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The AphroChic REMIX Lounge At BKLYN Designs

It’s cool to create something unexpected. Those are the projects we love the most at AphroChic. Projects that take a space from what? to wow! When we created the AphroChic REMIX Lounge at BKLYN Designs this past May it was absolutely a wow! moment. Click the slideshow above for a before and after of what is truly one of our favorite interior design projects, and our first here in Brooklyn.

The REMIX lounge was inspired by our book. We started with our favorite cultural elements – color, pattern, art and global furnishings – to create a space that visitors to BKLYN Designs could relax and chill in. And, just for some fun we decided to house all of those elements under two, 600-square-foot a-frame structures that we designed and built over two days. Yes, we’re a little bit ambitious over here, but isn’t design the most fun when you’re pushing the envelope?

Then we decided we needed some entertainment, because what lounge doesn’t?! So, we worked with our friends at Saatchi Art to not only include an art exhibit of local Brooklyn artists in the space, but a live graffiti art exhibit as well. Our friend Rodrigo Valles created a massive street art mural in the lounge. A progressive piece that took two days, and that visitors got to watch develop as they walked the show. And no AphroChic event would be complete without a DJ, so we invited DJ King Leo to come and spin some old-school hip-hop in the lounge for that authentic Brooklyn vibe.

Our partners for this space were the best. Colorhouse, our favorite paint line that has the best eco-friendly paint around, provided us with paint to create two colorful statement walls that would become our gallery walls for the space. Their colors are so pure, and we went with six gorgeous shades for the statement walls – Petal .04, Petal .05, Air .07, Wool .01, Wool .03, and Nourish .06. The mix of bright and bold shades, with neutral soft colors was stunning on the walls we built. To add a layer of art to the lounge, we worked with Saatchi Art to deck out two gallery walls featuring works by local Brooklyn artists. And then of course, for a lounge we needed lots and lots of furniture, so we worked with Patina, a vintage rental company in Bushwick to bring in some cultural furnishings, including Hmong textile-upholstered ottomans, mudcloth covered seating and some stunning Moroccan rugs for bold pops of color and pattern.

The AphroChic REMIX Lounge was fun. It was fun for us to create and we’re glad that the thousands of people who came through BKLYN Designs got to enjoy it too. Some danced, some ate, some held mini-retreats, some kicked up their feet, some enjoyed the art and took pictures of the live graffiti art, and all took in the experiential space that we designed focused on Brooklyn art and design. The only thing that could make this project any better is doing it again next year!

Photographer: Ben Sottak and some iPhone photos by AphroChic

Save The Date: Harvard University Black In Design Conference

From the very beginning, AphroChic has always been a site dedicated to fostering a diverse, culturally-focused dialogue in the world of interior design. When we launched the site eight years ago, there were very few places where you could see the home of a person of color online; very few interviews about our work as designers; and editorials and video shoots showcasing people of color in design were few and far between. It was our mission, from the very first post, to create a space online that was inclusive and representative of the incredible diversity that exists in the world of interior design. Since that first post in 2007, we have gone on to do some incredible things adding to the cultural dialogue, from writing the first interior design book from an African-American perspective in over a decade, to being the first African-American designers to design a concept home on the west coast. And now, we are honored to participate in a truly exciting event, Harvard University’s Black in Design Conference in October.

Back in 2007, Bryan and I could never have imagined that our little blog and our desire to celebrate our culture and the contributions of people of color in the world of interior design could take us to speak at one of the country’s top schools. Hosted by Harvard University’s African American Student Union and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, this conference will provide an in-depth examination of the connections between ethnicity, social politics and design. Looking at these intersections on many levels, from the individual room, to the building, to the city, this conference will offer a number of panel discussions examining the role of design in either enforcing or restructuring social hierarchies as well as introducing new concepts on what it means to be not only a designer, but a teacher or even a student of design.

We hope to see many of you at this truly important conference that will be held October 9-10 in Boston. Over two days, you will be part of conversations on race and design, and hear the important contributions of members of the African Diaspora in interior design, architecture, urban planning, and more. If you have not already, be sure to register for this groundbreaking event. We can’t wait to see you there!

AphroChic Is AFROPUNK

The AFROPUNK FEST has arrived. Come see Ms. Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones and us this Saturday, August 22nd! We’ll be signing copies of REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul at the Greenlight Bookstore’s Rock and Read tent from 4pm-5pm. Looking forward to rocking with you!

AphroChic REMIX Lounges At BKLYN Designs

This year, AphroChic is proud to be part of NYCxDESIGN – the city’s official Design Week. We will be creating one-of-a-kind lounge spaces, inspired by our book REMIX at BKLYN Designs.

