Upcycled chairs in vibrant designs by Yinka Ilori

Portrait of Yinka Ilori

This upcycled chair collection by East London designer Yinka Ilori are sculptural pieces inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables he was taught as a child. Using African Ankara fabrics, each piece tells a story. A graduate in furniture and product design from London Metropolitan University, his painted and upcycled furniture has already been exhibited in London, New York, Germany and Milan.


 Left: Let there be Light
Right: Mobo “Àgbá òfìfo ló ńpariwo, èyí tó lómi nínú kì í dún”
“It is empty vessels that are noisy, those filled with water are not”


Left: Osumare “Bí a ti ńṣe ní’bi kan èèwọ̀ ibòmíràn ni”
“What is acceptable in one place is an abomination in another”
Right: Oba “Ẹni tí yóò dáṣọ ẹtù inú rẹ̀ nií gbé”
“Whoever plans acquiring an expensive clothe will keep it to himself” (keep your lofty dreams to yourself)


Left: Ewa “Àtùpà kì í níyì lọ́ọ̀sán”
“A lamp is not valued in the afternoons (there is always a right time…)
Right: Ijoko Agba “Tí ẹ̀dá bá mọ iṣẹ́ àṣelà ni, ìwọ̀nba ni làálàá máa mọ”
“If man knows for sure what his destined path to success is, he will hustle less”


Left: Eyin chair from ‘This is where it started’ collection
Right: Abike collection

Left: Ife chair from “This is where it started’ collection
Right: Baba Ibeta from “This is where it started’ collection

Images via Yinka Ilori

Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).