Quagga Fabrics & Wallpapers

Rob Tarlton, founder of the Cape Town-based surface design company Quagga Fabrics and Wallpapers recently shared his bold, intricate and interesting designs with us. Rob, who is a graphic designer, explains that most of Quagga’s designs started out as “dreamy doodles” which with weeks of refinement evolved into their first range of wallpaper called Maginaper (a clever mash-up of the words “imagination” and “paper”).

“The patterns convey a love of local flavour, with a hearty mix of international design trends thrown in. In these original designs, you can expect an exciting blend of patterns made up of abstract shapes and recognisable cultural icons, from cows to lighthouses”

After the wallpapers’ great success, Rob decided to translate the designs onto fabric, which in turn led to a small range of product. The range consists of “Beetle and Lighthouse” scatter cushions,which features local familiar sights such as the Mouille Point Lighthouse and an old VW Beetle. He also hopes to produce boxes, lampshades and bags with that distinct Quagga flavour in the near future.

Wondering about the name? Located in close proximity to the Groote Schuur Estate, which houses a faction of the “The Quagga Project” who aims to reintroduce the extinct Quagga through continuous selective breeding, the name “Quagga Fabrics and Wallpapersseemed like a logical and patriotic choice to Rob.

Check out the Quagga Fabrics and Wallpapers website: here for more info.

Reliving Design Indaba Conference 2012

Rose and I often recall the glorious three days we spend attending the Design Indaba Conference 2012 and now Design Indaba has systematically been uploading small clips of speaker highlights to YouTube.

I thought to share two short inspirational videos with you – both these speakers really made a lasting impression on me…

“Andrew Shoben creates art in public spaces as a way to add creative expression to parts of the city. Shoben talks about his “Trafalgar Sun” installation that explored the psychological effect that the sun has on Londoners. For Shoben it is important that his projects have a “community of presence”, something that makes people talk or smile to their neighbours in the city. Shoben also tells of the “3D abacus” that he created for the London Stock Exchange and how interaction is a side effect of all his work.”

“Architect Bjarke Ingels started BIG, Bjarke Ingels Group, in 2006 in Denmark after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Ingels has created an international reputation as a member of a new generation of architects that combine shrewd analysis, playful experimentation, social responsibility and humour.”

If you have a bit of time I suggest you pop over to the Design Indaba website and watch these talks in full – it’s well worth it. My mouth was literally hanging open that whole day…

Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Drawers {After}

Hector & Bailey’s Found & Fixed

By Marica

Today we would like to introduce you to interior designer and upcycling supergirl, Jess from Hector & Bailey. We just love the Found & Fixed section of her blog where she shares beautiful furniture pieces she has lovingly upcycled and restored. Her passion for finding lost and unloved pieces and returning them to their former glory (with that added quirky edge of course) is quite apparent. She says she has always “felt a duty to bring these pieces back from the dead.

Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Server {Before}Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Server {After}Jess founded interior design company, Hector & Bailey in London in 2009 in defiance of the recession and moved across the globe to Durban. Seeking a bit of sunny skies and warm weather, where you Jess? – well, either way, we are super happy to have you join the South African ranks!

Jess is also currently working hard on a new range which she will be showcasing alongside fellow Durbanite, Wendy-Lee Douglas of Sketch Bok/dbn (the design and grown-up part of ilovebokkie) at the Joburg Food Wine & Design Fair. This collaboration, which they have named Miss + Meisie,  will also feature various SA and UK designers. They aim to make this collab a permanent fixture, selling online and hosting pop-up shops showcasing up-and-coming local and UK talent. So if you are in the Jozi area end November be sure to check it out…

I also just had to share two of her Before & After pieces – it is truly amazing how a good sanding and a lick of paint can transform these articles into trendy desirable pieces. I especially love the collection of tossed drawers she revamped. A pop of bright colour and some funky wallpaper, and now they are most gorgeous wall shelves or boxed displays.

More exciting news… Jess is going to be doing a DIY guest post for us next month where she will be showing us step-by-step how to transform something old into something new… so, keep your eyes peeled! Do yourself a favour and pop over to Hector & Bailey to see more of Jess’s Found & Fixed beauties!

Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Drawers {Before}Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Drawers {After}

Various Skull Decor by Sobeit Studio

Trend Alert: Skulls

We have seen the skull trend pick up steam in the last year or two. Now, this trend is an acquired taste and not for the faint of heart… some might find it a tad creepy, but there is something mysterious and fascinatingly pretty about these skulls. Here is some of our favourite local skull designs – I especially like the vintage-looking ones…
Skull Cushion by Number 19

Love this kick-ass pipe-smoking vintage skull scatter cushion by Number 19. The design is called “Handsome Portrait” and it’s silkscreened onto an off-white linen cushion cover. The same design has also been used as a limited edition print – silkscreened onto old book paper. Both these are available online through Hello Pretty.Various Skull Decor by Sobeit Studio

Sobeit Studio is skull décor Promised Land – in fact, the have a whole range called, The Skullery! They have an awesome collection of skull candles in various colours – just imagine how super cool it must look when the heat of the flame starts melting the skull… Or how about adding a touch of glam with those metallized skulls, available in copper, gold & chrome – it looks totally gangster!Mrs Ples Fabric by Design Team

The Mrs Ples fabric design forms part of Design Team‘s brand spanking new collection called, African Archive. The design features awesome anatomy sketches that look as if they just fell out of the pages of a vintage medical journal.
Carved Timber Skulls by Bronze Age Art

Carved out of Jakaranda wood by Friday Jibu, the amount of work that went in these carved timber animal skulls is just amazing! The skulls are available from Bronze Age art gallery in the Foundry.
Hand Embroidered Skulls by Calavera

We have featured the magical work of Nicola de Jager of Calavera before and every time I totally stumped by the magnificent attention to detail (seriously, images don’t do it justice, you have to see it in the flesh). She hand embroiders every Dia de los Muertos skull (or Calavera as they are also known) by hand. Breath-taking.Skull Light Boxes by Colwyn Thomas

Check out these super cool skull light boxes by talented Durban illustrator, Colwyn Thomas. The light-emitting skulls are cleverly made-up out of a tangle of either butterflies, koi fish or doves.