March 2018

Dar Leone

Try Dar Leone for homeware, furniture and lighting – the designs are inspired by different cultures around the world. Shop here for mugs and plates decorated with geometric patterns; eye-catching cushions stitched together using brightly-coloured fabrics; and a selection of vases.

Dar Leone, 1 Chadwell Street, Clerkenwell, London, UK, +44 7889 389670

fanjul pillow collection


December 2017

The Times 


August 2017


The Pool 

House Beautiful



September 2016

California Home + Design

August 2016

Times 2


May 2016

March 2016

The Sett (Wolf & Badger)

June 2015

Homes & Antiques 

Bridge for Design



April 2015

Living etc.


March 2015


The Times Magazine March 28, 2015





Period Ideas May 2015





February 2015




February 9, 2015



dar leone fabric

In the dark days of February, spring and summer feel so far away.   Online boutique, Dar Leone, has just the remedy to brighten up your home with these African home decor ideas.  As ever, Dar Leone’s spring/summer collection 2015 pays homage to globally-inspired patterns and crafts without being overtly ethnic. Previously, I had fallen   READ POST 

November 25, 2014



Top Gifts for Her this Christmas 


Scarlett and Me 

Luxury gifts for her this Christmas 


Dea Hots Travel Bag, £35


I am a regular visitor on the My Fabulous Collection site, they always stock such beautiful and different brands with a huge focus on ethical production. I just love the vibrancy of the Dar Leone brand and their print on this travel bag immediately caught my eye. It would sit perfectly on my dressing table to house my lotions and potions when not joining me on holiday!





April 7, 2014



Dar Leone - Pop-Up [Sierra Leone]
[Image credits: Dar Leone Pop Up Shop, Clerkenwell - Atelier Fifty-Five]
Yesterday evening I headed to Clerkenwell where stylish interiors brand, Dar Leone was hosting an intimate drinks reception to mark the opening of their week long pop-up shop. I have previously featured Dar Leone here. Bringing their signature global traveller style to the area, the pop-up opened its doors on Monday 31st March and will run until Sunday 6th April. Plenty of time to pop along to meet Isatu, Dar Leone’s founder and browse the colourful offerings. 

Dar Leone - Dea Hots Tropic Marine Collection


Read the full post here




February 28, 2014


Gorgeous Home Guide: Inside an art collector’s eclectic retreat


When you walk into this six-bedroom, 1890-built house in north London, the grand, monochrome entrance hall gives no clue of the explosion of colour beyond. “The rest of the house is so colourful, that I wanted a bit of serenity on opening the door,” says owner Isatu Funnu, founder of design and interiors company Dar Leone, “especially given the direct view to the leafy greenery outside from the doorway.”

And it is some view. Indeed it’s what drew Isatu and her partner, Philipp, a lawyer and mediator, to the house in the first place: “We immediately fell in love with it – it feels so serene here.”



They moved to London five years ago from Berlin with twin daughters, Ella and Laura, now 11. It comes as no surprise that the inspiration behind her home comes from her extensive travels and a colourful childhood spent between USA, the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone.

But before any interior design could start on the house, there was a lot of building work to do. “It needed major renovation and was gutted before we started work,” explains Isatu. Working with east London architect, Ramses Frederickx, her aim was to open the spaces up, particularly downstairs. “We knocked down walls in the kitchen area to bring in more light from the garden and to make more room for kitchen/dining.”


This room is now vast and flooded with natural light. Bright flashes of colour pop against a backdrop of soft, pale walls. The elegant vintage walnut/chrome dining table is surrounded by mis-matched chairs in brilliant white and bright red. “We are very drawn to colour and timeless pieces with a contemporary touch,” Isatu says. “The chairs are from a lovely Italian company, Bonardo. They are moulded acrylic and are really meant for the outdoors – but we loved them so much we use them as dining chairs.” Above the table hangs an ornate, glass vintage Designer’s Guild lampshade.


