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    Everything to know about Japandi and how to infuse it into your home – CNN - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder


    Move over, modern farmhouse decor; theres a new design aesthetic in town. Blending Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian hygge, Japandi is the latest trend gaining traction in the interior design world, bringing with it a cozy but simplistic look thats popping up in homes all over the worldand piquing the interest of design lovers like us. Case in point: Searches for Japandi on Pinterest are up 100% since last year alone.

    To get to the bottom of what exactly Japandi is and how we can channel the serene style in our own homes we talked with interior designer Shanty Wijaya, founder of Allprace, a boutique home design, build and landscape firm that recently completed an incredible Los Angeles home flip that epitomizes Japandi style. Dubbed Project Japandi, the home is rife in Japanese and Scandinavian influences, from a neutral color palette and an emphasis on natural materials (think wood, stone, living finish metal and leather), indoor/outdoor living and greenery throughout.

    PHOTO: Jenna Ohnemus Peffley

    Shanty Wijaya's so-called "Project Japandi" house in Los Angeles

    Overseeing the entire stunning renovation, Wijaya says, Japandi is the East meets West design movement that blends Japanese artistic elements and wabi-sabi philosophy with Scandinavian comfort and warmth. Both the Japanese and Scandinavian design aesthetics are focused on simplicity, natural elements, comfort and sustainability. Japandi is not purely an aesthetic but also a way of life. Its about recognizing, accepting and embracing the imperfectness of life and opting for simplicity-authenticity as a conscious choice.

    PHOTO: Jenna Ohnemus Peffley

    Shanty Wijaya's so-called "Project Japandi" house in Los Angeles

    While were more familiar with the Scandi hygge principles creating rustic, cozy, warm spaces that foster togetherness Wijaya brought us up to speed on Zen Buddhisms key elements of the wabi-sabi aesthetic, which is rooted in appreciating the imperfection of things. Focusing on principles like kanso (simplicity), fukinsei (asymmetry or irregularity), shibumi (beauty in the understated) and seijaku (tranquility), wabi-sabi can be achieved in a slew of ways, according to Wijaya.

    Opt for reclaimed pieces or something that is original or handmade, she says. Use materials that can naturally patina in time, like wood, natural stones and living finish metals. To create depth, use different stained colored woods. Opt for simple, low-profile furnishings, and bring nature in by using potted and hanging plants and greenery inside the house.

    PHOTO: Jenna Ohnemus Peffley

    Shanty Wijaya's so-called "Project Japandi" house in Los Angeles

    And in terms of overall decor, Wijaya recommends infusing bright spaces with clean lines and muted color palettes, creating uncluttered spaces and adding cozy blankets and candles to gathering areas like the living room. Another biggie: Investing in quality items that will stand the test of time rather than cheaper furnishings that will ultimately end up in a landfill.

    The result? A gorgeous mix of cozy details, natural materials and clean lines, all engrained in a minimalist, earthy color palette. With Wijayas help, we curated a slew of beautiful, well-made pieces from bed linens and couches to dinnerware and lighting that will get you on your Japandi way.

    PHOTO: Parachute

    Parachute Linen Duvet Cover

    Comfort and sustainability are two key tenets of Japandi, and Parachutes lovely linen duvet cover fits the bill. Made of 100% European flax, the light and airy cover comes in Japandi-approved hues like white, cream and light gray in sizes twin to California king, and the goods deliver more than 1,000 customers have written glowing reviews. More to know: Parachute is an Oeko-Tex 100 certified company, meaning all of its products are free of harmful chemicals and synthetics. Parachute made our favorite linen sheets of this year too.

    PHOTO: Target

    Threshold Designed by Studio McGee Honeyville Jute/Wool Natural Rug

    Jute rugs are always a good idea, and given their neutral color and natural fibers, theyre perfect for Japandi settings too. We love this one from Studio McGees collab with Threshold, where the rug is woven with natural wool, creating a subtle textured pattern. Did we mention it has fringe? Done and done.

    PHOTO: Serena & Lily

    Serena & Lily Teak Stool

    Were calling this little guy perfectly imperfect! Handmade in India and crafted of solid teak, the decorative stool is utterly Japandi in that its full of natural marks and cracks. How to style it? Use it for propping up plants, holding a stack of books or as a side table.

    PHOTO: Urban Outfitters

    Urban Outfitters Palmera Fan Headboard

    Handpicked by Wijaya, this gorgeous bamboo fan can be used as a headboard or as artwork she placed it in Project Japandi above a guest rooms headboard. Wherever it lands, its sure to be the focal point of the room.

    PHOTO: Wayfair

    CaterEco Melange Stoneware 36-Piece Irregular Shape Dinnerware Set

    Stoneware dinnerware thats also naturally misshapen? Thats a Japandi score. We love this set from Wayfair that includes 12 dinner plates, salad plates and bowls, which is a bargain at this price. More to know: If youd prefer a light gray hue, you can nab it on Amazon for 5 bucks more.

    PHOTO: Food52

    Sin Handmade Uni Wall Hook

    Keeping a clutter-free home is key to nailing the Japandi aesthetic, which is why this minimalist hook is a big win (and a favorite of Wijayas!). Full of cool design details its made by a small Brooklyn studio firm the stoneware hook is just begging to hold some towels in your bathroom.

    PHOTO: Amazon

    Nathan James Theo 5-Shelf Wood Modern Bookcase

    Open-air furnishings fit right into the Japandi style, which makes this bookcase a winner for any room. Composed of metal and oak laminate fashioned to look like reclaimed wood we know, the real thing would be better, but it would also be a lot more expensive! the bookshelf is perfect for harnessing clutter, and its an Amazon favorite too.

