Designer Lisa Twyman launches her own fresh, upbeat homeware range
The Durban-based interior designer’s homeware collection grew organically out of her interior design practice
Often the most intuitive and original design comes out of personal evolution. And that sometimes takes time. Because while Lisa Twyman launched her interior design business in 2007, and has always designed custom pieces for the spaces she's created, it was only late last year that she launched her first official homeware collection.
It made sense for a few reasons. "I liked the idea of working on a series or range, where each design decision informs another to culminate in a neat curation," she says. She also felt an urge to be a bigger part of the South African design scene, and sensed an upsurge in the support of local brands.
The new venture came with its own challenges, and it transpired that the mindset needed to launch each new product is totally different to that of designing a space.
"A brief, the client and a space form the parameters of an interior project, whereas objects are designed through a meandering creative process, taking into account materials, form and the design solution. There've been many learning curves. But that is what I like about my work — every job brings different challenges. And my experience as an interior designer has given me the tenacity needed for this new venture," she says.
While the two arms of the business are linked, they operate organically and independently. "There are times when there is a connection between the interior design division and the atelier — perhaps an object in the studio will work well in a space I am working on. But it's never forced. If an interior project needs something completely different to what is currently happening on my 'studio bench' we make sure to give the project what it needs."
Stylistically, her pieces combine contemporary and mid-century modern influences. "With a bit of art deco thrown in now and again. Mostly I aim to create spaces and objects that will stand the test of time."
Her aim with the homeware collection is to put out into the world only that which will have longevity — pieces that will become family heirlooms one day. For this reason, quality materials are key. And Twyman experiments with a variety of these — steel, concrete, timber, stained glass, ceramics, textiles. "My interest in different materials probably came about through my work as a ceramicist. Limiting yourself to only a small range of materials can restrict creativity," she says.
Her appreciation of South African designers is as diverse as her material choices, citing Dokter+Misses, Kino and Lemon as some personal favourites. "And Antidote, Douglas & Douglas and Kipekee are doing a wonderful job of flying the Durban flag!"
Supporting local extends to her suppliers — using local manufacturers for all her products except the ceramics and artworks, which she does herself.
"The industry has grown from strength to strength in the last decade with an original aesthetic being born out of our African stories. I want to be a part of this movement, to advocate for the local industry," she adds.
• See Lisa Twyman