Puzzle tables and woven wall paintings? Designer Dina Hafez does things a little differently.
When it comes to furniture and home accessories, there's a fine line between daring and gaudy; between cool and tacky; between 'wow' and 'ow', if you will. That darn thing called fashion can get away with being brash and loud, but interior design is at the disadvantage of being all around you, all of the time - so if you're going a little avant garde, you have to be sensible. Egyptian designer and artist, Dina Hafex, manages to find a balance with Karma From Egypt - a brand that is fun, quirky and just pretty cool in equal measure. Hafez combines vintage motifs with modern elements to create statement pieces and finds her inspiration in Egypt's culture and heritage. Some of her stand out designs include wall paintings that use weaving and sets of tables that fit together to make a bigger table.
“For this collections, the idea was for it to kind of be like a puzzle," Hafez told CairoScene. "I was actually creating them for my own house because I wanted something that didn't take up too much space and that also stayed true to Arab identity while also being contemporary. "I’m mainly inspired by Egyptian heritage. I love everything that’s old or black and white. That’s usually my canvas. I’ll start with black and white pictures of unknown people, for example, and that's where the story begins. As I get into the story, I decide what colors to use and what techniques."
Hafez doesn’t limited her imagination to a certain period of Egypt's history, nor does she restrain herself when it comes to the models for her pieces. The multi-media artist uses everything from buildings, to streets, to people for inspiration.
"There’s always a mix in my work," she explains. "I use a lot of vintage, but I’m also obsessed with stuff being contemporary, whether it’s the material or the colour. There are always pops of colour in my pieces. I look to create things that are at once very authentic, and full of history while also being very hip."
Not shying away from challenging materials, Hafez is currently working on creating more pieces that incorporate beads.
"My favourtie piece is a wall painting with beads. I’ve been experimenting a lot with how to use beads. My relationship with beads go way back. Once I started figuring out my style, I realised there's a limitation to what you can do with beads and that there's this gap in the market where a lot of things still aren't being done. Usually the things done with beads are a bit kitsch. I want to change that."
Check out more from Hafez and Karma From Egypt on Instagram.