Charl van Heerden
Founder & Head Designer
As a young man growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, the beauty of handmade pieces, natural materials, and ethnic cultures combined with a sustainability ethos sparked a deep inspiration within Charl. The idea of packaging all these ingredients into beautiful and functional pieces of furniture is Charl’s motivation and inspiration.
Charl left South Africa for Australia and commenced studying Furniture Design & Technology at RMIT in Melbourne. Leaving Africa only further enhanced Charl’s attraction to the tribal way of life and its ancient traditional craft.
Charl’s designs showcase a range of tribal elements and are a testament to his strong connection and love for the tribal spiritual community as a predominant influence in his life. The driving forces are a blend of humanity and modern requirements.
Charl designs objects that engage us through their form, materials and above all, their story. Central to the design philosophy is the aim to provide unique contemporary pieces that are influenced by nature and ethnic cultures. The combination of textures to create tactile, earthy objects of design is evident Charl encounters inspiration through life’s moments and experiences. His mind is focused on what is in the immediate space and with a focus on the environment in which he interacts; Charl finds inspiration from culture and everyday objects such as a carving, piece of jewellery, a tribal facial tattoo, and breaks it down to pieces of design elements to incorporate in his furniture designs.
Charl van Heerden designs are testaments to how design can naturally and inherently exist within and be an instinctive part of one's being.
Inspired by a classic antique three-tiered Chinese cabinet which is part of Charl van Heerden personal collection of global-inspired treasures, Charl's Bamboo range is designed for the modern home with recognition and respect to traditional craftsmanship.
The stunning Bamboo range features a reclaimed elmwood frame; sourced from old farmhouses and bleached to create a soft, light raw wood tone finish.
The bamboo slats door design embraces traditional craftsmanship and features original mortise and tenon joinery, as well as using methods which connect the frame and door without the use of modern hinges.
Each piece of the Bamboo range represents a section of the antique three-tiered Chinese cupboard in Charl’s home. While the traditional Chinese kitchen cabinet was designed to circulate air around fruits and vegetables without letting in light and the lower compartments housed domestic chickens, the Bamboo range seamlessly fits in to contemporarily environments.
Wonderfully pure and simple in construction, the organic and earthy design of the Bamboo range will bring a subtle degree of difference to any space.
Please note that the range is handmade from vintage elmwood and therefore shows signs of wear and tear, marks, inconsistencies and imperfections. We consider this part of their charm and the natural beauty of the wood. These are not seen as faults or flaws but rather signs of their history and appeal.
The Naga Collection
Charl van Heerden's first ever limited collection
The limited edition Naga Collection is inspired by carved doors found in a remote region of the world. It is the beautiful result of combining requirements of modern life with a story of ancient craft to be shared and passed on.
As an avid traveller searching for experiences, different cultural beliefs, thoughts and practices followed in native tribes, inspiration for the Naga Collection presented itself as Charl travelled through the far north east of India sparking a deep tribal connection and the desire to explore further.
Tucked away between Assam and Myanmar, lies the remote mountainous region of Nagaland, a region that is still somewhat untouched from the modern world due to its formidable cultural heritage and naturally bordering mountainous area.
Fascinated with the similarities between the ancient Naga and native African craft, which Charl is significantly influenced by, he became intrigued, questioning these similarities and the undeniable link in which they share.
Charl is a designer who tells a story through his pieces. While Nagaland is the unknown to many, through Charl’s designs Nagaland is brought forward and recognised as a place in our world, with a story to tell.
The design highlights Charl’s attraction to simplicity with the perfect imperfect nature of ancient craft and the exclusive Naga Collection narrates exciting and rare traditions.
Symbols of wealth were carved into the large heavy doors found in the granaries of the various Naga tribes.
The doors also served as a significant measure of security of their wealth in the simplest form, with large cumbersome bolts that could not discretely be opened. These symbols of wealth and security represent the foundation of the design inspiration.
Time will not age the design of the Naga Collection, only further validate it as traditional culture is lost with each passing year that the world heads toward modernisation.
By introducing pieces with a global story into our modern homes it gives more depth, meaning and connection to our very own living environments.
The exclusive Naga Collection’s design is an unending tale, which will tickle each fragment of your imagination and open a door to a world not previously accessible to many.