Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo exhibitor, Ashlee Ainsley Lloyd is a fresh creative hitting the ground running. At only 23 years old, this emerging talent is setting new trends with her handcrafted and beautiful products and lighting designs.
What does great home design mean to you?
Great home design to me means where beauty crosses functionality. Aesthetics and attention to detail are of utmost importance yet cannot solely rely on just that basis. Functionality is and always will be a human requirement. Finding the balance between the two is great design. A well-thought out product that serves a purpose and looks aesthetically pleasing.
Which South African brands are on your radar?
Mmmmm… There are so many brands popping up recently! Wolf & Maiden Leather Apparel, AAKS – Handbag Apparel, Lampdrop – Company in Johannesburg – Lighting, Now Now Design, – Industrial Design Team producing quality products at a rapid pace, Urban Native – Furniture, Lorne – Jewellery Designer.
In your opinion, what is the colour trend of the moment and are you going to wear it or decorate with it or both?
Definitely Umber/Rust Orange. It’s a beautiful late summer/autumn colour. Going to definitely wear it! It’s a great scarf/wrap colour that goes with everything neutral. My new range is also going to show some pop colours of umber for sure.
Your lighting installation piece, the Molecular Chandelier has gained a lot of attention from the design scene. What inspired the creation of it?
Molecular was a feeling. Once I had figured out the shape of the chandelier frame, the draping body came to me as I was creating it. The piece molecular is inspired by the call of an awaited sporadic process. A light installation; hand wrought from chunky blackened rope, shorn lamb roving and copper string suspended off a classically rose gold copper webbed frame. Researching the molecular and cell-like inconsistent structure of the bridal mushroom initialised the inspiration for the hovering frame. I wanted to create a floating, primitive and virtually conscious formation whose textured shape is reminiscent of ravines and abysses found in dramatic natural earth formations that are present on this beautiful continent.
What are the most significant developments in décor and design?
The most significant developments in décor and design currently are the resurgence of handcrafted elements. A handcrafted touch personally brings out the designer’s personality. The use of newly developed materials in conjuncture with traditional methods and techniques makes for an exciting time to be alive as a designer.
What inspires you?
Action. Getting up and physically playing with shapes, colours, forms and patterns inspires me to do more, create more and to be more. I get inspired by talking to local craftsmen and woman. I get inspired by processes that I do not know yet. That for me is utmost inspiration.
What do you love about what you do?
I love creating the ambiance of a space. To design lighting that someone feels suits their mood and environment is such a treat. I love being able to work with my hands and create artisanal lighting solutions that are bespoke, original and avoids repetition. My desire for creation is what I love most.
What is the most beautiful item you own?
My Nikon F1 50mm Film Camera and my Golden Retriever, Ruby.
Is there anything in particular that strikes you about African design?
Yes, particularly people’s daring nature with colour and process. African design is always bold, outstanding and colourful.
The rise of design in the southern hemisphere strikes me more than ever.
What is on the horizon for the next year?
In the next year I plan to get standing on my own feet and eventually launch the brand into a proper business. I aim to get my own studio space where I can create and share ideas with like-minded people. Another plan is to develop socio-economic upliftment programmes. These programmes will allow for me to train people in our community to crochet, knotmake and macrame in order to produce more products and grow the business (export nationally and internationally). This programme will most importantly enable people less fortunate than I to have the chance to make a needed basic income and a chance of living a comfortable life.
Do you have a quote to live by?
“You got hit by a bus tomorrow” – it’s a deep one but life is fragile.
Discover more about this exciting new designer. Visit her website: www.ashleeainsleylloyd.com