Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Delicious Whimsical Inspiration

Working with such an array of talented designers, we aren't surprised when their work inspires others. Kim, one of our customers from Arizona, recently visited KIN on Kloof and so loved the illustration Tamus in Flight by Deziree Smith, that her magnificent, multi-layered birthday cake this year was inspired by Deziree's illustrations for her Whimsical Collection range.

Tamus in Flight from the Whimsical Collection
 The cake...
Kim's baker re-interpreted Deziree's illustrations to create a bright, charming multi-tiered cake
 Kim is a Medical Anthropology Doctoral Student and after we had emailed back and forth a bit, we could completely understand why she connected so whole-heartedly with Deziree's work - even her email signature made us smile with these beautiful words by Emile Zola :
 “The fate of our fellow animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.”

This is exactly the sort of happening that we love here at KIN - when something is made because it comes straight from the heart, it sends a whole lot of love into this world and people from all over the globe who visit our beautiful country can connect, support and spread that bubble of happiness. And a huge birthday cake is just about as happy as you can get :)

The Whimsical Collection prints and cards are available at both KIN on Kloof and KIN at V&A.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Introducing : unfayzdesign

It's always exciting for us to be able to share the work of a new designer, especially when their products are so different to anything else that we have in store. unfayzdesign is the creative offering of Cape Town designer, Fayaaz Mahomed. As someone who has always loved drawing and working with his hands, Fayaaz used his training and natural ingenuity to create a range of furniture that can be completely dismantled and stored as neat, compact stacks. He studied Industrial Design and actually created his Slotd™ range out of necessity - needing extra seating in his apartment when entertaining, but that can be easily packed away in a small space when not in use.
Laptop and Tablet / iPad stand
In Fayaaz's own words:
"My design style embraces the ‘Less is More’ philosophy. The main aim of the brand is to design and manufacture bespoke furniture and lighting solutions made from different materials using various industrial and hand-finishing manufacturing methods to create items that are simple,functional and elegant"

The range currently consists of a chair, a stool, a small side table, a bench, a free-standing lamp, laptop stand, and a tablet / iPad stand. All pieces, except the lamp, can be completely dismantled and stored flat-packed, then easily slotted back together when needed (hence the name Slotd™ :)

All the products are made from pine plywood, are CNC machined and then finished by hand. Fayaaz also uses either a natural sealant such as Linseed and teak oil or a low VOC water-based varnish. (VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound - i.e. the solvents that are released into the air as the paint or sealant dries. A low VOC count is much better for your health and that of the planet as a whole).

We assumed that Fayaaz gravitated towards Minimalist/Modern design style because he is such a laidback, easy-going type of a guy, but he laughingly says that if we chat to his wife, we'll discover that the real reason is his tendency to be a teensy bit lazy at times. Whatever the reason, we love the results, and his Slotd™ range is perfect for so many modern homes where extra space is rare luxury. Suddenly the dilemma of enough seating for Friday night's dinner party isn't a problem - even assembling the chairs can be a novel part of the evening's fun.

The Slotd™ Chair, Bench, Stool and Side Table
When we asked him what his favourite part of the entire design process is, Fayaaz said that it is seeing another person's reaction to the furniture when he puts it together - "it is something I have no control over which is why I enjoy it so much". Having witnessed an unassuming bundle of shapes take form as a beautiful, functional piece of furniture or homeware, we have to agree. We can't wait to see his versatile range grow and develop as many more homes are saved space and struggle without sacrificing on aesthetics.

Pop into KIN on Kloof to see these small wonders in person.

Follow unfayzdesign on

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Carguard Meerkat by Alex Goldberg

Last year Alex Goldberg joined creative forces with Sootcookie Ceramics to bring The Tale of Balaclava Bear to life, creating ceramic characters from Alex's tale of thievery and adventure. The Carguard Meerkat is the collaboration's new escapade and is similarly inspired by some of the unique experiences of living, driving and parking in South Africa.

The Carguard Meerkat 

On a city street he lies in wait,
watching your car till very late.
Fighting off honey-drunk bears with idle paws,
and sending tik-rats yelping through toothless jaws.
Their wandering eyes wondered what was in your car,
now they’re limping into the nearest ER.
But you return to see your car safe and sound,
unaware of the beating that had just gone down.
So spare some change or something to eat,
for Carguard Meerkat, defender of the street. 

These little rascals each have their own personality and feature a mix of signature Sootcookie floral transfers, gold luster and hand-painted details. They are available from KIN on Kloof.

Designer/Writer/Photographer: Alex Goldberg
Ceramics: Sootcookie
Inspiration: The carguards that watch over the streets of Cape Town.

