Yinka Ilori has just revealed his first-ever homeware collection, bringing his contemporary, colourful patterns and distinct personality to what he deems "unexpected and functional" household items that remind him of his own childhood.
Inspired by his British Nigerian heritage, the new range begins with a focus on tabletop accessories and textiles, all complemented by a mix of accent pieces to inject some positive and vibrant colour into any home. "It's a colourful celebration of two cultures expressed through abstract, technicolour pattern and contemporary craft," explains Yinka. "Each has its own narrative and back-story, meant to instil a sense of optimism and joy, to act in their own small way as a distraction to the dark times that we're facing this year."
The collection comes after Yinka noticed a growing audience interacting with his works that promote positivity and, "act as a form of creative hedonism on social media". Of course, with a number of in-the-flesh installations put on hold this year, Yinka found the time to work on this "joy project", something that could "translate this creative optimism offline".
"I’ve worked on several functional items to act as individual canvases, using various forms, scales, materials and techniques to translate pattern in different ways. It is left to you to decide whether they will be functional or art," says Yinka, who has spent a lot of time sourcing specialist suppliers with a focus on craft and quality to ensure he's creating designs that will have a long life-span.
"Hand-turned stoneware comes from Portugal, along with luxury jacquard table linens and cushions," he adds. "Industrial enamelware is handmade in Poland. Hand-knotted wool rugs are crafted in Nepal, whilst tableware comes from here in the UK."
There are trays, bowls, plates, enamel mugs, tea towels, cushions, rugs – even placemats and coasters, which feature some of Yinka's famous chair designs. "Chairs have been central to my design work for well over a decade as I see them as inspirational, powerful objects that have many stories to tell. Status, hierarchy, wealth, chairs – they all have their own individual narratives which I've explored through a number of re-interpretations – my most meaningful of which I've included as illustrations in the Parable collection of placemats and coasters."
The only problem now is figuring out what to snap up. Discover Yinka Ilori's new Colour Happy collection at yinkailori.com.