Did you know that colour doesn’t actually exist in ‘real life’? Interestingly, colour is just an effect of electromagnetic rays registered by your brain and eyes, caused by shifting elements of light. Despite the science behind it, colour is a hugely important aspect of our everyday lives and how it makes us feel as humans!

Different colours create different sets of moods, and each and every one of us has certain colour preferences which may help us to feel more comfortable, calm and centred – most especially throughout our homes. In fact, it is said that each person has a seasonal colour palette they prefer to decorate their homes and lives with.

What seasonal colour palette are you?

Spring

If you fall under this seasonal category you would perhaps describe yourself as creative, expressive, approachable, youthful, playful, bright and bubbly. Your energetic approach to life may mean you aren’t always taken seriously, but this doesn’t mean you aren’t intelligent or don’t know what you want out of life!

In terms of décor, you would typically prefer pops of bright colour, juxtaposed beside a simple, fresh interior. Clean lines will be balanced by a sense of quirkiness and whimsicality, while fresh blooms, patterns and even sparkles would fascinate you. Dark greys and navy may also appeal in defining your space.

Summer

As a summer palette person you may have a calm, classic, elegant and even reserved air about you. You would describe yourself as logical, with high attention-to-detail and have an intense love for all things high quality, soft and soothing. You are a romantic, yet also highly reliable.

Despite falling under the summer colour palette, garish or loud summer colours of pool flamingos and pineapples are not necessarily your preference. You may prefer the more subdued colours of lavender, pale greys and blues, while pink and red will feature – but on the more faded, tasteful side. You are a person that loves symmetry and classic, timeless items of décor and furniture.

Autumn

People that fall under the autumn colour palette are characterised by one main thing: their welcoming nature. You are likely to be a soul with boundless energy, a little flamboyant at times, intense, very friendly, and highly independent, with a love for all things eclectic!

Books will no doubt be part of your décor, while the warm colours of autumn will feature strongly, with muted nuances of colour as well. Collections of knick-knacks, textiles, natural fibres and plants are preferred for decorating – your space may not be super calming, but it is always warm, welcoming and packed with character!

Winter

Winter people have a propensity for the dramatic, with a deep love for minimalistic décor, an uncluttered home and life. You are a decisive person, strong, always on-trend and completely unfussy with an appreciation for the finer things in life – understated is key.

You may be one of the only people you know that would paint a wall pitch black, you enjoy strong contrasts in colour and texture, while block colours are right up your alley. If patterns are included in your decor, they are bold and often mono-chromatic. A modern space, with clean edges belongs to a ‘winter’ person, while neatness and arrangement is highly important. Your home may come across as austere to others, but it will definitely leave an impression!

One of the best ways to decipher which colour palette or ‘season’ you fall under is to create a list of words that best describe your personality and how you want to feel in a particular room in your home. Or perhaps you don’t fall under a particular ‘season’ and prefer the idea of an interior design specialist taking control of your home makeover? If this is the case, our team at Darkie Designs is more than happy to help! Visit us in-store for décor inspiration or get in touch for a consultation.

Step into many a home, B&B, safari lodge, restaurant or store in Limpopo and you will notice how their interiors are likely to feature a striking piece from a celebrated African wood carver, textile worker, weaver or beader.

Interior design has been intimately influenced by the landscape of this dramatic part of our beautiful country and is reflected in the featured artworks made by some of South Africa’s most talented local artisans. Limpopo is renowned for its many Venda and Tsonga sculptures which draw inspiration not only from the environment, but also from socio-political issues such as xenophobia, sexual abuse, social grants and student pregnancies.

Local artists of the region include the likes of Mischak Raphalalani, Johannes Maswanganyi, Avhashoni Mainganye, Rebecca Matibe, Owen Ndou, Philip Rikhotso and Thomas Kubayi. They have each – with their own style, come to be known as ‘big names’ in the region and create much of the local art which has become popular throughout the province. While wood carvers such as Japhter Luvimbi, Avhashoni Mainganye and none other than David Murathi have come to define carving artistry, drawing their originality from a wood carving God Father, the late John Baloyi.

Woodcarver David Murathi

David is well-known throughout South Africa for his traditional and contemporary, both small and large sculptures and many pieces of functional art. His carvings include beautiful bathroom accessories such as hooks, towel rails and mirrors.

He began his carving career while still in high school, learning the art of the trade from his famous wood carving uncle, Churchill Madzivhandila. David now runs a rural art studio in Mashau Village in the lush Levubu Valley in Northern Limpopo, drawing daily creativity from his dreams and ancestral heritage.

One of the secrets to David’s success as an artist is centred on how he allows the natural form of the wood he is working with to evolve in his wood carvings. He looks at the physical structure of the wood, and seeks to make a significant statement through its natural shape. David’s sculptures are characterised by their expressive nature, while a good number of his most popular pieces focus on social issues such as domestic violence and the abuse of women.

David shot to fame after he won first prize for his artworks at the Venda Arts Exhibition at the RSA Embassy Hall in 1992 and he has since gone on to exhibit all over South Africa. Many of his artworks have also reached foreign shores! His sculptures can be seen in various magazines and art books across South Africa.