    PHOTO: AllModern

    Solid Wood Abstract End Table

    Handmade of solid mango wood, this gorgeous side table is both interesting and sleek all at once. We love its natural wood grain coloring and the fact that it has a 4.8-star rating on AllModern.

    PHOTO: Amazon

    Greenco 5-Tier Wall-Mount Corner Shelves

    Simple and full of clean lines, this affordable shelving unit comes in four finishes and takes advantage of unused corners. More to know: It boasts nearly 12,000 5-star reviews.

    PHOTO: Amazon

    Nearly Natural Ficus Artificial Tree

    The Japandi aesthetic calls for lots of greenery inside the home, but for those of us with a black thumb, going faux is the best route. This maintenance-free ficus tree comes in six sizes and features lifelike leaves and branches that look so natural your friends and family will think you mastered horticulture during quarantine. More to know: This ficus is Amazons No. 1 bestselling artificial tree, and its raked in more than 5,800 5-star reviews.

    PHOTO: Urban Outfitters

    Quinn Striped Sofa

    Nearly identical to the sofa that Wijaya placed in her Japandi flip house, this ultra-cool couch from Urban Outfitters has a minimalist silhouette and a low profile! that will make it right at home in your space. Looking to outfit an entire living room? Consider pairing the sofa with this coordinating chair.

    PHOTO: Wayfair

    Dorinda Solid Wood Low Profile Standard Bed

    Platform beds are all the rage right now, and given their minimalist design and clean lines, they fit right into the Japandi realm. Crafted from solid pine, this low-profile frame comes in four finishes and has short, tapered legs with a neat low spindle headboard just sayin, but it could be a match made in heaven with the above Palmera Fan Headboard!

    PHOTO: AllModern

    Mira Modern Accent Mirror

    A home can never have too many mirrors, and this modern version is perfect for your space. We love the light-colored wood stain too.

    PHOTO: Wayfair

    Bloomsbury Market Gwyneth Terra-Cotta Pot Planter

    Just as important as filling your home with greenery is housing those plants in beautiful holders. Enter: This distressed terra-cotta planter that Wijaya handpicked. Perfect for hosting smaller plants like ferns or succulents, this pot will lend an earthy vibe to your home.

    PHOTO: AllModern

    Samira Task Floor Lamp

    Lighting is all-important in any space, and this adjustable-arm floor lamp will get the job done while also adding some seriously chic style to your space. We love the mix of black matte metal with brass details, and the fact that its base is only 12 inches wide.

    PHOTO: Amazon

    Yamazaki Home Leaning Ladder Rack

    Corral your households clutter with this ultra-simple leaning ladder rack from Yamazaki. Boasting clean lines and simple design, the racks rungs can each hold 2.2 pounds worth of items (from towels to scarves).

    PHOTO: AllModern

    Beatty 1-Light Single Geometric Pendant

    Sustainably sourced, this gorgeous wooden drum shade will certainly be the focal point of your room, thanks to its super-cool geometric design and natural uddo-oil finish.

    PHOTO: Target

    Threshold Designed With Studio McGee Pleasant Grove Marble Top Console

    Were obsessed with everything in Studio McGees latest collection, and that includes this marble-topped metal console table that will blend seamlessly in entryways, halls and living spaces alike. With clean lines, the piece is slender too, taking up just 15 inches, making it a great option for narrow nooks.

    PHOTO: Target

    Threshold Designed With Studio McGee Emery Wood and Upholstered Bench

    A lovely mix of hygge (that cozy cushion!) and Japanese (that slim, natural-stained wood!), this bench is a must-have for anyone looking for some extra seating in their entryway or mudroom.

    PHOTO: Floyd

    Floyd The Sofa

    If youre looking for a sofa thats going to last, Floyd is a home run. One of our favorite couches in a box, the Floyd Sofa has a cultlike following, thanks to its quality and minimalist design, and were psyched that its look (and mission) make it perfectly Japandi too.

    PHOTO: Urban Outfitters

    Nina Rattan Coffee Table

    Filling rooms with well-curated, quality furnishings is an important part of Japandi, and we cant find a better contender than this rattan coffee table. Featuring concentric rings spiraling into the center of the tabletop, the pieces geometric base is crafted from black iron thats perfectly juxtaposed against the light, textural wood.

    PHOTO: Urban Outfitters

    Ria Rattan Table Lamp

    Speaking of rattan, were similarly obsessed with this editor-approved lamp that reviewers love too. With different shades of wood in a cool geometric pattern, its truly calming to look at.

    PHOTO: Amazon

    RiseOn Boho Black Metal Plant Hanger

    Bring the outdoors inside with this sleek plant hanger that can accommodate a 5-inch plant and comes in black, gold and gray hues. Its a sleek way to add some real (or faux) greenery into your home.

    PHOTO: Brooklinen

    Brooklinen Throw Blanket

    Trust us when we say theres no better blanket to snuggle under on a freezing winter night than this throw from Brooklinen. Crafted from pure wool and made in Germany, the ultra-thick blanket will add the hygge to any space. Looking for a cheaper alternative? Check out this cozy option from Target.

    PHOTO: Target

    Casaluna Glass Jar 4-Wick Clarity Candle

    Infuse your space with the glow of this gorgeous Casaluna four-wick candle, which is waaaay cheaper than most candles this size. Made from a smoke-free coconut wax, the aromatherapy is Japandi-approved, given its stark white hue and the sheer coziness all those wicks emit when lit.

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    Everything to know about Japandi and how to infuse it into your home - CNN

    Ferguson & Shamamian and Bunny Williams Interior Design Collaborated on This Cloud-like City Loft – - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Appropriate is not usually a sexy word. Unless youre talking about restoring a 120-year-old SoHo loft with 11-foot ceilings and original cast-iron columns for a 28-year-old New Yorker, that is. Youre taking an interesting old thing and youre making it appropriate for today, explains Andrew Oyen, principal at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, who teamed up with Elizabeth Lawrence, partner at Bunny Williams Interior Design, to give the disheveled space back its original swagger for a client whose lifestyle included both studying for her masters and entertaining lots of friends.

