Chef Rashad Frazier knows a thing or two about southern cooking, creating rich, sophisticated food like his buttermilk biscuits, rooted in the soulful traditions of the African American kitchen.
Stacey Blake, the woman behind the popular interior design blog, Design Addict Mom, defines the design aesthetic in her North Carolina home with just three words – colorful and bold.
AphroChic’s new paint collection, Brooklyn In Color presents twenty beautifully crafted hues that now define the brand’s signature color palette.
Shopping for the holidays can be daunting. And it can be particularly challenging to find gifts that are truly meaningful. This year, we are excited to share with you gifts that give back to communities in increasingly important ways. From new publications that celebrate diversity, to clothing that supports social justice initiatives, here are the top five presents on our holiday wishlist that are filled with meaning.
HUMAN, a magazine by photographer, Gregory Prescott, embraces photography, art and is a visual story of our diverse human race. The models featured in Volume 1 of the publication include African-American model May Daniels, twins Matt and Mike Perfetuo who have alopecia, and albino model Sky Maryse, among others. It’s a true celebration of what makes us all human. A gift for anyone who loves unique black and white photography.
Shopping for the guy on your list can be hard, so BOXFOX has made it easier with curated boxes by some of today’s top NBA players. We’re loving their Recharge box, curated by Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It includes everything a man needs to recharge, from a Native Union dock that will keep his phone powered up, to cozy socks for long trips.
This next gift we’re extremely proud about, as we produced the cover. MOYI Magazine is the first magazine to celebrate an African Diaspora lifestyle around the globe. Inside each issue, which is launched quarterly, you can see homes from New York to Johannesburg and beyond. It’s a true celebration of Black life, published both in English and French. A gift that goes beyond the typical magazine subscription.
Every month you can leaf through this calendar, and see a beautiful illustration by French artist, Nicholle Kobi. A celebration of Black women, Nicholle’s illustrations are filled with Black Girl Magic. The monthly calendar will quickly become a keepsake at the end of the year, featuring 12 original illustrations by the artist.
Santa is joining Colin Kaepernick this year in taking a knee. The Kneeling Santa Crew by HSTRY, a clothing line by Nas, is fashion that gives back. Proceeds from the sale will go to The Center for Court Innovation, a non-profit that seeks to help create a more effective and humane justice system, reducing both crime and incarceration.
Someday At Christmas, the voices of Stevie Wonder and Andra Day, singing one of our favorite holiday songs. The glow of candlelight on the mantel. The warm white lights on the tree. Gingerbread cookies and cider set out for our guests. Every year we host a party to ring in the holiday season, and this year our annual celebration was made that much more special with help from our friends at LOWE’S. The home improvement store’s vast holiday decorating collection became our go-to to transform our home into a shimmering winter wonderland for the holidays.
It’s the little things that make celebrating the holidays special. All of the small decorative touches that take us back to moments from the year before, where the smell of the tree and tinkling of ornaments has us ready for Santa Claus’ magical trip down the chimney. This year we’ve been inspired by those feelings of nostalgia, reliving Christmas celebrations past with the addition of reindeer and glowing miniature trees to our decor.
As children, reds and greens comprised the traditional color palette of the season. This year, we tried something different, embracing a modern update of the traditional holiday color scheme. Our focus was to complement our existing decor with classic holiday pieces. The color palette is a direct reflection of pieces in our living room, from our purple drapes – in a shade that is reflected in the ornaments on the tree – to the hot pink juju hat, that was the inspiration for the vibrant pink ribbons hanging from the chandelier. For a little bit of glam, a mix of metallics in silver, gold, and copper added to the holiday glow.
We left no stone unturned in creating this year’s holiday decor. We had fun covering every inch of the living room in garland and glittering ornaments. The mantel is always a special spot for making a statement for the holidays. The part of the home where Santa Claus traditionally makes his grand entrance, it was imperative that the mantle decor this year was worthy of the jolly one himself. We completed the look with a mix of modern pieces. From some very cool black nutcrackers and deer to shimmering chevron and typographic votives, the mantel was the ultimate centerpiece in the living room decked out for holiday fun.
Who says holiday decor has to be match? We scoured LOWE’S for some out-of-the-box decor to help us create this layered look, and boy did we find some goodies. We brought home pieces with a mix of pattern and texture.The fur and felt trees on the mantel were used to add a tactile element to the decor. For a mix of pattern, ornaments featuring stripes and polka dots added a whimsical feel.
The mix of gray and white stockings looked lovely hanging off the garland over the fireplace. For a little more of an adult feel, we chose stockings that featured a mix of rich embroidery. An embellished snowflake absolutely shimmers. And stockings wishing all of our friends and family a “Merry Christmas” featuring a herringbone pattern, offer some on-trend style.
Of course, we couldn’t forget our smallest guests. Each stocking was stuffed to the brim with trinkets, including the cutest foxes for the little ladies in attendance at the party. The hard part, getting each girl to agree to take one apiece instead of trying for all three of these adorable stocking stuffers.
When we first moved into this apartment we had visions of putting our Christmas tree in the bay window, and this year that vision became a reality. The seven-and-a-half-foot aspen fir tree, stands so tall and beautiful it almost looks real. While a faux tree, it doesn’t take away from the holiday feel, as warm white lights are already included, making it truly glow at night.
