Style file: Bamileke beauty


Style file: Bamileke beauty


I recently indulged in a little African decor love. It goes by the name of Bamileke. I first saw a Bamileke stool in a family friend’s home in South Africa what feels like a lifetime ago and have loved them ever since. They are widely used in South African decor and are particularly popular in luxury bush lodges. My first sightings of these little gems were generally always in dark wood finish, much like their natural state, but nowadays they’re transformed into every colour imaginable, making them even more appealing, although I am still a big fan of the stark white finish.

To give you a bit of background, these fascinating pieces are in fact a king’s stool from the Bamileke tribe in Cameroon, and since we have a self-proclaimed little princess in the house, I thought it quite fitting to have a royal throne of sorts on hand for ceremonious occasions. Carved from a single tree trunk, they have a distinctive round shape and intricate cross-cross pattern. Since they’re handmade, they tend to vary in size and finish (some work well as small side tables and others are better suited as a coffee table), often with a distinct lack of symmetry and level – all factors which I believe contribute to their unique charm and beauty.

I got these two beauties shipped in from South Africa and couldn’t be happier with my new acquisitions. They were initially intended as side tables in my lounge,  and one has made it there, but the other was dumped in my office as I brought it through the door and I’m having a hard time releasing it from it’s initial landing place. It will no doubt be moved to a new location sometime soon. We’ll see.

Kathryn Hawkes

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  • Lisa Heere 21/09/2017 at 1:14 PM

    Hi Kathryn
    Please could you advise which shop in South Africa you got your white Bamileke Stool from.
    Many thanks

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    Hi, I’m Kathryn

    Hi, I’m Kathryn

    House of Hawkes is a boutique interior design studio based in Dubai. This website is where it all began and remains a creative platform for sharing my work, my love of design and things that inspire me. Come on over & meet the team.

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