    Previously used as a studio by the famous architect and sculptor Maya Lin (designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.) and as a manufacturing facility before that, the 2,800-square-foot unit retained few of the coveted industrial features common among lofts in the neighborhood, save for a pair of floor-to-ceiling cast-iron columns. It became about, How can we work with what we have? recalls Oyen. The answer: Restore the original wood windows and floors, remove a layer of acoustic tile from the ceiling beams and ducts, hang a rattan swing , replace the 1970s door with a more period-appropriate versionand then give every exposed feature a fresh coat of white paint.

    Andrew Frasz

    But at the behest of the client, Emma Lasry, now a research analyst at an art advisory firm, the loft couldnt look too old-timey: I wanted my own space to feel comfy and cloudlike, but with tons of fabrics, patterns, and colors, and [Oyen and Lawrence] instantly got it. After all, the two prestigious firms were familiar enough with her style, having already worked together to renovate several (much larger) homes for her parents on the Upper West Side and in Connecticut.

    Following Lasrys cues, Lawrence got to work on the palette (bright pinks and blues) and layout (adding a huge kitchen island and plenty of space for entertaining). Emma knew she wanted traditional pieces mixed with modern, so we took that feedback and ran with it, Lawrence says. Shes a sophisticated young ladyshe could pinpoint pretty quickly what she wanted.

    The result is a bright, colorful apartment that feels utterly unexpectedboth for the historical address and for the firms, known as they are for more opulent projects, that came together to create it. Weve been called chameleons before, says Oyen of the team. Its a huge compliment!

    You want an apartment like this to be revealed to you, says Oyen, who relocated the front entrance so that the first thing visitors see is the dramatic cast-iron columns. (Doing so also created space for a sunlit open kitchen at the front of the unit.) An impassioned search for the perfect door led them to Demolition Depot in Harlem, where they found a heavy metal door from another old warehouse in downtown Manhattan. Retrofitted with an antique door closer and new hardware, its one of the few antique pieces we brought to the project, says Oyen. It really makes the space.

    Chandelier: Currey and Company. Door: vintage, Demolition Depot. Paint: Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. Art: Untitled by Richard Prince (Instagram image of Andreas Aresti, @andreasaresti)

    For architect Andrew Oyen and decorator Elizabeth Lawrence, the biggest challenge in this New York loft was configuring the massive open floor plan as a comfy entertaining mecca. Swing: Serena & Lily. Sofa: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Pillows: John Robshaw (pink) and Lee Jofa with Samuel & Sons trim (blue). Coffee table: Anthropologie. Lamp and side table: Bunny Williams Home. Rug: Studio Four NYC.

    Creating elegant but comfy seating zones was a key part of Lawrences design strategy. And yes, thats a statue of Allen Iverson watching over the room: It doesnt exactly go, but I love that people are confused by it, Lasry laughs. Chairs: Layla Grayce in Peter Dunham and Lee Jofa fabrics. Side table: RH. Bar cart: Arteriors. Art: Andy Warhol.

    Custom cabinets in a pale gray (Collingwood by Benjamin Moore) set the kitchen apart from the rest of the white-walled apartment. Stools: Wesley Hall in Fabricut fabric. Pendants: Hudson Valley Lighting. Backsplash: Complete Tile Collection. Hood and range: Viking. Fridge: Sub-Zero. Sink: Franke. Faucet: Waterworks. Hardware: Rejuvenation.

    The vibrant Paper Mills wallcovering and lotus-inspired pendant from Shades of Light create a wow moment in this small space. Sconce: Circa Lighting. Mirror: Michael S. Smith for Mirror Image Home. Sink: Urban Archaeology. Faucet: Waterworks.

    Hints of black give the Tulu Textiles fabric (on a Wesley Hall chair) a modern feel. Bed: Niermann Weeks. Bench: Eloquence in Peter Dunham fabric. Upholstery trim: Samuel & Sons. Table lamp: Horchow. Side table: Currey and Company. Floor lamp: Circa Lighting. Rug: Dash & Albert. Wall paint: Dreamy Cloud by Benjamin Moore.

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    This Is the Most Pinned Interior Design Style on Pinterest – - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Remember when the quest for interior design inspiration involved stacks of magazines with dog-eared pages? That messy, cluttered world has been transformed by the internets mood board, Pinterest, which has created a whole new way of finding and organizing design inspiration. With so many designers to follow and such a range of styles to pin, it seems impossible to pick a favorite, but Budget Direct Home Insurance has tried. The company recently crunched the numbers to suss out the most popular interior design style on Pinterest, as well as the top interior designer. Did your favorites make the cut?

    Budget Direct used to make a comprehensive list of interior design styles, then tapped their own data scientists to find out how many times each style was pinned on Pinterest. They found that among the top 10 design styles on Pinterest, vintage is the most popular, with 2,665,779 pins. Given the styles long history and the many images available on the internet, its not surprising that vintage came out on top.

    RELATED: 10 Vintage Decorating Ideas We Were Wrong to Abandon

    Budget Direct found Indian-style interiors to be the second most popular, thanks to their ornate wood furniture and rich colors and patterns. Arts & Crafts, modern, and English complete the top five.

    After compiling a list of the most influential interior designers in the world, Budget Direct then calculated how many times each one was pinned on Pinterest. Joanna Gaines, best known as the better half of the duo on the popular reality TV series Fixer Upper, ranked first, with 238,163 pins. The interior design queen of Pinterest is also famed for her fondness for farmhouse chic.

