There were so many amazing new introductions at DecoOff that it is hard to know where to begin! One of the most whimsical and charming collections was “Ardmore” by Cole & Son based on Ardmore Ceramic Art celebrating African traditions and culture. Cole & Son describes the collection:
“Drawing inspiration from Ardmore’s colorful and quirky ceramics the collection explores Africa’s exotic flora and majestic fauna: from rare birds to big cats, elephants, rhinos and mischievous monkeys; as well as the beautiful patterns of Zulu beadwork and woven basket ware.Color palettes are drawn from the natural landscape: from the chalky, ochred desert plains and sun-bleached shimmering outcrops to the vibrant fresh greens of water-kissed rain forests and exotic coloring’s of native flora and fauna. The result, a strikingly sophisticated collection of wallpapers that includes soft and subtle explorations of the majestic landscape as well as colorful creations capturing the vibrancy of traditional African culture.”
Cole & Son always does an incredible job teaching the designer about the inspiration behind each of their creations. Every paper tells a story. In addition to their fabulous story telling skills, they also do a fabulous job showcasing their papers in a variety of interiors from traditional to contemporary and the varied methods in which their papers can be applied.
Singita, which means ‘Place of Miracles’ is truly just that! This rich and fabulously patterned forest design has been painstakingly and charmingly hand painted using the decorative plant motifs and foliage which adorn the painted dishes and bowls created by Ardmore artists over the years. This rich tapestry-like paper with its glimpses of artist, Alex Sibande’s enigmatic animal travellers strolling through the undergrowth, will create a luxurious backdrop to any interior. SAFARI DANCE
This beautifully patterned wallpaper features a trio of elephants dancing horizontally across the African Plains. Intricately rendered, they are taken from a series of large decorated urns painted by Zinhle Nene which take pride of place in the Ardmore museum. The colouring has been kept quite simple in order to show off the fine hand drawn elements – charcoal, sand and stone provide a softly speckled backdrop to black and white, soft mulberry and rust and cool chalky greys. LEOPARD WALK
Leopards march left and right across this wallpaper, their tails forming patterns and rythms associated with Zulu dance and music. Originally painted by Punch Shabalala, one of Ardmore’s oldest and most esteemed artists, Leopard Walk is a simple yet striking design offered in five colourings including soft greys and taupes, a striking balck and white and a rich and moody charcoal with burnt orange, almost fire-lit leopards.
Inspired by the charmingly naiive patterning of giraffe spots created by young Ardmore artist Senzo Duma, Senzo Spot re-creates the age-old small scale animal print as a smart semi-plain wallpaper. Gilded with small daubs of softly textured metallic or matt chalk, this effortlessly smart and contemporary design is offered in six colourings MATRINAH WITH ZULU
One of the more classical designs within the collection, Matrinah, named after Ardmore designer Matrinah Xaba, reveals an arrangement of ornamental platters and dishes, all intricately patterned with birds and animals and edged with decorative borders and pie crust scallops. These in turn are placed on chalky grounds of olive, taupe, ivory, yellow ochre and pink featuring the softly silhouetted shapes of the vases from the Khulu Vases design. ZULU BORDER
Inspired by the pedestal base of a ceramic vase, this striking leopard spot border design has been created to be hung horizontally around the base of a wall but as a further option it can be hung vertically as a reverse match to create a dramatic and opulent wide graduated stripe. Featuring an ornamental ‘moulded’ edge atop a softly graduated band of leopard spot markings, this border design will be a striking addition to any interior. JABU
Named after one of Ardmore’s finest designers, Jabu Nene, this design takes its inspiration from the wonderfully sculptural rhino hand coiled vessels, created by sculptor Somandla Ntshanlintshali. These pots are then intricately painted in eye dazzling colours and patterns by Jabu Nene herself and now form a part of Ardmore’s most well loved signature styles. The Cole and Son artists have used the markings on these pots to create a wonderfully rich and vibrant vertical stripe, out of which peek a pair of regal white rhinos complete with adorned horns and feathered ruffs. This wallpaper contains a true African spirit with its patterning reminiscent of Zulu basket weaving.
Zambezi features a flotilla of boats, originally sculpted by Sotho artist Benet Zondo, captained by an array of animals all floating gently down the Zambezi river in Zimbabwe. Inspired by Operation Noah, a mission led by people in boats to save drowning animals when the Zambezi flooded in the 1960s, this delightful wallpaper will be loved by children and adults alike. Softly coloured zebras monkeys, elephants and hyenas all feature as do the occasional crocodile and haughty flamingo. SAVUTI
The Savuti is one of Africa’s most loved and well known national parks where hoopoes and hornbills call and sing whilst baboons and chameleons sun themselves in flowering Coral Trees. This wonderful African garden has been recreated as a wallpaper in seven colourful and distinctive colourings each offering a different look – a bright orange and charcoal with a monotone engraved feel – a duck egg and old stone with a more faded and antique illustrative tones, and a series of three brightly coloured more child-like colourings on grounds of cram, dark petrol and khaki. NARINA
This wallpaper shares its name with the beautiful Narina Trogan Bird, native to Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. Derived from the detailed patterning found on many Ardmore bowls and vases, our Cole and Son artists have created a soft water coloured geometric design using the stylised feathers of the Narina Bird to produce a subtle yet quirky semi-plain wallpaper. Offered in six colourings including soft neutrals alongside a vibrant burnt orange, leaf green and moody charcoal, this quirky paper can be used to complement other designs within the collection.
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