Monthly Archives: April 2010

Weekend Dinner Party – Creole Fish Stew

For those of us lucky enough to be in New Orleans for the Jazz Fest, you will be heaven!  Don’t worry about diets, calories, not of that. Enjoy the moment.

For the rest of us we might try to connect with this wonderful fish stew.  A mojito or two works as well.  Have a great weekend.

This recipe and others featuring cuisine of the African diaspora can be found in  The Food and Cooking of the Caribbean, Central, and South America, by Jenni Fleetwood.


Color Forecast 2011: African Style on Trend

Communal ties – color as unifier
According to Benjamin Moore’s Color Pulse 2011 as reported by Home Accents Today, “Color represents community as the great unifier and hopeful sign of renewal.  Thanks to technology and advancements in communications, we are a much more tight-knit world of ethnic, social and cultural beings. What once might have seemed exotic and foreign is easily familiar. The scale is not tipping in favor of one hemisphere over another; it is finding balance in our acceptance and respect for one another, the animal and plant life around us and our overall environment.”

The human body as design element
Benjamin Moore’s palette titled Tribe reflects a new sense of unity where the mindset of “me'” morphs into “we.” “The human body becomes a design element, highlighting the importance of caring for others,” the Color Pulse States.  “Respect for animals is reflected by the need to preserve and protect.   Ritual symbols and primitive design are translations of tribal ways, as we rebuild cultures and respect nature’s precious creatures.  Global ethnic influences become localized.”

In Tribe, bronze “warms the cultural landscape to continue with the vibrancy of layered and rich hues,” the Color Pulse states.  “African, Eurasian, and Latino borrow nuances from many cultures to commune in a harmonic color space.”

Multi-ethnic looks become world style
Tribe’s color palette includes galaxy, flame, sierra spruce, rosy blush, bronze metallic, juniper, dark burgundy, Sun Valley, butterscotch, and Brazilian blue.  In terms of texture and pattern, handwork, patchwork, pattern-on-pattern, animal prints, maps, and African textures and prints are trend right.

Multi-ethnic looks continue because people now can see how products and clothing really look in other parts of the world, enabling those looks to become part of Western society.

Pantone’s Fragments palette represents a compilation of varying cultures from all over the globe.  “Fragments picks up pieces of diverse places and weaves them into an integrated whole. Carpets, found tables, ornament beads, and even discarded bottle caps destined for the landfill are cleverly joined together to form an electrically colored patchwork of amberglow, grenadine, strawberry pink, baked clay, dark citron, concord grape, cadmium green, and bright gold.”

The Trend Curve’s Tribal Wisdom palette explores the continuation of the global trend, resulting in Mayan, Incan, and Hopi tribal influences.  The art and architecture of ancient cultures comes into play as geometric florals, ikats, trapezoids, and primitive portrayals of the sun arise. Shades in Tribal Wisdom embrace brown, coral, caramelized gold, lush green, and red-cast purple.

Contact Home Accents Today to receive the 2011 Color Forecast.

High Fashion Accessories in the African Style

Tanzanian-born Doreen Mashika is one of a growing number or of fresh, free-thinking artisans from that region.  Her modern interpretations based on traditional materials and textures makes for a stunning collection of high fashion, African- inspired accessories.

Doreen is inspired by a deep sense of affection for the immense cultural heritage and wealth of design possibilities that Africa possesses.

African Contemporary Home Furnishings

We sometimes get stuck in the notion that an interpretation of wild and ancient lifestyles is the only perspective possible in creating powerful African-inspired rooms. As designers we must be able, while presenting our own design philosophy to clients, to still address their personal living styles.

This collection by Khaya of South Africa is an excellent example of a contemporary approach. The lines, colors, and textures would easily complement any modern room style.

Women of Ndebele

For generations the women of the Ndebele of southern Africa have produced an art of remarkable richness and vitality.  In their ceremonial beadwork and in particular in large murals that cover the exterior walls of their mud dwellings, the Ndebele women have created designs that are at once ancient and modern in their simplicity, their bright colors, and bold abstract patterns.  Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe, by Margaret Courtney-Clark, captures the range and skills of these artisans.

In search of unique African-inspired wall textures for your projects, you might consider this wonderful application for a focal point wall on even a small powder room for the eye-candy moment.

Hearts of Palm

If you have never tasted hearts of palm you are in for a treat. Sweet and at the same time a tart flavor – great by itself or in this easy-to-prepare salad. Served widely in the Caribbean it goes well with any entree.

Vibe of Africa for Your Home

ethniciti is excited to introduce a wonderful line of traditional African wax print textile home fashion.  Luxurious throw pillows are the first in a collection of home products that will include window panels, throws, table linens, bedcovers, bags, totes, containers, and journals.

The collection IKOYI features cushions made of colorful wax cotton fabric, combined with luxury velvet. The multicolored bold pieces combine the vibrancy of African style with the elegance of contemporary home fashion.

Designed by London-based Eva Sonaike and inspired by the perfect mismatch of the attire of Nigerian women, the luxurious cushions reflect the vibe of a Lagos street scene: market stalls with exotic fruit, animated traders in exaggerated head wraps, women shoppers in elegant robes and sleek western clothing, yellow buses squeezing through busy roads, hand-painted billboards, alongside palm trees and dusty lanes.

Consisting of four different designs, the IKOYI collection brings the beauty and color of fashionable, African-inspired design into your home.

Visit us at essentials to purchase.