    RELATED: The Top 5 DIY Trends, According to Michaels

    In the list of the top 10 most influential interior designers in the world, American designers nabbed all but one of the spots. Thomas OBrien falls behind Joanna Gaines, with 168,999 pins. Nate Berkus, Michael Taylor, and Tony Duquette round out the top five. The most pinned interior designer outside America is Belgian Axel Vervoordt, with 69,416 pins. Greg Natale is Australias most pinned designer, with 11,985 pins, and the U.K.s most pinned is Zaha Hadid, with 57,168 pins.

    RELATED: The Best Interior Design Books for Your Coffee Table

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    ‘Your home should be a place that inspires’: Lessons from the interior designer who has mastered the art of happy – Toronto Star - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    On a recent February day in Toronto, as white winter skies spread flatly out with all the monotony of our lockdown days, I retreated into the pages of influential Swedish-born, London-based designer Beata Heumans new book, Every Room Should Sing (Rizzoli). Something stirred from deep within, a vaguely exotic feeling: it was hope. Each image, capturing the interiors Heuman divined, is alive with happy, defibrillating colour and pattern. (The name, Beata, appropriately, means happy in Latin.) Her spaces welcome and enchant with what weve so long missed this past year: freedom and spontaneity. Id gladly, it occurs to me, self-isolate in any of these pages.

    Your home should be a place that inspires, that lets your imagination flourish, Heuman tells me over the phone. At its best, interior design can be transportive. Even if the only place we can travel these days is into the attic of our memories. Living in the past is, weve long been told, not ideal but living with the past can prove both comfort and escape. Having things that are sentimental, from a parent or a grandparent, is so important and gives so much personality to your home, says Heuman, whose interiors are as layered with colours, textures, patterns and scale, as much as they are with nostalgia and memories.

    There is the tobacco-coloured mural in her daughters room inspired by the citified, cigar-smoking bunnies populating Ludwig Bemelmans magical mural at Bemelmans Bar at New Yorks Carlyle Hotel, the juicy watermelon coloured floor inspired by one she once saw during her honeymoon in Sicily. And a trip to Versailles Petit Trianon, she tells me, inspired the design of the trellis outside her London home. Its ridiculous to be inspired by Versailles for our small townhouse, she says, Its clich, but inspiration can come from anything. As she writes in her book: I have been known to photograph loo paper holders in seedy inns. But the place she visits most for inspiration is the republic of her own childhood in the south of Sweden, where she grew up on a farm in a tiny hamlet.

    The more we chat, the more it seems, though, that its childhood itself, more than any physical place, that is arguably her biggest inspiration. Its about not forgetting how you think when youre a child. As a small child, youre not so aware of how things might come across or what is right, she says, and she brings that festive, mirthful looseness to all her spaces, each making me feel as if Ive been transported into a more fanciful wonderworld that is somehow more civilized for its playfulness, more refined for its whimsy.

    Heuman shares a quote from writer Bruno Shulz, which may serve as her artistic credo: The ideal goal is to mature into childhood. That would be genuine maturity. Whats important, she says, is variation and unexpected detail. I like including elements of fantasy, things that are not quite of this world, she says. Her so-called Dodo pendant lamps, which look like a cross between a giant egg and a pineapple, have a fantastical Carollian quality, her cub armchairs have paw feet and she often embroiders eyelashes onto the arms of her sofas. We had this sofa and its arm just reminded me of a sea creature and I just thought, lets make this more obvious, so I put eyelashes on it, she says. Another Heuman trademark: red and white stripes. Its beach parasol and fun and summery, but its also bold and classic, she says.

    As Diana Vreeland famously said, the eye has to travel. And now, only our eyes can travel. Mine are currently on a flight to Corsica, or maybe under a red-and-white striped beach parasol, or, come to think of it, curled up on the Josef Frank-upholstered daybed facing the bay window in Heumans singing London townhouse.

    The Star understands the restrictions on travel during the coronavirus pandemic. But like you, we dream of travelling again, and we're publishing this story with future trips in mind.



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    'Your home should be a place that inspires': Lessons from the interior designer who has mastered the art of happy - Toronto Star

    Black Makers Reflect on the Cultural Roots of Their Crafts – Interior Design - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    In honor of Black History Month, Interior Design spoke with six Black creatives about how their work reflects their personal experiences, cultural narratives, and hopes for the future of design. From minimalist furnishings to handwoven textiles, sculptural forms, and bold wallcoverings, each piece invites further exploration. Here are their stories.

    Studio ANANSI

    Founded by artist and product designer Evan Jerry, Studio ANANSIs name reflects the African and Caribbean heritage of its Canadian-born creator and his work. Often depicted in the form of a spider in West African and Caribbean fables, Anansi is a god of knowledge, one that serves as a guide for Jerrys handmade vessels. As a design student, I was questioning culture and how I was connected to objects, he says, noting that he had to find ways to fill the gaps left by his classes. He established Studio ANANSI in London in 2018 with the goal of expanding the web of voices in the design industry.

    I get lost in inspiration from different textures and techniques used in African and Caribbean design, Jerry says, describing the link between the skin and flesh of cassava, a root that grows in tropical climates, and the textures found in his work. I want the pieces to feel alive, almost like they have their own skin, he adds. To achieve this, Jerry often plays to the imperfections of the materials he works with, such as natural woods, dyes, and oils. I create objects that speak to the history of African and Black contributions to design. I want them to be modern, but also feel like they belong with other artifacts, he explains. Up next, Jerry plans include expanding the narrative of African and Black contributions in a soon-to-be-unveiled collaboration.


