Home Decor: Celebrate Black History Month with Aphro chic design

Throughout the month of February many companies are celebrating the contribution black artists, designers and innovators have made to the design industry.  These contributions may be in the form of amazing artistic talent, historical innovations or masterful leadership qualities in business. Today, we can celebrate people like Cheryl Durst, CEO of the Interational Interior Design Association (IIDA) and Victor Body Lawson, an architect and designer ( Body Lawson Associates )who offers his time and talents to redeveloping efforts in Harlem or Lawrence Hubbard,  a successful designer and entrepeneur.  Historically, we can appreciate works of art by renowned black artist Charles Dawson or Jewel Tandy, the first African American to be admitted into the very prestigious AIA (American Institute of Architects.)  All of these individuals have made and continue to make significant contributions to the design world we so enjoy.

African or Tribal design is very popular and will provide a sense of history and a feeling of warmth to many interior spaces.  Here are some ideas to introduce this friendly and inviting look into your own home.

  • Add some artwork that represents African nations or communities.  If you are lucky enough to have picked up souvenirs in your own travels, display them proudly.  If not, visit a local store and choose a handcarved piece to place atop a stack of books or hang some tribal masks on the wall for a shot of color.
  • Seek out fabrics and textiles with an African theme.  Kuba cloth comes from the Congo and often features exquisite geometric patterns that can be worn as a wrap or skirt or proudly displayed in your home.  Kente cloth is woven by the people of Ghana and features colorful strips of silk fabric sewn together to create large items.  Any one of these fabrics could become a throw pillow or upholstery for a small footstool that will add color and a touch of history and culture to your home.
  • Woven baskets, metal crafts, ceremonial headdresses, pottery, beads, all of these items will add a tribal look to your home.
  • Modern fabrics such as tie-dye, Ikat, even some suzani patterns can also be used.

The key to successful decorating with any culture in mind is to honor and appreciate the history and meaning of the items used.  African American design will provide your  home with an inviting sense of welcome and warmth that you can enjoy for many years.