Tag Archives: African-American home fashion

African Deco

I am always amazed at where the inspiration for room design comes from, as we try to recreate a space that reflects our fundamental tenets of African-inspired design.  The notion that it takes us to our interpretation of deco was initially somewhat of a surprise.

Of course many famous artists, the likes of Picasso, used the impression of the Shona stone sculptures of Zimbabwe to define an overall approach to his art.  Similarly furniture designers from the Harlem Renaissance period combined the shapes and exotic textiles for a contemporary ethnic look.

Following that lead we incorporated these shapes and patterns with a intriguing palette of blue, black sea foam, and pink in an attempt to break away from the dated safari image.  The use of traditional African wax fabrics reinforces the light and airy feel we were looking to achieve.

Another counterpoint that works is the generous use of floral arrangements of plant material pulled from the mood board expands and fills the room with color and intriguing forms.

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From Runway to Hallway: ethniciti Sketches

Always looking to advance the notion of the connection of apparel to home fashion, we have created a series of ethniciti Sketches that form the basis of our online interior design service.

We are interested in how you might approach the design of of African-inspired interior spaces. Send us your ideas:  ethniciti@aol.com.

Let ethniciti inspire your room makeovers in our unique, African-inspired style.

ethniciti Tablescapes



As part of an exhibition on African-inspired design at the King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio, we crated a series of tabletop vignettes.  The fusion of crystal, French amber, and silver settings gave us a chance to create a truly high-style African-inspired dining experience.

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.

Christmas Future

Each year around this time we are reminded of the things that are truly important in our lives. The passing of the holiday season always gives me perspective on the lives I have touched and the lives that have touched me. It creates a feeling of melancholy remembering they way we celebrated Christmas during my design projects in New York, a certain sense of isolation in the wilds of Minneapolis, and a certain comfort on a mid-western Columbus, Ohio winter evening.

What seems to be consistent is the need to express the changing ways in which we celebrate this passing of time and how we have grown to appreciate all of the wonderful things that bless us as African Americans.

For me it is always been expressed at the dining table. It is where we eat, entertain, and engage each other, where good friends and good food are enjoyed in equal measure, where the talk of distant cousins, nieces, and nephews who connect us on a level that only the passage time can create.

These dining-table expressions allow me as designer to express a sense of a changing future and how we as a family have evolved and grown. It helps us celebrate together while we are apart but mostly, more than just a Christmas letter, we can imagine us all sitting at the same table and sharing the rice and beans and the love.