    When longtime friends MookhoNtho andMoliehiMafantiri recognized the need to preserve the weaving traditions and narratives of Basotho culture in their native Lesotho, Africa, they sprang into action, forming sustainable homeware brand Barali. Working with local artisans to produce handcrafted rugs, textiles, and throw blankets, the two women aim to maintain the cultural continuity of each product, offer fair wages, and honor a commitment to environmental consciousness. We want to ensure our products are helping the world, more than taking from it, Mafantiri says. Every aspect of production reflects this ethos, from the farms that provide mohair and wool to the intricate patterns translated from Nthos sketches into their final form by artisan weavers. Were taking from the creativity already here in our history and culture and giving it a modern twist, Ntho says. A lot of cultural elements are slowly dying with this generation of weavers, so its nice to bring them back.

    Currently, Ntho and Mafantiri are planning how to do this on a larger scale with workshops where expert weavers can mentor the younger generation, ensuring their knowledge is passed down rather than lost. Theres a huge gap between the youth and that older group of weavers, Ntho explains. A lot of younger people are not being taught these skills in local schools. Though a typical handmade rug takes from four to six weeks, the time spent honors more than the shapes and stories of Basotho cultureit also solidifies its survival.

    Studio Lani

    For designer Lani Adeoye, founder of her namesake studio, her current career is one she could hardly imagine as a child. Growing up in a Nigerian family in Canada, Adeoye was encouraged to study more traditional subjects, leading her to work as a management and IT consultant for several years before attending Parsons School of Design at The New School. I was always interested in interiors, but I never saw it from a professional standpoint, she says, recalling that friends often sought her advice on paint colors and furniture layouts in their homes. I started to notice a shift in how people responded to the energy in a space, and that brought my attention to the psychology of design. At Parsons, product design piqued Adeoyes interest, and her first piecethe Lilo chair, inspired by elements of Nigerian music and rhythmsreflects the essence of her brand today.

    Many Studio Lani products, such as stools reminiscent of a West African talking drum, are made by Nigerian artisans who use locally sourced materials to create unique sculptural forms. Im naturally drawn to sculpture, says Adeoye, who hopes to broaden the conversation about African aesthetics with her work by showcasing collections in neutral, earthy tones rather than focusing on vibrant hues. And though the pandemic has made it challenging to collaborate with artisans near and far, Adeoye is finding ways to make it work and plans to release new designs later this year. Im always excited to share my culture and connect with people based on design, she says. Human connection is so powerful.

    OI Studio

    The drive to create runs deep for BOA, founder and creative director of OI Studio, who transitioned from furniture buyer to maker after being asked to design an impromptu shelving unit for a clients retail showroom. Ive always been an artist, recalls BOA, who grew up surrounded by the ocean in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But product design was an accidentI didnt run toward it, someone asked me to do it. As a self-taught furniture designer, BOA prioritizes sustainable materials and processes, creating minimalist pieces that reflect the sand-colored palette of her youth. Theres a preconceived idea of Caribbean design thats very stereotypical and very narrow, she asserts, noting that often bright colors and ornate creations come to mind. But the natural landscapes of the islands, and the many cultures that thrive on them, are far more varied. BOAs pieces, such as the Om Meditation Table, reflect the clean lines of the horizon, which she sketched countless times from her childhood home, commanding attention with their simplicity. Growing up in a culture where resources are limited, you need to be quite inventive and minimalistic in your approach because you dont have access to a lot, she explains.

    Last year, BOA joined the Black Artists + Designers Guild, participating in meetings via Zoom from her home in New Orleans. Her work is being featured as part of the BA+DG Obsidian concept house, designed as a smart and sustainable home for Black families. For the patio, BOA created solar-powered moveable chaise lounge chairs that fold back into the deck when the sun dips. The surface becomes seating, she notes. I want people to feel welcome and nurtured and supposed the house highlights how diverse we all are.

    The Black Home

    Design is an intuitive process for Neffi Walker, who found solace during an especially hard moment in her life by helping friends rearrange their homes, leading her to turn her passion into a profession. In doing so, Walker knew she wanted her work to reflect her Puerto Rican and African heritage, as well as the cultural aesthetics and needs of Black families more broadly. In design and in life, Black always seems to have a negative connotation, she says, noting that she often incorporates darker tones as focal points in her designs. For instance, her striking banana leaf-patterned wallpaper, made in collaboration with artist and illustrator Verna Fogg as a nod to the beloved Puerto Rican dish pasteles, draws the eyes toward dark hues that accentuate details in the leaves.

    As a designer, it is my ultimate goal to highlight the beauty of Black from color to culture, Walker says. With this mission in mind, she founded her New Jersey-based home brand, The Black Home, where she is principal designer (while also raising five children). I started with one candle scent, she recalls. It took nine months to perfect the process before we added a second scent. Nearly 18 months later, Walker is focused on designing and launching the brands first flagship store this March. The Black Home reflects Walkers laid-back, family-first approach, featuring furnishings and pieces that invite conversation and bring a sense of liveliness into the home. It was a rapid progression, she adds. And its just the beginning.

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    Black Makers Reflect on the Cultural Roots of Their Crafts - Interior Design

    What are the home decor trends for 2021 – Atlanta Journal Constitution - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    We are seeing a trend towards homeowners wanting to create zen sanctuaries in the home, said Imani James, certified award-winning interior designer and owner of Imani James Interiors. A quiet oasis type of environment designated for peace and reflection to recharge and recalibrate. These small secluded areas are filled with natural elements such as plants and crystals and are scented with warm uplifting scents from essential oils and candles. We are adding doors where there wasnt one previously and creating peaceful nooks wherever we can.

    As LaMont Bynum, owner of consignment furniture boutique Rite At Home, put it: dont be boring... mix it up.

