically, its street life. After leading a nomadic lifestyle travelling in Asia and South America, Sarah Markes decided to apply her creative skills in the international development context. This led her to voluntary work in Malawi and years later, to a job in Dar. There, she fell in love with the city and has been putting her artistic talents to use in documenting its culture and heritage, in a project called Street Level Dar.
Continue reading “Interview with Sarah Markes, the artist behind Street Level Dar”
Yesterday, Tunisia celebrated 55 years of Independence from France, no doubt made sweeter by the recent triumph in toppling authoritarian president, Ben Ali, after 23 years in power. Rather than spend this post further commemorating this revolution (I'm sure several others have done this well so I would like to share something different), I would like to draw your attention to beauty and design.
Continue reading “Tunisia Independence Day: Celebrating beauty and design”
This is the home of the late Kenyan poet and author, Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006). Considered a pioneer of modern Kenyan literature in English, Asalache was also a fine artist. He transformed, by hand, his modest London terraced house into an incredible piece of art that he left to the UK's National Trust. Inspired by Islamic, English and African art,
"His work encompasses stories of migration and immigration, exile and return, a narrative which is common to the lives millions of people from all continents. The fact that it is hidden in an 'ordinary' English city terrace is all the more intriguing."
— Elsie Owusu, Founder, Society of Black Architects (full quote here).
Read more about Asalache and his house here. Currently undergoing a £4 million renovation, the house will be open to the public in 2012.
Images via Linda Nylind/Guardian. See more here.
Morocco celebrates Independence Day today, one of five independence celebrations throughout the year. In honour, here's a celebration of interior and architectural design from the country. The colours, textures and penchant for ornament never cease to provide inspiration for me. Moroccan art, design, crafts express a vibrance that's echoed in the country's warm and welcoming people – I definitely recommend visiting if ever you have the opportunity.
Above: the award-winning Amanjena resort.
Above: for a more traditional experience, P'tit Habibi, a riad in the Marrakech Medina.
Above: top – the exotic Majorelle Gardens, home to plants from 5 continents and to the Islamic Art Museum. Bottom – a variety of colours and textures inside an apothecary's shop.
Above: inside and outside a hamam in the Marrakech Medina.
Images: hotel photographs from the respective websites. All other photography by Lulu Kitololo