Inspired: Swahili Architecture and Interior Design at Palm House, Lamu

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Palm House is a rental property near Shela Beach in Lamu, Kenya, whose architecture and interior design is influenced by Swahili style.

I'm yet to visit Lamu so I'm exploring the accommodation possibilities as I drool over all the beautiful applications and interpretations of Swahili design.

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The Best of 2012: Art, Design, Interviews, Commentary & Music

It will be 2013 in under a week and that means it’s time for one of those lists summing up the highlights of the year! The following is a selection of posts that you found most interesting (as per the analytics); posts that I most enjoyed creating; exciting discoveries and; some off-blog but on-topic articles.

Art and Design

 

Interview with Artist Toyin Odutola

Interviews

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Inspired: Architecture & Jewellery – Shompole Lodge and the Shompole Collection


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Shompole is a luxury eco-lodge on the Nguruman Escarpment in Kenya. I haven't yet been to Shompole (note the "yet" – it's on the list of places I must go see!) but I'm fascinated by the open architecture, dissolving the boundaries between outside and in. I imagine that it is at once exhilarating and humbling (the vulnerability of being immersed in the so-called wilderness).

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Inspired by: Architecture, Interior Design and Furniture by Ministero del Gusto

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In Marrakech's Medina sits Ministero del Gusto, a showroom for one-off furniture, jewel design and vintage fashion, featuring artists from all over the world . As well as a gallery, Ministero del Gusto is a studio that works on house renovations, interior decoration and house planning projects, creating work that is contemporary with a strong Moroccan influence.

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Recommended reading:


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3 Years of Afri-love: Top Posts from the Last Year

I am embarassed to say that Afri-love’s 3rd anniversary just slipped by me! On June 11th, I was on a train back from London after modelling in the Shape Custom Creations Afrika Milele show (one of the most exciting fashion shows I’ve experienced – the epitomé of good vibes!). In my exhaustion, I forgot what a great moment it was.

As they say, better late than never. It’s quite timely actually because, after 2 months or so of travelling, returning, catching up and getting back to ‘normal’ routine, I’m finally back in the groove of things. You may have noticed that post frequency is starting to pick up again! It’s fitting that we get things going with, first, some thanks – a HUGE THANK YOU for reading and interacting with me, here on the blog, by subscribing and via Twitter and Facebook too – it all makes this labour of love so much more satisfying and; second, a little reflection with a look at the top 5 posts from the past year. In reverse order:

5. Interview with furniture designer Yinka Ilori

A great story about pursuing your passion, no matter the naysayers!

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4. African inspiration on Pinterest from artist Robyn Gordon

Regular readers will know just how obsessed I am with Pinterest (see for yourself). Robyn Gordon is somebody you have to follow.

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3. Interview with feminist activist Amina Doherty

The passionate Amina, aka sheroxlox, is one of the lovliest people I’ve had the honour to meet in recent years. Find out what drives her.

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2. Interview with fashion designer Adele Dejak

I’ve been working with the East Africa-based designer for a little over a year now and I feel so lucky to be collaborating with somebody who creates beautiful things and has such a good spirit too. Today marks the launch of her new website and online shop, created by yours truly and the rest of the Asilia team.

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1. Dream Homes: Swahili-inspired architecture and interior design in Lamu, Kenya

One day I will finally visit Lamu in person (and hopefully before the new port is built as, I worry that it will change the nature of the town). Until then, I will lust over all the beautiful homes I’ve discovered, thanks to my best friend, the internet. More Lamu finds on the blog.

What posts did you enjoy most over the past 12 months?

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For the newbies – check out the top 3 most popular Afri-love posts of all time:

  1. Interview with Fashion Stylist and Blogger, Nancie Mwai
  2. Natural Hair Journey: 10 Months after the Big Chop
  3. 5 Reasons why Ghana will be the next African App Powerhouse – a guest post from Afriapps founder and my Asilia co-conspirator, Andrew Mugoya

Baytil Ajaib: Swahili-inspired interior design at Lamu’s House of Wonder

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Greetings from the East African coast and yet another beautiful example of Swahili-inspired interior design. I am writing to you from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (which, at 30 degrees Celsius, 94% humidity & to be fair, cloudy skies, is by local standards cold!) but today's post features a townhouse located a little further north – Lamu, Kenya.

Welcome to Baytil Ajaib, meaning the House of Wonder. The ceilings in this palatial house are made from five types of lime-coral stone, including snail shell and engraved turtles represent fertility and resistance to evil spirit. Wonderful views of Lamu town, the Lamu archipelago, sailing dhows, occasional schools of dolphins and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets are some of the things that you can enjoy, along with the birds and butterflies that frequent the courtyard of the house.

You can book a stay at Baytil Ajaib through Chic Retreats.

Images via the Baytil Ajaib website and Lamu.org

 

Baskets of Africa as Wall Art

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I spotted a great home decor idea via Pinterest – using African baskets as wall art. 

Thinking of trying it out? Get the look with the help of online shop, Baskets of Africa. They have an amazing collection that spans creations from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, all handmade and fair trade. Here are some of my favourites in neutral colour combinations.

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View more interior and architectural inspiration on my Places and Spaces board on Pinterest.

Images via Lolita (left) and Elle Decor. Thanks to fellow pinners AphroChic and Gathoni for putting the idea on my radar. 

The best of 2011: African and Africa-inspired fashion, interior and furniture design

Hope you've had a great holiday season so far. I thought I'd take these few days before 2012, to put together a recap of some favourite Afri-love posts (yours and mine) from the past year. Today – it's all about design.

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