    Out with the old model of everything must match. Todays rule is mix it up to add interest and fun, said Bynum, who is also principal owner/interior designer of Bynum Design Group. Mixing metal with design makes a statement in a room and can help bring different looks to a space. Ultimately, the finish you choose should fit in well with the style you are trying to emulate.

    To infuse a modern appearance in your room, Bynum said a polished look focused on matte finishes is usually the go-to, while traditional rooms favor fixtures with oil-rubbed finishes.

    But there are also things that have gone out of style.

    When it comes to furniture, buying living, dining and bedroom sets are a thing of the past and provides no life to a room, he said. Find one foundational piece and start designing. It is like a woman finding the perfect black dress.

    Working from our dwellings means our home lives have blended with our office lives. As such, many residents hope to outline rooms for work and play, sepearting the two in an effort to obtain work-life balance.

    A real focus, and one that we definitely see continuing through the coming years, is a more defined and fuller use of every space in the home, whether it be for work, for relaxation, or for family activity, Grossman said. While most of our clients either already had home offices or spaces easily converted, we saw a wonderful trend toward adding bright spots of color rays of happiness as those spaces were organized and brought to life for full-time use. We saw an emphasis on creating comfortable spaces for the family to gather once the work and school day was done.

    Grossman noted her company converted a dining room into a family dining lounge, which included a custom banquette with chaise lounges, ideal for reading or watching a movie after supper. Outdoor areas and sunrooms were transformed into areas where people can have socially distanced get-togethers.

    I can only see this embrace of home continuing as the world opens back up, with newly found enjoyment and respite as continued themes, she said.

    As with many things amid the pandemic, what clients seek from home decor has changed. Ashley Miller, a leading interior designer in the southeast and owner of Ashley Miller Design, said clients no longer ask whether or not their home makes them feel comfortable, alive, or secure.

    Now, they ask more specific questions.

    Aside from moving away from open floor plans, Miller said she also notices clients desiring spaces that can transition them from one place to another be it from a home office to a sitting room, or a living room with the kids, to a quiet, relaxing room designed to let them sit in peace and quiet.

    One room might be airy with light tones, while another close by may be a combination of stronger colors with more pattern, she continued. In other words, what used to be large, open floor plans with a continuous theme running throughout is being replaced with multiple rooms and transitioning styles that are curated depending on the mood the client wants.

    Clients are also seeking ways to decompress at home rather than taking a seasonal getaway.

    We all wish we could travel like we once did so now we are looking to bring the travel experience and luxury into our everyday lives, Miller said. For instance, clients are now trying to mimic the experience of having just stayed at a fine boutique hotel whether its in the dining room, bar/entertaining area, or master bedroom. This has been a developing trend over the past few years but the pandemic has only accelerated it. Why not replicate that same experience at home?

    What are the home decor trends for 2021 - Atlanta Journal Constitution

    3 Ways to Style Your (Very Gay) Coffee Table – Out Magazine - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    True beauty is found in the details. For Jonathan Rachman, a multihyphenate interior designer, event planner, and author of the memoir The Garlic Peanut Story, designing gorgeous homes begins with practicality, purpose, and passion.

    I absolutely love transforming a space, a house, a mansion, or resort from something thats stale, boring, and mediocre to something absolutely fabulous and fun, says the San Francisco-based Rachman. The process of finding the perfect items, furnishings, and colors completely excites me.

    Ironically, being an interior designer was never part of Rachmans plan, but life took him down a different path. Twenty years ago, after being dissatisfied with his life in corporate America, he opened a flower shop without having real experience as a florist. His talent was evident, and he soon found himself designing events for A-list clients before shifting gears to interior design.

    Rachman is now one of the most sought-after designers in the Bay Area. His 2,000-square-foot store, across the street from San Franciscos iconic Zuni Caf on Market Street, showcases fine antiques, jewelry, and other discoveries hes collected from his travels around the world. It also acts as an exclusive showcase for his continuing collaborations.

    The human factor is most important, he says of the creative process with clients. Their homes should reflect their style and them as the owners. I also love to draw inspirations from my favorite places when its appropriate.


    I love clustering books and flowers as well as objects on a coffee table to create a geometrical silhouette. Besides visually pleasing and chic, you still have room for your cocktails and apro. Remember, clusters prevent clutter! Also, dont forget to create various heights. This creates depths and interests.

    Images by Suzanna Scott Photography. Duran Coffee Table available at De Sousa Hughes. Accessories and flowers by J.Rachman.


    Traveling and collecting are the core of my design passion. Theres nothing like a giant coffee table or ottoman that can display your collections and personal items. This ginormous ottoman is so vast yet intimate as it shows the owners personality and their story. Dont forget bold multiple floral from your garden, or splurge and have a professional florist embellish your luxurious coffee table with their creations. Above all, make sure they are proportionate.

    Images by Suzanna Scott Photography. Lady R Extra Large Ottoman: Designed by J.Rachman and custom-made by Konekt Furniture. This ottoman is tufted and covered with Designers Guild velvet Pavia FDG2535-02 and horsehair fringe, inspired by an equestrian photograph from Houghton Hall. Available at Coup dEtat. Antiques and accessories from J.Rachman and Antique & Art Exchange in San Francisco. Flowers by J.Rachman.


    Centralize your coffee table or ottoman with a tray, especially if you like to entertain or gather around this sitting area with your loved ones. Feet up? No problem. Need more room? Simply remove the tray temporarily. Casual but stylish, and dont forget to add your favorite fragranced candle (flowers too, of course). They always add to the mood. Dont overthink it; simply drop and stack your favorite gorgeous books and adjust according to your guests interests.

    Images by Douglas Friedman. Ottoman designed by J.Rachman and custom-made by Arden Home in San Francisco upholstered in leather by S.H. Frank and Co., S.F. Accessories and flowers by J.Rachman.