Monday, 11 August 2014

It's an Adventure!

1. Silver Kite Necklace by Offbeat Melody
2. James Cook Illustration by Patrick Latimer
3. Stacking Table Mountain by MOKO
4. Brass Africa Necklace by Eon Hoon
5. Thought Card by Simple Intrigue
6. Brass Arrow Earrings by Tessa J Kelly
7. Leather Earrings by White Rabbit Days on a Cushion Cover by Handmade by Me
8. Man in the Moon iPad Sleeve by the WREN design
9. Impossible Memory Illustration by Intaglio Prints
10. Silver, Brass & Clay Bead Bracelets by A Bird Named Frank
11. Life is Beautiful Tote Bag by Soil Design
12. Fabric & Resin Studs by Patatie and Resin Flower Studs by Chasteau de Balyon
13. Ceramic Bowls by Kate Rosenberg
14. Mini Ceramic Cars by Sootcookie Ceramics

Friday, 8 August 2014

KIN at V&A - fresh, full & thriving

As we speed off into the second half of 2014, we are already feeling a tad nostalgic because, so far, this year has been full-to-the-brim of interesting happenings. One of these was The Great Flood that took place at KIN at V&A when a pipe in the ceiling of the passage outside burst, and water came shlooshing into the store at top speed.

To the rescue!

Although dramatic and stressful at the time, looking back, what stands out most to us is how everyone around us rallied together to help us - within minutes all endangered stock & furniture was moved to safety. Although we were closed for 11 days while every drop of water was evaporated out (with a scary heavy-duty machine) and the floors were redone, we used the time wisely and KIN at V&A came back better than ever - fresh and sparkling with a new coat of paint and gorgeous displays.


To thank everyone, we celebrated the day of re-opening with delicious cupcakes (because that's how we roll :)

The good part!

Special thanks to the team at Mondial for those amazing windscreen wiper brooms that they wielded like pro's, Victoria's for holding onto our most precious pieces, to Solveig for sheltering our stock when we needed it most, and to the Alfred Hotel for hosting our furniture in one of the hotels rooms - it had a very comfortable stay and especially enjoyed breakfast ;)

Friday, 1 August 2014

blown minds, inspired hearts & great coffee at the #RemakeChallenge Workshop

Last week we had the privilege of attending Live Eco's workshop for the Remake Challenge competition at Design Time, School of Interior Design.

Design Time, School of Interior design - what a beautiful venue!

When we first heard about the Remake Challenge, we were quite keen to get involved - it's South African design, it's encouraging sustainability, it sounds good - but as we've begun to really understand Live Eco's aim in growing this project we are happily stunned. The competition centres around making sustainable design pieces - both objects and fashion - using recycled / sustainable methods and materials. The umbrella goal of the project is to educate and raise real, usable awareness of what and how we design, make and manufacture.

Complimentary coffee from the Vida Van - good start to the day!

What does sustainability really mean?

In the wise words of Wikipedia : "sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes. The organizing principle for sustainability is sustainable development, which includes the four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture."

Getting passionate, fresh design students to compete in the Remake Challenge, Live Eco is sowing the seeds for a sustainable future right where they will make the most difference - in the minds of our next generation of dynamic trend-influencers. In showing how versatile, valuable and attractive sustainable materials are, the project is instilling a tangible sense of responsibility in how designers present their work to the to the world.

The first step in changing what and how we buy is to offer options. If sustainable products are readily available, if they are beautiful, high quality and backed by enticing design - and if one understands what the consequence of their damaging alternatives are - consumers will show support. Every sustainable item that is bought boosts the industry of, and demand for, sustainable products and actively contributes to turning the world in a better direction.

Nikki from Live Eco & Tony Budden from Hemporium

For the Workshop, Live Eco invited Tony Budden from Hemporium, Victoria Romburgh from Photoganic and Stephanie Benthum from Krafthaus, to showcase some of the most versatile sustainable materials available in the country today. Hearing the history, passion and personal involvement behind these companies was completely inspiring. Each is working hard to steer public taste toward natural, sustainable materials and manufacturing.

It was exciting to meet the Remake Challenge finalists, hear about their designs and see the workshop's immediate effects as they begun to reconsider their chosen materials.

Victoria Romburgh from Photoganic

As consumers we are only marginally aware of the true costs of the items that we buy - attending a workshop such as this, and processing all the fantastic information that was available, has blown our minds a bit. We have always been passionate about local design, and to see a project encouraging our country's designers to be conscious of what they use, and what they leave behind, puts them ahead of the game by far - what amazing work!