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Homewood – Crafting Award Winning Design

Homewood takes second place
On the 12th of March, Homewood had the opportunity to showcase their incredible design that was chosen to be in the final of this year’s South African Department of Trade and Industry Furniture Design Competition. Surrounded by fellow designers, Homewood quickly stood out when they started the process of displaying their design. After the final round of judging, Homewood landed in second place over all, making them now an award-winning furniture design company. A phenomenal feat for their first entry into this competition.
DTI Furniture Design Competition
The theme for this year’s DTI Furniture Design Competition was “Living Space”, and entrants had to design and create a piece of household furniture that was both multifunctional and a space saver. The furniture piece had to reflect current trends and had to respond to the way people live and how they use their space, providing a solution for constantly changing household needs, as well as be appealing to the export market. They had to design this furniture piece for a space no bigger than 3×2 square meters.
The birth of the Kopanya kitchen unit
Luckily, Homewood love a good challenge. They took to the drawing boards and came up with a piece that would not only be a multifunctional space saver, but a definite conversation starter for any household. And so, the Kopanya was born.
Why the name Kopanya? Homewood is known for their passion behind keeping things local. From only employing people from the surrounding community to join their dynamic team; to the names of their furniture ranges; they always search for ways to celebrate their country. It’s no surprise then that they found their inspiration for the name from the Sesotho word Kopanya, as it means to unite, mix and consolidate. And that is exactly what the Kopanya kitchen unit is designed to do.
When asked how they came about this incredible design concept, they shared the following, “In the world of entertainment – reality TV is booming. With singing leading the way with programs like Idols to a surprising evolution of cooking content! But is this surprising? Is cooking really that boring as a form of entertainment? Apparently not! Homewood and its designers have noticed this trend and have come up with a remarkable idea to ‘kopanya’ the cooking and entertainment experience right in your very own kitchen! You can now cook with guests and make this whole process part of the entertainment experience when people come over. No longer are you left out busy slaving away in the kitchen whilst your dinner guests drink your best wine, leaving you miss to out as you focus on preparing the meal. Now everyone gets to socialise during the process – it becomes part of the evening entertainment!”
Kopanya – how it works
While the top section and the bar stools of the Kopanya are made from Australian Blackwood, the frame and sides are crafted from Black Ofram – a striking wood that is predominantly pale in colour with strong black streaks in the grain. The Kopanya kitchen unit has the following functions – all folded up into 1 large cube unit measuring at 1200 x 1000 x 950 mm:

  1. Kitchen centre island / workspace
  2. Breakfast nook / social cook and food prep
  3. Pre-dinner drinks / watch-me-cook
  4. Full dinner formal 6/8 seat table
  5. Seating
  6. Storage of utensils, crockery, pots & pans, spices, fresh produce, drinks etc…

Fully Closed – Centre Island
Created with daily cooking in mind, the centre island is ideal for the daily use of food prep. Plus the stools that are easily accessible make the perfect addition should the kids want to join in the fun and help with the food prep.
Phase 1 Open – Social Cook – Breakfast Nook
With the top two panels opened and the stools pulled out, the phase 1 of the Kopanya is crafted with quick dining in mind. Perfect for that breakfast nook, or dinner around the kitchen. Great for those who love to enjoy their meals at a table but love quick tidying up by simply folding the top back and placing the stools back in the Kopanya and voila – your centre island is back.
Phase 2 Open – Pre-Dinner Drinks – Watch Me Cook
With one top panel open and the bar stool pulled out, your guests can sit comfortably on one side of the Kopanya while you pour everyone’s drinks on the other side. Or take a seat yourself by unflapping the top panel on your side and enjoy some cheese and wine before dinner together with your guests. Once you’re ready to start cooking, simply unlock the hinges on the side and push the Kopanya open to access the storage drawers on the inside. Now all your guests can have a seat while you continue cooking, creating the perfect social cooking experience.
Phase 3 Open – Formal Dinner – 6/8-Seater Table
Now that dinner is ready, unflapping the top panels on the opposite side creats your 6/8-seater dining table. Everyone gets to be a part of the process and enjoy their meal together at this large wooden dining table. It’s here that the Black Ofram can shine as your guests will be relaxed and focusing on what’s in front of them.
Phase 4 Open – Let’s Cook / Storage Access
Whether you’re cooking for guests, or just for you, the storage access in the Kopanya is every organisers dream. Enough drawers for all your food prep necessities, including a fitted spice drawer. All easy to access, and all hidden away when the Kopanya is closed.
The Kopanya kitchen unit really is unique in its multi-purpose phases, and that’s what makes it ideal for modern homes that boast great design but are still small spaces. It’s easy to see why the Kopanya came in second at this year’s DTI Furniture Design Competition. Multifunctional furniture is a must for anyone who loves space saving, clean lines, ample storage. Impress your guests with the award winning Kopanya. In fact, just impress yourself. We sure did.

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