Thursday, December 6, 2012

Design and life updates from West Africa


I'm still alive. (Actually I had malaria two weeks ago and had to be hospitalized for 3 days so this is not just a manner of speaking! But I'm fine now :) How do people have full-time jobs and blog regularly? I would like to know the secret to this! Maybe the key is just building it into my daily routine... or using it to procrastinate! Considering I work from home with no supervision, that could actually become dangerous.

Well, anyways, I clearly haven't struck the balance. Here I lie on my bed in my hotel room in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. I bought some fabric for decorating today and I wanted to share! But, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to take a good picture of textiles, particularly textiles with red or orange in them. The pictures never look like the actual fabric! I tried many angles, I tried flash, I tried no flash, I tried putting them in natural light. No luck.

But, here are the results none the less...
See, in reality these fabrics are no where near this shade of orange. The one on the left is really coral and red. The fabric in the middle is light pink with gold lines (love it... and want to do bold piping). I got duped with the fabric on the right... the vendor insisted it was from Ghana. Nope. Its from China. Such is life. At least it looks African (and feels like cardboard). Ok, honestly I'm second guessing its angular lines, but it will definitely find some use somewhere!
I might split the fabric on the left with my friend - I only hesitate because I have similar patterns at home! But this shows me my new patterns will look good with the more typical African fabrics I already have. Blue is seriously lacking though, especially teal. Need to work on that, stat. I am already imagining the piping options for these awesome pillows. Can.not.wait.
Teal is missing from the equation...
As discussed in a previous post, I really like coral. I also really like teal. And jewel tones. I think these fabrics are a good start! I definitely need a simple fabric that is primarily teal. I saw some today, paired with poopy brown. I can't bring myself to embrace brown yet, so I withheld. I also have a lot more fabric at home that I've been collecting for awhile now, and some clothes I had made and never wear... so I hope to eventually repurpose them as cushions for my imaginary sectional couch in my imaginary apartment.

Some other fabrics I have to work with... and there are even more than these!
Inspiring living space from here.
This is kind of what I have in mind for the imaginary couch... but imagine it covered with (classy) African fabric pillows, and some big neutral cushions thrown in for balance. Especially lighter colors/whites. We'll see if and when it happens. I think a pallet couch would be cheap and easy for a temporary place to live, but then we need to actually DO IT. Don't want wheels on mine, but love the white paint.

My "About" tab is kind of lie these days. I don't really live in my "Finicky African Villa." Its really finicky and I've kind of developed a hatred for it, and lost all desire to redesign. For now (until I convince my boss we need to find a new location!), it will definitely remain my daily office. But, in reality, I've been bouncing between the villa some nights and my friend's spacious and beautifully decorated apartment other nights (with C. in tow, of course!). The rest of my time is spent travelling around West Africa for work, and back to the US for conferences now and again. Truly, the past 4 months have been a whirlwind, and I have hardly had any time to make anywhere feel like home. I am missing my roots. Maybe one of these days I will get around to finding my own place (or hijacking the design of an apartment for C./us!), we shall see...

PS. I'm going back to Morocco in February with C. and my mom, and I literally cannot wait for the decor shopping. I heart Moroccan design so, soooooo muchhhhh!!!

Africa meets Morocco. I die.

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