Monthly Archives: September 2009

A New Breed of African Home Fashion Designers

ArtistThere is a new breed of young, talented, and aggressive African designer in the market. Inspired by the Xhosa face cutting tradition, ceramic designer Andile Dyalvane cuts into tile in a decorative manner combining his technique of paint, bold shapes, and color.

Influenced by Picasso, his creations carry the spirit of the past, the energy of the moment, and a vision for the future.



In Search of the ethniciti Woman

Self-expression and an eclectic approach drive CarrMel White’s design sense as she has worked to make her home a reflection of her personality and a place she can share.

“I want my friends and family to feel what I feel,” she says, sitting on the cream-colored leather sofa in the African-inspired ambiance of her home in Columbus, Ohio’s historic Olde Towne East.  “I am very interested in African-inspired decoration and décor because it is a part of me…. what you see in my home is what I feel, what I like. “

CarrMel’s eclecticism is evident immediately in the entrance area of her home, which she has reserved as a sort of gallery, with pieces ranging from a mask-like painting done by a street artist in Uruguay, to African-American designed sculptures, and a magnificent West African elephant mask with embedded coins which her husband found.

But creating a home environment that is both emotionally satisfying and unique has not been easy for Carr’Mel .  She feels that there just aren’t enough sources to meet her need for self-expression in the home.

“It’s very hard.  I’m lucky to know a person (I can turn to for advice) but I don’t think the average person can do that.  … I find that it’s like a treasure hunt for me.  It’s not something that I can just pick up a catalog or go somewhere and go, ‘OK this is what I’m looking for.’”

As performing arts director for Columbus’s King Arts Complex, CarrMel is constantly in the company of artists.  “I’ve been lucky enough to work with and around artists, so I have a lot of pieces that people have made for me.  I have people that I know who are collectors, and I’m purchasing from them.  And some things I’ve put together myself.”

CarrMel White’s lifestyle embodies the essential ingredients of the ethniciti brand – a contemporary fusion of styles, a strong desire to express her personality, and a love of African-inspired design.