South African Design at West Elm

June 7, 2012

I love that West Elm has partnered with Elle Décor magazine to bring South African design to America with sixteen lovely collaborations with artists and designers who live and work there. I love this! You can catch a peek here of the collection – everything is simply divine.

South African Design at West Elm

South African Design at West Elm

I particularly love the elephant lamp by Shirley Fintz and the ceramics from Gemma Orkin who describes her style as, “Happy and uncomplicated.” So, so pretty, right???

South African Design at West Elm

South African Design at West Elm

South African Design at West Elm

South African Design at West Elm

South African Design at West Elm

South African Design at West Elm

What do you think of these gorgeous, colorful designs? I am smitten!

(images: west elm)


  • Reply Natasha Fatah June 7, 2012 at 1:27 am

    We have those little elephants at home! :)

  • Reply Igor June 7, 2012 at 1:50 am

    I love the ceramics, so happy and vibrant!!!

  • Reply Kari McIntosh June 7, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Amazing. I brought home a ceramic giraffe from Shirley 4 years ago. I cherish it still.

  • Reply Alia Chambers June 7, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Love this! Always been a fan of west elm…love this collab.

  • Reply Chrystina June 7, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Oh wow, now I’m going to have even more things to buy from West Elm.

  • Reply julie @ tractorgirl June 7, 2012 at 3:27 am

    holey moley I WANT those patterned plates & cups from Potters Workshop!!
    Colour and pattern ~ two of my most favourite things :)

  • Reply Sandra June 7, 2012 at 4:14 am

    I was lucky enough to live in South Africa for two years and brought home lots of furniture. The chairs with the riempies (leather straps) are iconic in southern Africa. Makes me homesick for my second home!

    Congrats to West Elm for promoting South African design!

  • Reply Cynthia June 7, 2012 at 4:49 am

    funny, was just blogging bout the same thing. Love West elm.

  • Reply S & H June 7, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Gotta love it!
    Have a nice day!

    Greetings from Norway!

  • Reply Amberly @ The Good Life June 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

    That elephant lamp is too cool! Way to go West Elm – such a wonderful idea!

  • Reply Nicole June 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

    The lamp is fantastic! Love the ceramics! Absolutly pretty! Thank you for sharing, Holly!

  • Reply Eva June 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I too am smitten with them. I adore the texture on the plates from Gemma along with the color palette ~ pretty, pretty! The rug in the dining room picture also has me drooling, but those hardwood floors under it are taking my breath away!

  • Reply Ashley {GirlyObsessions} June 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I’m loving West Elm’s collaborations! I am in love with the elephant lamp! I really don’t need any more elephants at home, but I might have space for that lamp!

  • Reply Yemi@baby Nursery ideas June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Love the ceramics. The colours are bright and bold. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Julie June 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Oh My Gosh! I love everything on here! I have a few African pieces, but now I have to have more!


  • Reply Megan June 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I live in Cape Town, South Africa, and Gemma Orkin’s ceramic bird plate series decorates an entire wall of my local coffee shop… a beautiful space to enjoy a latte!
    Very proud to see our local talent being recognised abroad!
    thank you for sharing this, Holly. xo

  • Reply Aleta June 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Any idea where to get that last white desk with the cool legs? When I search the West Elm website it doesn’t come up. Thanks!!

  • Reply Linsi June 8, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I love theses accessories!

  • Reply Sukaina June 8, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I grew up in Tanzania (East Africa) and am very pleased to see fellow African artists gettign the recognition they deserve. So much talent here. The elephant lamp is my fave too.

  • Reply kalanicut June 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh I just have the biggest smile on my face after looking at this post, Holly. So gorgeous. I learned from a smart woman named Holly Becker to take the time to really look at design that touches us and find out what exactly it is that gets us so excited. I am going to do that right now. Thank you for this post that gave me goosebumps!

  • Reply Toni-Skandivis June 8, 2012 at 9:41 am

    The South African design scene ROCKS! Married to a South African I’ve been coming to Cape Town for the past 24 years, and have seen huge chance during the past 5 years South African and Cape Town in particular is now cutting edge and very exciting! If you haven’t been there Holly I would suggest you go and check it out! You will love it!