The ‘God Father’ of carving artistry in Limpopo, John Baloyi

John was well-known for his educational carvings, bringing foreign animals to life in his local gallery in Limpopo, including the likes of kangaroos, dolphins, swordfish and camels. He believed that in depicting these species, he was aiding in the development of rural education. Aside from his incredible wood carving career, John Baloyi was also a skilled potter, weaver and puppet maker.

John’s passion for carving was nurtured by his grandfather who crafted traditional chairs and coffins. As his wood carving career grew, John explored Biblical themes, eventually focusing on the crafting and carving of foreign animal species and daily rural life.

Throughout his career as a wood carver he exhibited extensively. Many of his works are housed in corporate and private collections in Germany, England, Holland, Japan, Belgium, Australia, Botswana and throughout South Africa. John was known as a man passionate about art and what it represents to live the life of an artist.

With an abundance of inspiration in colour, earthy textures, cultural heritage, harsh contrasts and the extraordinarily bio-diverse landscape of Limpopo, it’s not hard to see how these incredible local artists have come to characterise their artworks. At Darkie Designs we believe in supporting local artists and are proud to display their community art and accessories in our store! Owning a little piece of African culture is priceless!

At Darkie Designs we place great value on supporting the locals and their wonderful artistic talents which we are proud to display in our store.

We take great pride in selling home décor pieces and accessories which are not only inspired by the African landscape and culture, but created by those that live it, day in and day out. We believe that in supporting local talent we are opening our doors to the creative abilities of those who might otherwise go unnoticed in our neighbourhood.

As such, our team at Darkie Designs aspires to engage with our local community on a regular basis, inspiring them to create beautifully ornate, one-of-a-kind décor accessories and pieces. Through our engagement with local artists we aim to empower less fortunate communities, while offering a true piece of African culture represented in the many items sold in our store.

One such local artisan who Darkie Designs is incredibly proud of is our African art carver, Ray. A Nelspruit township dweller, the Darkie Designs team met Ray when he lived in just a shack – we are proud to say that through our ongoing support of his incredible talent, he has recently put down a deposit on his first home! Ray’s intricate and refined fish, giraffe and other carvings have become highly popular with our foreign clientele, while his talent has truly developed each year.

We are also proud to champion local NGO programmes, including an project based in Mozambique which supplies our store with beadwork. This NGO project is a drug addiction rehabilitation programme which we have proudly supported over the years, buying and selling their many gorgeous beadwork pieces.

Our Darkie Designs store also hosts its very own sewing room where we encourage and empower our staff to grow their skill set by bringing their creative ideas to life through sewing. Our eager sewers have been busy with a large demand for our range of scatter cushions, while upholstery work and repairs has also become highly popular in the sewing room.

Our many upholstery projects are supported by one of the largest sample library book ranges in the region, with over 100 sample books of upholstery for our clientele to choose from. We are so proud of all our sewing hands who have grown into fine crafters!

Our team vision at Darkie Designs is based on empowerment – we take to heart the talents of those who live in our community and pride ourselves on offering a good range of locally made products, affording equal opportunity wherever possible! Visit us today and take home a little piece of Africa.

The fusion of two contrasting elements such as concrete and wood may seem unnatural together in a home environment – after all, one is a natural product of the earth and adds a warm, welcoming feel to a space, whereas concrete can be considered stark and cold. Yet the modern architect increasingly blends a combination of materials, with wood and concrete seemingly prevalent.

How would two inherently different elements be incorporated into the interior design of your home space without looking completely out of place?

Here are our top tips on incorporating both wood and concrete in your home:

Kitchen countertops

For a modern approach to your kitchen design, incorporating concrete and wood has never been more seamless than in your kitchen countertops or centre-island. To create the ultimate show piece of wood meets concrete, laying a thick wooden slab over concrete counters is bang on-trend and works well to create a modern and inviting kitchen. Wooden counter tops are versatile as well – bye-bye chopping boards!

Bathroom statement pieces

For a truly ‘zen’ feeling in your master or guest bathroom, combine wood textures in your vanity or under-sink cupboards with a statement piece sink or bath tub crafted from concrete. The combination of wood and concrete works to create a sleek and modern bathroom that is both practical and pleasing on the eye! Accessorise the rest of your bathroom with subtle wood finishes or fittings that tie it all together.

Looking at flooring and walls

This concept can basically be incorporated in any room, but works best in large-open plan rooms where a true statement can be carried off well. The combination of raw, concrete floors with wood panelled walls works wonders, while the reverse: raw, concrete looking walls and beautiful wooden flooring is an exceptionally sleek look for a main room such as a lounge area or large entrance hall.

Playing with accessories

The juxtaposition of opposing elements such as wood and concrete defines design and one of the best ways to incorporate this trend in your home, piece by piece, is with accessories and small furnishings. If you are wary of converting an entire room, start smaller with a certain corner of a room. Introduce a marble-top table to mimic concrete and some beautifully crafted wooden stools or chairs. Try wood panelling a set of cupboards and laying a concrete slab on top of those, or start even smaller by introducing wooden light fittings and ceramic or concrete looking accessories.

Introducing a new trend such as the integration of wood and concrete into the interior design of your home may seem daunting at first – but taking small steps to get there is the best way to do so. One of the best things to do is to start simply, building on your foundation from there!