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5 Pieces of Contemporary Furniture by South African Designers for Every Room in Your House

If you’re new to the world of South African design, let this be your guide to filling your home with beautiful furniture pieces

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By House & Garden South Africa | February 19, 2024 | Design

South Africa’s furniture design industry is brimming with talent and beautiful pieces that will inject a fresh breath of contemporary design into your home. Many local furniture brands are not only creating pieces that can be found in many of the country’s most stunning homes, but they are bringing home awards and accolades, solidifying South Africa as a destination for top furniture design.

With that being said, there are so many South African furniture designers creating the perfect pieces for any room in your house. From modern heirlooms for your next forever home to investing in your first ‘designer’ item, we’ve curated a guide of local designers for every room in your house:

For the Bedroom: Pedersen + Lennard

Hot off the heals of revealing their brand new showroom in Cape Town’s bustling De Waterkant neighbourhood, Pedersen + Lennard shows why they are one of our favourite local brands that have grown to new heights. Established in 2008 by industrial designers, Luke Pedersen and James Lennard, Pedersen + Lennard has fast become a go-to furniture producer for simple timber pieces that are made to last a life time.

While you can find their furniture in some of the country’s most celebrated restaurants like Arthur’s Mini Superette and Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia, we’re turning to them for our pick for top bedroom pieces. Meet the Pedersen + Lennard ‘Escarpment Bed’ showcasing the timeless beauty of timber in your bedroom. For a consistent aesthetic, we recommend pairing this bed frame with simple ‘Escarpment Side Table’, or for a contrasting touch, tap the ‘1887 Bedside Table’.

For the Kitchen Table: Houtlander

For South African design-lovers, Houtlander’s dining chairs, spindle benches, and work on the Inverroche Gin Bee & Bee, (a sustainable packaging product, which becomes a bee hotel in your garden), have become instantly recognizable. Elegant timber dining tables, chairs, and stools make you feel perfectly at home in any setting.

Few timber pieces can be beautiful, functional, and actually comfortable. But, Houtlander checks all these boxes for the a perfect kitchen table set up. Our kitchen table ideal à la Houtlander is to pair their ‘Low Back Diner’ chairs in a natural finish with the classic square Cafe Table (which you have probably eaten from at many restaurants in SA).

For the Patio: The Urbanative

The flair and creativity of Johannesburg can be found in every design by The Urbanative, a design studio originally founded n 2017 by Mpho Vackier. With each piece punctuated with juxtaposing abstract African cultural and heritage with contemporary design, The Urbanative speaks fluently to the unique aesthetics of South African design, setting it apart in the global furniture design industry.

The Urbanative is our pick for outdoor furniture that will give any patio or garden a contemporary edge. For communal seating, the outdoor ‘Pumzika’ Couch (meaning ‘to rest or retire’ in Swahili) is the perfect addition to any outdoor seating with its super plush cushioning and a built in shelving for your drinks and a perfectly perched plant.

For the Study: James Mudge Design Studio

The ability of the perfect desk to grace the space of a study cannot be underestimated. Without a go-to desk where stunning stationary meets a comfortable yet ergonomic chair, any attempt at creating a study is simply a room with a table. Our pick for a study table is the Harris Desk by James Mudge Furniture Studio where countless possibilities for customisation meets a classic and clean design.

Why do we love this radically understated desk? Its cable management system, a tiny design with a huge impact. There are few things as unattractive and distracting as a menagerie of tangled cables that take up precious space on or underneath your desk. The Harris Table’s option to add a discreet slot for your cables makes this a perfect desk for any laptop and desktop.

For the Sitting Area: Wiid Design

Functional design is extremely complex. It takes a good designer to truly understand materials, process, proportion, form and execution. One of the rooms in our homes that demand functional design to meet these parameters is our living room. The living room is also a free for all where almost any material like timber, leather, steel, and even cork can feel at home.

For our pick of South African furniture for your living, look no further than the Cork Low Table by Wiid Design. Established in Cape Town in 2013, Wiid Design often works collaboratively with other artists and across various materials.