This year’s Decorex Cape Town was bigger and better than ever, with local designers interpreting the theme of ‘bliss’ in original and intriguing ways. One of the most exciting projects was the #MADEFORYOU Designer Pods, brought to you by Volvo. Four Cape Town designers – one of whom was Space For Life’s Interior Design Consultant, Stefan Frylinck – were invited to drive a Volvo for four days and were then challenged to incorporate the experience into a room setting at Decorex.
Ultimately, the Space for Life Volvo #MADEFORYOU designer pod won the Best Decor Stand at the show. House and Leisure asked Stefan Frylinck to tell us more about the stand and what made it worthy of being a winning design.
About Space for Life
Space for Life, who produce Scandinavian-inspired design with a distinct South African influence, shares the re-use, re-create and re-invent philosophy being adopted by many forward thinking ventures today. We bring beautifully-designed and well-crafted furniture pieces from the 1950s and earlier – made by gifted Danish and other Scandinavian designers and crafters – to an appreciative South African audience.
Our philosophy and mission is also to support and create opportunities for local artists and crafters who show talent and dedication. We combine their work with the Scandinavian design items to illustrate harmony and poise between our various cultures. Space for Life is continuously searching for outstanding furniture and art that is then creatively displayed in a manner that aims to strike the right balance between furniture, art and design.
The Space for Life/ Volvo synergy
It is then not surprising that Space for Life and Volvo form a good synergy; a shared philosophy for:
- keeping in touch with consumer and industry trends
- attention to detail
- superior craftsmanship and quality materials used
- innovative and timeless design
- always keeping our precious natural resources and environment in mind
The Space for Life Decorex 2013 Volvo Designer Pod
In keeping with our mission to support and create opportunities for local designers, artists and crafters, we combined the work of local fabrics and wallpaper company, Quagga, and Stephanie Bentum’s natural wool products, with Space for Life’s collectable mid-century Scandinavian design originals.
The pod represents a small, open-plan living room and dining area, demonstrating optimal use of ‘small space living’ and the versatility of our innovative, compact Scandinavian and locally-designed furniture pieces. Our main colour scheme was shades of blue combined with yellow.
We also launched our own, locally-designed and manufactured furniture range by showcasing a two-seat sofa, inspired by Swedish designer Folke Ohlsson, in blue tartan with a yellow stripe and woolen fabric upholstery.
Space for Life have developed a three and two-seat sofa and single chair, constructed from Oregon Pine timber, salvaged from building demolition sites, and manufactured in our own wood workshop by a master carpenter. The carpentry work is reminiscent of a bygone era with perfect hand joinery, in keeping with mid-century Scandinavian superior craftsmanship and attention to detail.
An interesting design characteristic of the sofa and chair is that every piece of timber in the frame construction is curved. There isn’t one completely straight piece of timber to be found in the frame. This sofa is the start of a range of furniture pieces inspired by mid-century Scandinavian design, manufactured locally and, where possible, made with recycled materials.
Electrical pylons were combined with images of sheep and ostriches in a wallpaper design by Rob Tarlton of Quagga Fabrics and Wallpapers, which makes a tongue-in-cheek comment about environmental awareness issues as well as ‘Scandinavian design in South Africa’. The pylons wallpaper panel was installed with light yellow painted panels on either side, one with round metal wall lamps and the other with teak lamps fitted with ‘lets re-invent the doily’ lampshades.
Buttoned felt cushions in various bright colours and sizes, designed by Space for Life and manufactured by Stephanie Bentum, were included with the furniture, alongside a Shongololo-inspired felt and Alpaca combination rug in natural brown and black, displayed on white-washed oak flooring.
Other furniture items included a coffee table that becomes a server and a six-seat dining table, demonstrating innovative design for space-saving usage, four dining chairs – some with locally-designed and printed upholstery fabrics -, a teak mid-century Danish designed side board cabinet and a high-back lounge arm chair with teak side tables.
We commissioned artist Brett Shuman to create an artwork that would incorporate the Volvo logo in a unique manner, utilising some of the Plascon PVA paints from the Plascon 2013 colour palette.
Volvo V40/ Space for Life Designer Pod shared qualities and characteristics
- Attention to detail: comfortable seating with perfectly stitched upholstery
- Superior craftsmanship and use of quality materials; natural materials, handmade products
- Innovative and timeless design ensures value and longevity: a product that will remain relevant and stand the test of time
- Environmentally-conscious: reduced carbon footprint and use of recycled materials