From the Introduction
Remix: From Afrocentric to AphroChic
Over the past thirty years, remix has become a household word in African American music. The idea of a remix is simple: rearrange old songs by adding modern elements that give them new life. We can't think of a better way to describe our approach to modern design.
When we started our blog, AphroChic
, our goal was to create a space that celebrated diversity and to showcase modern homes that have a unique cultural identity. As African Americans, our culture and heritage have always informed our design process, whether as inspiration for a new interpretation of an ancient textile or in choosing a bright color to paint our bedroom. At AphroChic
, we believe that the relationship between culture and design holds importance for everyone, and we encourage everyone to look at design through their own cultural lens in order to decorate a home that reflects who they are. But keeping a space modern in today’s global community means considering more than your own heritage. It also entails looking at the cultures that inspire you and finding meaningful ways to make them a part of your home’s "story."
Over the years we have written about rugs inspired by the beauty of Morocco, pillows made by Indian artisans, and fashion illustrations featuring African American women—all perfect ways to bring soul and style to the modern white boxes so many of us live in. As we expanded from blogging to textile design, we realized people began wondering what this "Aphro" concept was all about.
AphroChic is a “remix,” a subtle blending of modern and cultural influences that evokes rather than displays a cultural motif. AphroChic draws not only from traditional but also from recent African art and design. It reaches beyond familiar African influences to include the various cultures that have evolved within the African Diaspora—from the Caribbean and the Americas to Europe and Asia as well.
Our design philosophy embraces a global aesthetic. In an AphroChic room, African Kuba prints sit beside French toile while India-inspired mandala patterns adorn table runners and Cameroonian juju hats decorate walls. We love the beauty of the global mix and have even brought it to our own textile collection, where so many ideas of pattern and global design intersect.
After years of growing, reflecting, and learning, we are now able to offer this book, which expands upon those concepts that first inspired our blog and our textile line. We believe that ethnic culture and modern design are not mutually exclusive ideas. In fact, we know that they are even better together. This book gives you design principles for bringing your personality, heritage, and love of styles from around the world into your own home—today, and even decades from now. AphroChic does not treat culture as a trend. Instead, we built our design philosophy around a deep, sophisticated, and authentic engagement with cultures that have lasted long beyond trends.
Excerpted from Remix by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, Founders of AphroChic. Copyright © 2013 by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, Founders of AphroChic. Excerpted by permission of Potter Style, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.