    Jonathan Rachmans interiors have graced the covers of Elle Decor, Modern Luxury Interiors California, California Home + Design, Haven, KDHamptons, and more. Relish his unique coffee table stylings below and learn more at

    A version of this story first appeared inOut's 2021 Hollywood Issue.Jake Borelli is featured on the coveralongsideRyan O'ConnellandAlexandra Grey. It is the first print issue under theeditorial direction of editor-in-chief David Artavia. The issue is out on newsstands on March 3, 2021.To get your own copy directly,support queer media and subscribe or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News +.

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    3 Ways to Style Your (Very Gay) Coffee Table - Out Magazine

    Interior design expert reveals seven things that are losing YOU money on your home including fake grass and – The Sun - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A PROPERTY expert has revealed the seven things which could be losing you money on your house price - and its bad news if you like an artificial lawn.

    While its common knowledge to embrace a neutral colour scheme and get rid of clutter if youre putting your home on the market, it turns out theres a host of other mistakes youre probably making too.


    Thomas Goodman, property expert at claimed that despite DIY booming over lockdown with homeowners updating their pads on a budget, it could devalue your home in the long-run.

    He claimed that ameteur jobs are easily spotted, and its better to invest in a professional.

    Thomas pointed out: A spot of DIY might seem like an innocent task to do around the house, but after time youll be able to tell the difference.

    Professional work is second to none in quality, when buyers step into your home and agents do a valuation, they will take note of details.


    Your DIY tiling job might look appealing to you, but amateur work doesnt have the same finish.

    He said a DIY job on the cheap will usually backfire, and give buyers leverage to negotiate a lower price.

    An artificial lawn is another feature which has boomed in popularity recently, with people using the faux grass to get their gardens looking lush all-year round.

    But Thomas said: Artificial grass might be a low maintenance option, but it can deter some people away, especially if they are a young family.

    Broken fences are a common feature of an unkept garden, fences add a sense of privacy to a property, so ensure yours is fixed and solid.

    Thomas said kerb appeal is key, to invest in some bright flowers, plant pots and mow the lawn, adding first impressions count.

    A spot of DIY might seem like an innocent task to do around the house, but after time youll be able to tell the difference

    Weve all watched an interior show on telly and winced as theyve opened up a tin of neon paint.

    Bright colours arent everyones cup of tea, but while it might reflect your personality - it wont sell your house.

    Thomas said: Loud interiors might not appeal to all buyers.

    A bright yellow wall in the kitchen could be comforting for you, but it might portray your room in a different light to others.

    The way forward is to keep things simple, quirky dcor, such as textured wallpaper, is best to be avoided.

    He said grey and terracotta is the way to go to market your house, and while its far from exciting it helps buyers see potential.

    Seven mistakes which could devalue your home

    Nothing dates a home quite like the kitchen, and it can be hard to update if youre on a budget.

    But its key if you want to appeal to buyers, and modern is the way to go.

    Thomas noted: A modern kitchen will help to sell a house.

    It can be expensive to have a complete overhaul and refit the entire unit, but potential buyers might be put off if they must visualise the amount of work they need to do.

    If you dont have the money for a full refurb, Thomas said to focus on table tops, cabinetry and the appliances.

    He advised: The best way is to replace any old-fashioned features such as taps and cabinet doors and reinvent your kitchen back to an original state.

    Removing personalised features and stripping back to neutral tones will make a big difference. Ensure everything is sparkling clean, especially cooker hoods that can attract a lot of grease.

    You might not think your floor is a big selling point, but a mix of styles can turn buyers off, with Thomas saying its an integral part of the home.

    While you might love a deep pile, the expert reckons you should ditch it for hardwood.

    Thomas said: You can get away with carpet in bedrooms, but when it comes to the main areas of your house, such as hallways and living rooms, consistent hardwood flooring is desired.

    Carpets are harder to clean, it can also be a breeding ground for hair, especially in households with pets.

    If you dont want to rip up your carpet, at least make sure the flooring is consistent in your house.

    One of the worst mistakes people do is having two different types of hardwood flooring in high traffic areas of the house, Thomas revealed.

    If youre going to switch to hard surfaces, ensure you have the budget to cover the investment in all rooms.

    Your DIY tiling job might look appealing to you, but amateur work doesnt have the same finish

    Black is always a bold choice, but even if you experiment with blues or purples it can be risky, Thomas claimed.

    Dark rooms are always off-putting, to invest in some lamps if your space is dull and dingy.

    Thomas said: Its no surprise that a dark room will instantly shift your mood and feel uninviting.

    A bright room with plenty of natural light will attract more buyers. If a room is painted in dark shades of blue for example, the room will appear dull, even next to artificial lighting.

    Try to inject fresh white and plenty of lighting in rooms.

    And he advised to go for curtains in these spaces, as it gives natural light space to bounce off the walls - appearing brighter.


    Weve all seen green bathrooms from the 70s, and its another room which can instantly date a house.

    If you cant rip it out, start by making sure its clean and all limescale has been removed, and repair any cracked tiles.

    Thomas also pointed out: One common mistake sellers make is to replace the only bath in your home.

    Baths are a popular option for many people who like to wind down after a busy day.

    For people that dont use a bath, they have opted for a space-saving shower instead.

    Of course, this can make your bathroom appear bigger, but it can devalue your property if a bathtub is in the criteria of a buyer.

    A compromise is to free up space in your bathroom by purchasing a bath that combines the two together.