  • Reply Cathy June 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Thank you Holly for showcasing the amazing design talent coming out of South Africa – my home!! I was recently in a “Mud” shop in a small country town and saw a few of the spectacular chandeliers that you covet – made me think of you and, having now seen them close-up, I realise why you want one!! (and I had to explain why they are so expensive to my husband – the amount of craftsmanship going into them is astounding!!)

  • Reply Natalie June 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I love this it is sooo pretty. Proud to be a South African.

  • Reply shabby chic decor June 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    My husband is South African so we have a lot of unique art and artifacts in our home. I love to see west elm branching out and showcasing unique patterns, textures and and colour combinations from artist.

    P.s Those ceramic plates are beautiful! I want one of each!

  • Reply Rachel May June 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I like that this gives the pieces more of a story behind them, and I’m a big fan of the collaboration. I think they do a lot with 20 x 200 as well.

    And those furniture pieces that are paint dipped with bare feet? Wow.

  • Reply Robert June 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I love those chairs!

  • Reply Joanna June 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I love their products and the ethnic character. It’s so good to see so many smaller designers emerging from different parts of the world. Inspiration just keeps coming.

  • Reply The Cupcake Lady June 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Loads of inspiration! I love the little elephants.

  • Reply Vicki June 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    So pleased to see you celebrating South African style Holly. I have a Gemma Orkin vessel next to my bed that is crammed with pens – i love its irregularity. We have so many talented here in SA and it’s great to have companies like West Elm appreciate them too. V x

  • Reply sy June 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    these are really cool, love the ceramics.

  • Reply itziar June 11, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I know why i love so much this blog
    Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply Susan Corner June 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hurrah! I’m proudly South African and so excited to see how our design is slowly infiltrating the rest of the world. For two long we relied on design influences coming into the country; SA designers have matured and, with the confidence gained, now realise that they can stand tall amongst their international peers.

  • Reply Susan Corner June 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Oops… TOO

  • Reply Shannon June 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Beautiful, very organic, earthy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Nicole June 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Gorgeous! These spreads are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing this great mash up of design.

  • Reply Sarah {Lacquer and Linen} June 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    This collaboration is fantastic! I especially love the white klismos chairs and the Gemma Orkin ceramics. There are so many lovely South African artists and designers, its awesome to see them recognized by West Elm.

  • Reply Yeshen June 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Good stuff, earthy tones all round. the fabrics have a cozy feel and the colourful ceramics are great.

  • Reply Rin Simpson June 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Fantastic, glad to see my home country being so well promoted :)

  • Reply hena tayeb June 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    gorgeous items.. i can’t decide what I love more.

  • Reply Katie B. of June 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    The Potter Ware dishes? Gorgeous! Those colors are just so vivid, and the patterns could make even the simplest of foods look gourmet. I. Want.

  • Reply JennyLynn June 13, 2012 at 2:56 am

    The red bench is so amazing. Great designs!

  • Reply deneise bucko June 13, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I do love me some West Elm!

  • Reply Jessica @shimmerkai June 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Lovely plates. Perfect for summer!

  • Reply Jennifer June 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I love all the plates mixed and matched together.

  • Reply Catherine (thepinkdoormat) June 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

    These items are so gorgeous! I specially love the plates, the colors just pop and the patterns are beautiful. Love it!

  • Reply Jamie Herzlinger June 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I absolutely adore west elm…the seem to always get it right!!


    Jamie Herzlinger

  • Reply Carly June 15, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Love the whimsy!!! So cute and fun!

  • Reply Rebekah June 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Just lovely! We spent a year in South Africa and I love this modern twist on traditional African patterns and ideas.

  • Reply Sam Lennie June 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    The bright red bench seat is beautiful, that would look lovely on my slate grey veranda :-0

  • Reply Kirstey June 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Its so exciting for us South Africans who are in the States! can’t wait to get my hands on some of these – especially the kudu table lamp. Gorgeous! Well done, West Elm :)

  • Reply decoguy June 28, 2012 at 3:45 am

    these are beautiful! they have got to be my favourite by far!
    i love the detail in each craft =)

  • Reply Esther July 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Oh, this is lovely. I just love the ceramics and the white chairs. {heart}

  • Reply Charlene January 10, 2013 at 9:01 am

    So proud that my home town and the amazing designers that we have here are being celebrated internationally! Thanks West Elm! Thanks Holly, x

  • Reply clayshapes pottery February 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Love the ceramics!

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