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"African Inspired Living"

So excited to be sharing my latest project with you today.  In addition to creating a beautiful kid-friendly living space for my clients, I think we also successfully created a culturally-affirming space for them without being too "themed".  In this post,  I'll share with you how we did just that.  

Let's start by taking a look at the space before we began.  


In order to create a moody feel, we added a rich blue hue to the walls.  I was super excited to work with a darker wall color since so many homeowners we work with want to keep things light.  In this space,  we knew we had plenty of sunlight to keep the room from feeling too dark.

The client shared a few inspiration photos and mentioned that they had some African art pieces that they wanted to incorporate into the space.  With that in mind, we put together a design plan to serve as a jumping off point for the project.

With the exception of the orange chairs (which were switched out for a more neutral option), we were good to go on the selections for the space.

One of the first pieces we purchased for the space was the white juju hat for the fireplace. I knew it would be the perfect touch to add softness to the rough stone fireplace surround.  Not to mention, hint at our "theme".  I've blogged about them before, but in addition to being an on-trend design element, juju hats are a traditional African celebratory headdress originating in Cameroon. (Read more about them here.) 

The color scheme centered around this earth tone ikat fabric that we planned to use on a custom ottoman/cocktail table for the space.  I knew the rich earthiness of the colors would be the perfect palette to showcase the client's African pieces.

We utilized the existing dining furnishings but gave the seating new life and durability with bonded leather upholstery and a coordinating accent fabric on the outside backs. 

I love how the blue and orange tones, natural complements, play with one another.  
Texture was a big key element in this space and the capiz shell lighting here adds a natural element as well as texture and dimension.  

Opting for an island light fixture, we were able to play up the dining areas length.   Let's take a look around...

Baity's Custom Upholstery did yet another great job on both the dining chairs and this custom ottoman.  We opted for something large to serve as the connector in this somewhat wide seating area. Since the clients have three girls under the age of 5, an upholstered ottoman was the way to go.

If you know me, then you know I love to mix patterns.  Here, the colors were drawn from our ottoman fabric and the animal print again hints at our African theme.  

These Hooker Furniture demilune tables were one of the first things we sourced.  Since built-ins weren't in the budget, addressing the nooks on either side of the fireplace was a high priority.  Simple mirrors, lighting and these stunning tables provide storage, style and a solution for these empty spaces. 

The accessories in this project cap really things off, especially the client's large African mask.

For the seating we selected this comfy Aeron Bassett sofa and covered it in a super durable Revolution performance fabric.  Revolution is a no-brainer for young families.  The fabrics are not only beautiful but also super durable and "green".  

The pair of wing chairs opposite the sofa, provide ample comfy seating for family and friends.  I love how it turned out!  

In addition to the living/dining space, we also spruced up a previously unused area near the entry of the home.  Originally intended to be the formal dining space, this area had become a dumping ground for unused items.  We opted to turn it into a serene reading nook.

Immediately, the addition of the York Wallcoverings trellis wallpaper immediately gave it a bit of an elevated feel.  

York Wallcoverings -Tracery 

Here again, we opted for Revolution fabric for the modern wing chair.  Because while this space wasn't intended for use by the girls, I have a sneaky suspicion that they'll end up here.  

Such a fun project for a sweet family.  As the project neared a close, they informed me that they'd be relocating to Missouri soon, so it looks like someone will be inheriting all of our changes.  Who knows, maybe we'll be taking this show on the road and helping them settle into their new digs in Kansas City.  I'm in! 

18 Comments - Click here to join the conversation!:

Veronica Solomon said... Reply To This Comment

So gorgeous! Great job as always. Love all the African touches. I knew that blue looked familiar. I used it a few years ago as well. Just gorgeous.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

I love how the space came out! Serene with character throughout.

Erika Hollinshead Ward said... Reply To This Comment

I love how you enveloped both spaces in the rich blue hue. Other choices were spot on as well. I'm certain your clients are thrilled every time they walk into these rooms. Money well spent!

Dwell by Cheryl said... Reply To This Comment
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Dwell by Cheryl said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks Niki!!

Dwell by Cheryl said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks Veronica!!

Dwell by Cheryl said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks so much Erika! Glad the client's were willing to risk going darker.

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