This formal-meets-quirky theme is repeated elsewhere. The knocked-through sitting room / library is where the family hang out in the evenings and both are a carefully controlled riot of pattern and colour particularly in Isatu’s art collection. Above one fireplace is a painting by the Senegalese artist Aboudia. “It is actually drawn on the boxes used to ship his artworks to the UK,” she says. Opposite hangs a vast floral panel by Stefan Sehler, part of a triptych (the other two parts are owned by other collectors). It measures three by two metres. “It’s a tight fit,” says Isatu, “but we love it.”


Dotted around, vibrant chairs provide yet more contrast – the botanical fabric armchair is from Roche Bobois as is the purple one, part of its modular range. And the bright colour doesn’t stop there: the red resin side table and its clear companion are part of the ‘Lens’ range by McCollin Bryan.


There are so many different colours and patterns going on so what’s Isatu’s secret to making it all work so beautifully? “The whole effect is actually much more harmonious than it may seem in pictures,” she says. “We tend to buy what we like without regard to whether colours ‘work’ together or not. The end effect is very us but definitely not for the minimalist.” That said, nothing feels cluttered. Furniture, accessories and pieces of art are considered and carefully placed, never overdone. And a clever trick is the touches of black – solid blocks in the fireplaces and the tall cupboard, from Berlin, by the window, which help to anchor the colourful design.


Hanging over the other fireplace between two sets of bookshelves, one containing Philipp’s inherited German and Dutch books, is a huge geometric piece by Berlin-based English artist, Terry Haggerty bought during the family’s time in the German capital. “Berlin has such a thriving, very easily accessible art scene,” says Isatu, “and most of our artworks are from our time living there.” The colourful figurines below are by the late Tanzanian artist Lilanga. “I find them very poignant,” she says. “Particularly the twins.”


“I’ve always had a feeling that there was a different idea of African design that I had not yet seen on the commercial market. My childhood in Sierra Leone also influences my ideas for design at work in interior design, as I tend to hark back to childhood memories of, for example, vintage textiles worn by my grandmother and incredibly detailed filigree gold jewellery worn by my mother.”

The rest of the world has shaped her style – but what about London. Has the capital had an impact on Isatu’s taste too? “London is as great as all the major cities I’ve lived in,” she says. “It seems most relaxed about what constitutes style. We are here to stay.”

For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Kate Burt, Acting Editor

View all posts by Kate Burt, Acting Editor

January 2014


Nicola Holden Designs


NyLon Living





December 2013





November 2013




November 2013





September 2013



Tent London (19–22 September) is the perfect venue to view new emerging brands and designers. This year there are textiles aplenty from the likes of Parris Wakefield Additions, Vanja Bazdulj, Kosmos Project, Stahl & Steinnes, Tori Murphy, Tamasyn Gambell, Sian Elin, Seven Gauge Studios, Rose Sharp Jones, Occipinti, Maxine Sutton, Louise Gardiner, Laura Fletcher, Korla, Fay McCaul, and Dar Leone plus rugs from Maroc Tribal.




ACHICA LIVING features Dar Leone as one of the top picks of Tent London(September 2013)


Easy Living / September, 2013


Global Influence

Always on the lookout for cool new interiors shops online? Bookmark Dar Leone - a London-based, online shop for the home specialising in global design with an strong African influence. Founded by US attorney and Sierra Leonean native, Isatu Funna (this is the hallway in her own home) the website is a clicky, addictive world of colour and clever design. Go forth! 




Vantage Magazine/ September 2013

The Lady / May 17, 2013









1. Belton 3-seater sofa, from £1,065, by Interiors By Vale: 0845-872 7626,
2. Lyra hanging chair, £320, by Habitat: 0844-499 1111,
3. Senegalese hamper, 85cm x 38cm, £80, by Dar Leone at Lali: 020-8964 1177,
4.(Main image) Antique flooring, from £21.54 per square metre, by The Bamboo Flooring Company: 0116-274 1050,   




The Guardian, March 15, 2013




Telegraph Magazine February 16, 2013







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