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Its name inspired by the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”, Memphis design is bright, colourful and innovative. Guest writer Janine Saal delves into the characteristics that make this style period something to re-introduce into your space.

“I got love for you if you were born in the 80’s”. This very trendy and catchy song from Calvin Harris comes to mind when I think of that era. Memphis design was “born” in 1981 by leading man of the moment, Italian architect and designer Ettore Sotsass, along with other designers such as Nathalie du Pasquier, and Michael Graves.

That era was a time of experimentation and basic revolt against the design style of the 70’s. Ettorre famously said that the Memphis style was like eating just cake – one should not have too much of it. The late David Bowie must not have agreed with that as he was a huge fan and kept a lot of pieces in his home that were sold at an auction earlier this year.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit, Memphis design could be described as completely over-the-top design or wilfully whimsical. It made a comeback at the 2015 Salone del Mobile fair and ever since then, remnants of the style have been ever so prevalent in the homes of the design focused and designer loving enthusiasts.

Here are 5 items inspired by the Memphis style that you can add to your home to make it “totally wicked”…

The bold shapes of the Memphis style also derived inspiration from Africa for the geometry in shapes and colours. Geo Textured Scatter cushion from Woolworths | R 299.00 each


Honeycomb Rose Cluster Mirror from @Home | R549.00
Retro bookshelf from Mr Price Home | R1700 each
Artisan Papier Mâché Bowl from Woolworths | R299 each
Bespoke Wallpaper from Robin Sprong


Then you may enjoy reading The Skinny On The Seventies and How To: Minimise The Home

Deco guest writer Janine is a CPUT graduate and loves anything and everything to do with design and décor. Her passion lies in helping the everyday reader to understand the wide world of interior design. Currently she is working for Collaboration in Woodstock where her passion meets execution. She is a yogi in the morning, a designer by day and writer/avid series fanatic at night. You can follow her on Instagram  too

The Summer Issue is all about new beginnings, rejuvenation and adventure. Consider it a celebration of both indulging in wanderlust and the sweetness of coming home. We discover the most spectacular design hotels around the world, show you a beautiful collection of outdoor furniture and décor, and tempt your tastebuds with a new indian tapas restaurant. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #SummerIssue.