Nestled in the historic London borough of Greenwich is Copper Dust, an interior design studio founded by Vanessa Agyemang. Drawing on her passion for African home decor, Vanessa works tactfully with colour, texture and pattern to fuse together different styles that create a unique space for her clients to enjoy.
“I love sourcing contemporary African-inspired textures and pairing them with traditional British design.”
Vanessa’s keen eye for detail and creative flair has led her to work on everything from show homes to apartments and first-time buyer properties. With a wealth of interior design knowledge, we caught up with Vanessa to get her top tips on mixing different styles, using colour to its best effect, and being more sustainable with your decor choices.
How has your dual heritage inspired and influenced your design work?
Having a dual heritage is like having a superpower. I love sourcing contemporary African-inspired textures and pairing them with traditional British design.
It allows me to lean into different styles and create a unique approach within the interior and product design space.
Can you tell us more about how you utilise African home decor in your projects?
I always lead with colour and texture. African decor is known for bold, vibrant colours, but it also celebrates warm earthy tones such as olive greens and burnt orange. I’ll usually tap into the colour palette the client is most drawn to. Pattern and texture are also important – natural organic forms tend to feature heavily in contemporary African design.
How can you mix different design styles in your home to create a unique look?
The key is to decide on the main colour in the space. If you want a natural, earthy tone, ensure that shade is featured heavily in large pieces of furniture, such as a sofa. You can then play around with accent colours and textures. If your sofa is plain, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce a different style, such as heavier prints on smaller accessories like scatter cushions.
Metal or wood finishes will help seal the deal. Woods are associated with mid-century modern, whereas metals have a more industrial feel.
Which finishing touches do you think impact a room the most?
I would have to say rugs, which you can use to create different zones in a room. The size and pattern you choose can make a huge difference depending on what type of flooring you pair it with.
What are your top tips for incorporating sustainable design elements into your home?
My top tip would be to look at what you already have. Upcycle or reupholster existing furniture to give it a new lease of life. It’s also incredibly friendly to the environment with minimal waste.
For more interior design tips and tricks, head over to our Interior Designer Secrets page.