Baubles and ornaments for the tree are always fun. Every year we choose a new ornament for our holiday decor, and this year, we got to choose a ton from LOWE’S vast selection. The patterns on these ornaments are to die for. We got everything, from delicate glass chevron balls to geometric ornaments that look as if they’re handmade pieces of origami. LOWE’S also surprised us with a diverse selection of African American ornaments. Our Black santa is a welcome addition to the tree this year.
We also styled the tree with some unexpected elements. A celebration of winter weather yet to come, we included a mix of owls and foxes in the tree’s decor. The foxes are an unexpected way to continue the chevron theme. And the owls look perfect, perched within the boughs of our super sized Christmas tree.
While new ornaments were procured, we also included some family heirlooms for an authentic feel. The mix of old and new is a holiday tradition. It’s nice to see pieces like our new mercury glass balls, beside our our handmade AphroChic ornament.
For our adult guests, we styled the bar in a mix of gold, black and white ornaments and decor. Among our favorite elements, our nutcracker chalkboard wishing everyone happy holidays as they picked up their sparkling refreshments.
When it comes to choosing ornaments, we learned this year that bigger is definitely better. Large shatterproof balls glittering in gold and silver were the perfect pieces to accent the bar. And we even found a few more striped pieces to add to our modern holiday theme.
A new idea for this holiday season – a gift table. While gifts under the tree are lovely, on top of the table, they truly became part of our decor. We wrapped presents in a mix of shimmering gold and black allen + roth wrapping paper. Black and white gift bags brought the classic color palette home.
The perfect gift needs the perfect tags, and each was topped with a shimmering tag wishing our guests joy and good cheer this holiday season.
This year, we were able to celebrate the greatest gift of all – fellowship with family and friends – in style. We hope our modern holiday decor is the perfect inspiration for you and yours. Explore all of the items we shopped at LOWE’S in the images above. We hope you’ll find something that truly makes your holiday season shine.
This post is sponsored by LOWE’S
Product was provided by LOWE’S and we have been financially compensated for this post. Design and all opinions are our own.
Photography by Chinasa Cooper
Styling Assistant, Tanika Goudeau Hochhauser
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”7666,7668,7665,7663,7664,7662,7674,7679,7685″ img_size=”full” onclick=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Is this the table that Solange had in mind, when she wrote the songs for A Seat at the Table? We think so. The stylish songstress and her now iconic new album became the inspiration for our event at New York’s posh Bowery Hotel. The evening was a celebration of our #SHESSOAPHROCHIC campaign, our effort to focus on inspirational African American women who are the very embodiment of our maxim of modern soulful style.
The rooftop party was perfectly designed, a collaborative effort between the AphroChic team, fashion designer Reuben Reuel, and event designer, Ian Paul Owens. Owens designed the tablescape for the evening, an elaborate dining room scene featuring our Cameroonian-inspired Ndop fabric at the center. For pops of color, our SOLO collection of Rwanda baskets, in shades of fuchsia, yellow and blue, brightened the display. A celebration of Black women, Owens created a centerpiece of magazine covers featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Michelle Obama and more. With fall in mind, placemats were replaced with black fur for a cozy feel. The finishing touch to the tablescape, a lush centerpiece created by Brooklyn Blooms, featuring rich shades of orange, purple and crimson, with cowrie shell details.
Beyond the DJ booth with DJ King Leo spinning a mix of neo-soul, and top songs like Formation and Cranes In The Sky, glass doors opened to the main room. There, a show space had been designed, an AphroChic mini-apartment, complete with a living room, bedroom, and lounge in front of the fireplace. On display was our new line of poufs. Soft, yet sturdy and very comfortable, the pieces became the perfect seating for those wanting to sit a little closer to the fire.
The bedroom was where we had fun. AphroChic is all about collaboration and we love to share the stage with other designers of color who are creating beautiful work that clearly shares our point of view. There’s no one who fits that bill better than our friend Reuben Reuel, founder and creative director of DEMESTIK by REUBEN REUEL. Reuben is not only one of Beyonce’s favorite fashion designers, he’s one of ours as well, and in addition to designing Jeanine’s dress for the evening, he showed off his new line of bedding that will launch early next year. The softly textured duvet cover went perfectly with our pillows to create a space that was light, colorful and full of lively patterns.
The biggest reveal of the evening was our fashion collaboration with DEMESTIK by REUBEN REUEL – a line of kimonos in signature colors featuring our Jumping the Broom, Juju and Haze patterns. Modeled by our beautiful friends, Krystle DeSantos, Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu and Derica Cole Washington, the kimonos were the highlight of the evening, showing off a unique fusion of African and Asian design. The custom made pieces can now be found in our online shop and at Jerome LaMaar’s gallotique, 9J, in the South Bronx.
At the end of the night we made our biggest announcement yet. In 2017, AphroChic will become the first African American design brand to have its own line of interior paint. Expect to see our new line with Colorhouse soon. We are truly excited for all of the new directions and grateful to everyone who came out to support the brand. Stay tuned for more exciting news to come![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Photography by Chinasa Cooper
Thank you to Tanika Goudeau Hochhauser for assisting with styling this event.