script> Africa Moto

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Designer Focus: Carlos Mota

Take a look inside this Dominican Republic beachside getaway packed with an eclectic mix of patterns, sculptures and handmade textile prints in pretty colors. Love the nomadic furnishings and bohemian feel of stylist and author Carlos Mota’s perfect getaway.

Gold Verner Pantom chairs, purple sofa with striped Peruvian textile, large Kuba African print pillows
Bobo mask above the bed and rustic fibers fill the bedroom
Pop art

Rustic and minimal design in the bathroom

Wicker Chair; wax print pillows and purple couch

how good does that view look?
{All Images: Architectural Digest}

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Decorating with Color: Blue

While you are dreaming of oceans and pools let's explore decorating or redecorating in blue this Spring/Summer. Blue conveys new beginnings, purity, tranquility, harmony and wisdom. Blue is also the universal color of nature.

This classic color has been used in decoration for centuries in Africa. Bring a touch of African-inspiration into your home with blue in its various hues {indigo, cobalt, turquoise...}. The color pairs perfectly with a lot of colors especially white.

Be inspired by some of my favorite blue pieces and spaces below

                                                 Stitch Resist 20" Pillow by Aboubakar Fofana
                                              Small Blue and White Wicker Basket by Danye

I am obsessed with the color blue, don't you just love it?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boutique Hotel Tour: Dar Beida, Morocco

Dar Beida (The White House) is a 4 bedroom restored retro riad located in the coastal town of Essaouira, Morocco. This gorgeous boutique holiday home is owned by designers Emma Wilson and Graham Carter. The home style is a fusion of traditional Moorish style with a retro twist. The interior style of this lovely escape includes whitewashed walls, concrete floors, pillows and poufs in flower power prints, unusual accessories and woven rugs. The architecture is traditional Moroccan style with spaceship shaped fireplaces.

The holiday home is featured in a lovely decorating book I'm reading called Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson. Emily captures inspiring interiors in bohemian modern style. To get this style for your home you can mix and match African art, traditional textiles, Berber rugs, hammocks, and hand-carved wooden furniture.

Cosy Wicker Chair

Woven Moroccan Rug; White Poufs, African Art 

Moroccan Bird Cage

Framed Kuba Cloth Art; Buffalo Horn and Animal Hide Chair

Yoruba Beaded Chair; Flower Power Pillow

Hammock on Rooftop Terrace

Built in Benches with Striped Pillows

Images via: Castles in the Sand

Monday, April 6, 2015

Textile Love: Decorate with Kuba Cloth

I love pillows made from handmade African textiles. They add so much texture and pattern to a home. I am hoping to add Kuba pillows and framed Kuba art to my home from my husband's upcoming travels.  

Authentic Kuba (pronounced koo-BAH) cloth is a tactile cloth made in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is arguably the most elegant  cloth in the world! This fabric has inspired and fascinated many artists and designers including Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Henry Matisse. Africa kuba cloth is recognized as major contributor to the history of world art. Kuba cloth's appeal is its lovely abstract geometric patterns and earth tones.

         Kuba Wrapper at LA Museum

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Decorate: African Indigo Textiles in Interiors

There is no doubt that deep blue indigo is my favorite color. 

I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to this gorgeous and timeless color.

The deep, rich—dare I say moody blue?— color is once again trending in interior design. The beauty of indigo is that it acts like a neutral and pairs well with other colors, such as brown, pink, cream, gray and white.”

Indigo blue and handwoven textiles are a match made in design heaven.

History of African Indigo

Captivating indigo blue has such a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It has been intrinsic to many cultures throughout history and continues to inspire creativity today. African indigo textiles have been studied, collected and exhibited as fine works of art in museums around the world.

Author Catherine LeGrand has a beautiful book titled  Indigo: The Color that Ruled The World that explores the  use of indigo around the world. The book documents the importance of indigo to the practices, culture, art and garments of various communities around the world.

Indigo Dyed Textiles of West Africa

The Dogon people of Mali have a long history of natural indigo blue dyeing, and the color is revered in Dogan culture. The dyeing process is passed down  through family generations.  Archaeological sites in Mali have yielded textile fragments dating as far back as the 11th century. The Yoruba of Nigeria and Mossi of Burkina Faso also have a rich history of indigo dyeing. Other west African countries with a history of indigo dyeing are Guinea, Senegal and Gambia.

Unfortunately natural, traditional indigo dyeing is a dying art form due to the introduction of chemical dyes. Master indigo artists like Aboubakar Fofana have been working on reviving this ancient art form, which you can now only find in remote areas.

How it is Made

Strip weave cloths are typically prepared and dyed by women through a time consuming process. The dyeing takes place in large dye vats, which are partially sunk into the ground. The traditional dye comes from the indigofera plant which grows locally. More recently dyers have  started using imported synthetic dyes.

The indigofera leaves are collected, formed into balls and dried. The indigo balls are then added to water that has alkali (wood ash). The dye bath is then left to ferment. The cloth is prepared by a technique of stitch resist or tie resist pattern dyeing. The prepared cloth is then dipped into the fermented dyed vats and pulled out to allow it to oxidize and take on the bright blue color.  To get a deeper blue, the cloth is repeatedly dipped into the vat. It is then hung to dry.

Get decor  inspired with these indigo looks
Designer Seg Bergamin's home in Elle Decor has some of my favorite uses of indigo in interiors. Next week I will be sharing some of my use of indigo in decorating over on instagram.

Here are some ways that you can incorporate indigo blue into your home

                                   Contemporary indigo pillow by Aboubakar Fofana for Dara Artisans

Hand-Dyed Shibori Sofa via Anthropologie

                                                    Indigo Woven Throw via House & Garden

                                                  Throw Pillow via Amber Interiors

                                             Mali Indigo Cloth via Project Bly

                                                  Vintage Indigo Cloth via The Loaded Trunk
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