    OFF HER CHEST Mum in crippling pain due to size H boobs tries to raise 10k for reduction

    HEIR WE GOEugenie's baby name tribute to Philip 'emphasises Harry's disrespect to family'

    CRUEL JIBESWoman refuses to shave moustache or unibrow even though men yell insults at her

    SNAP BACKI was homeless for two years before starting my own business, now I'm worth 208m

    'DON'T DO IT'Woman warns NOT to shave baby hairs as she's left with a 'big a** forehead'

    MAKING SEX-CUSESStudent tells parents she got pregnant by sitting on her boyfriends lap

    Meanwhile cleaners wear hazmat suits to clear hoarders bathroom packed full of used nappies and sanitary pads.

    And this mum claims Aldis kitchen storage baskets look just like Ikeas version but for half the price.

    While thisman buys a hoarders house for 7k & finds 300k worth of treasure including rare coins, silver bars & designer clothes.

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    Interior design expert reveals seven things that are losing YOU money on your home including fake grass and - The Sun

    These Families Are Stuck at Home During Covid, but Have Plenty of Places to Go – The Wall Street Journal - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Although Kit Chua and her husband had lived in their Chicago home for several years, shed never set up her home office properly. Once the pandemic hit, and Ms. Chua, an education consultant, was forced to work from home, where her husband was also working and their two daughters, ages 9 and 12, were engaged in remote school, it became clear that she needed a viable office setup.

    When Ms. Chua, 46, hired interior designer Alice Benjamin to help design her office last spring, she realized that there were other spaces in the home that also needed attention. Our living and dining room had become the kids space over the years, says Ms. Chua. It can be pretty stressful to have the biggest and best space in your home filled with kids stuff especially during a pandemic. Ms. Benjamin created a plan in which the tucked-away family room was transformed into a study and hang-out zone for the girls while the dining and living room got a dramatic refresh. The overall project cost roughly $250,000.

    Ms. Benjamin took cues from commercial workspaces for the design of the girls area where she incorporated rectangular booths fitted with cushions. The kids each have one where they can stretch out or sit up and do their schoolwork at writing desks positioned in front, says Ms. Benjamin. Sconces illuminate the cocoon-like booths and charging stations ensure there is always a spot to plug in. Colorful cubbies nailed to the wall provide storage and the walls are covered in cloud wallpaper.

    In the living room, a movie screen and projector were installed along with a custom sectional. We werent a big TV-watching family before Covid, says Ms. Chua. But now that we have such a nice screen, we watch a lot of shows and movies all together. Additionally, Ms. Chuas Peloton software hooks up to the projector and while in quarantine during the colder months, the family has been doing yoga. When the kids are home for remote school and I need to be their P.E. teacher, we do dance cardio, she says.

    Ms. Chua says her office, equipped with a desk at which she can either sit or stand, is now her dream space. It has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a sliding ladder. To expand the workspace, Ms. Benjamin transformed the adjacent room into a room where Ms. Chua participates in podcasts and video conferences. Dry-erase paint turned the walls into a blank canvas that she uses to map out ideas; the girls also enjoy writing on the walls and doing school projects at the adjustable table in the room where they can spin on swivel stools.

    Excerpt from:
    These Families Are Stuck at Home During Covid, but Have Plenty of Places to Go - The Wall Street Journal

    This old-fashioned pattern is set to be one of the biggest interior trends this year – interior designers can’t get enough of it – LivingEtc - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Gingham suddenly got a whole lot more stylish. This season, we need to re-evaluate everything we think we know about this quaint chequerboard pattern as it moves from our grandmas table cloth to the forefront of our homes.

    Yes, your old-school summer uniform really is one of the biggest interior design trendsof the year.

    What are the reasons behind ginghams increasing desirability? The pandemic may have to answer to this trend, just like many of the nostalgic crazes to emerge during the current lockdown. The craving for check comes as homeowners look for ways to inject elements of a rural escape into their homes, and the pining for natural charm will only grow as spring arrives.

    The success of Netflix series, The Queens Gambit, may have also had an impact on the patterns return, as fans look for ways to pay homage to fictional chess champion Beth Harmon through their interiors.

    (Image credit: Arlo & Jacob)

    London-based furniture suppliers, Arlo & Jacob, have notably jumped on the trend, and have recently released a gingham collection which could sit comfortably in any modern home, as their Buying and Merchandising Manager, Laura Barnard, shared: Gingham is a very confident upholstery choice, and rather than being too frilly its bringing attention to an interior.

    If you are still not convinced that weve reached the end of ginghams frilly days, luxury interior designer Rebecca Hughes, Founder of Rebecca Hughes Interiors, further emphasized the versatility of this ever-enduring pattern.

    She explained: Gingham is a big interior trend and personally I love how this simple pattern can change an interior scheme. Although gingham is nostalgic and traditional to many, it certainly doesnt have to be confined to country homes.

    (Image credit: Arlo & Jacob)

    The great thing about this timeless print is that it enhances almost any interior,' the designer continued. 'Whether it be a simple lampshade, a ruffle trim cushion, or an upholstered chair, with the right choice of color, size of the pattern, and style, these beautiful checks will suit both classic or contemporary settings.'

    Meanwhile, Ceraudo - the furniture brand who were one of the first to use lacquer before it became a trend - have added ruffles to their brand new gingham chair designs.

    Chairs, from 1360, Ceraudo

    (Image credit: Ceraudo)

    Alternatively, designer Sarah Peake, of the London-based Studio Peake also suggests interpreting gingham into your home through your curtains.

    'One of my favorite places to use gingham in projects is on curtain linings,' she explains. 'If curtain linings are seen from outside through the window, it is lovely to use a contrast lining for that element of surprise, and ginghams work well with most patterns.'

    Curious as to which other crazes are taking over our homes during this year? Read how 1970s inspired interiors are the retro fuelled trend taking over our homes this year.

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    This old-fashioned pattern is set to be one of the biggest interior trends this year - interior designers can't get enough of it - LivingEtc

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