Join us as we present two interior design lounges featuring our own special blend of modern design and cultural style. Designed to express a warm, authentic Brooklyn vibe, the spaces will feature vintage and handmade furnishings from Patina Rentals, colorful walls featuring eco-friendly ColorHouse paint and a curated selection of artwork from local SaatchiArt.com artists. Together with live graffiti art, designer talks and music from DJ King Leo, the AphroChic REMIX Lounges are sure to keep the cultural beat going all weekend long.

The event takes place May 8th through the 10th at the Brooklyn Expo Center. For the full schedule and tickets visit our Facebook page.

Design On A Dime

Today is the final public day for Design On A Dime. It’s one of our favorite events in New York City, as you get to shop great design that’s been curated by some of the city’s top designers all for a wonderful cause – benefitting formerly homeless adults living with HIV/AIDS. The event is open until 5pm this evening. Oh, and you just may see one of our pieces in Danielle Colding’s beautifully curated vignette. Our limited edition batik pillows made in collaboration with Rwandan artisans through Indego Africa are available. Enjoy!

The Architectural Digest Home Design Show + A Discount

New Yorkers get ready. It’s finally starting to feel like spring, the home decor shows are about to get underway, and we’re all set to revel in some good design. The Architectural Digest Home Design Show starts next week, and we are extremely excited. While we’re always on the lookout for the newest and latest collections in the interior design world, it’s shows like Arch Digest, BKLYN Designs and ICFF that we wait all year for. It’s where vendors and makers go to show off their very best, and all of us get to see the home decor world shine. This year, we want to make sure that we don’t keep all of the inspiration to ourselves, so we’re inviting all of you to attend! This special discount code will allow you to get into the show for just $25 to see all that 2015 decor has to offer:

Architectural Digest Home Design Show
March 19-22, 2015
Piers 92 & 94
Code: GONYC

Check out the slideshow above to see what we’re looking forward to at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. See you there!

Save The Date: The AphroChic Pop-Up House At Helms Bakery!

Please join us for the AphroChic pop-up house and two-day design festival at Helms Bakery in Culver City, Los Angeles. On October 11th & 12th we will be launching the first Helms Bakery pop-up house designed by AphroChic! With furnishings from today’s top home design stores, including Room & Board, HD Buttercup, Rejuvenation, Vitra, Plummers and many, many more, this modern concept home will explore how to bring contemporary design and global style together in today’s interiors. With art provided by Saatchi, this home will be an incredible showcase of culture and modern home decor. During the event be prepared to see the new AphroChic artisan collection and enjoy a variety of events:

October 11th – Panel discussion, The New Modern: Culture and Design in the 21st Century

October 12th – Book signing, REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul at Arcana Books

As the first African-American show house in over a decade, we hope that even if you don’t live in LA, you’ll make the trip to view this historic pop-up home. We can’t wait to see you there!

Save the Date

LA Magazine Coverage of Room & Board LA Book Party

Last year we had a fabulous book party at the Room & Board in Culver City, Los Angeles. We like to say “book party” because, in partnership with Room & Board, we have updated the idea of a typical book signing event. We don’t want you to come just for a signing, we want you to come for an experience that truly celebrates what our book, REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul is all about. DJ D’Auria had us dancing to the soulful tunes you’ll find in the house tours of REMIX. Celebrity chef, Chef Ameera delighted us with her healthy soul food menu. And throughout Room & Board you could find vignettes “remixed” by AphroChic.

Bryan and I gave a design talk, speaking about the inspiration for REMIX, and the vignettes we created at Room & Board.

Design stars came out, including my Spelman Sister, Tanika Ray.

Matthew Lanphier, interior designer to the Kardashians was in the house. You can see a beautiful Studio City home he designed throughout the pages of REMIX. With him was one of our favorite artists Lana Gomez, recent CH+D Awards winner, whose art is featured in REMIX.

LA bloggers were in attendance, including Megan Arquette of Beach Bungalow 8.

Abby Stone of Apartment Therapy and Christian May of Maison 21.

Chef Ameera (above) created a phenomenal menu for the event. She brought our focus on soulful style to life with delicious vegan dishes including fried chicken, chili, and the yummiest sweet potato cupcakes ever!

We always have fun styling our own vignettes in the Room & Board stores. In this living room we used two of the hottest colors this year – cerulean blue and mimosa yellow, with a strong neutral gray, to design what we’re calling “a modern bachelorette pad”.

No bachelorette pad would be complete without a fierce Beyonce gallery wall featuring Room & Board’s new Steel Frames in gold. Bryan had a lot of fun curating the images for this vignette and it was a hit at the party!

In the bedroom we added a lot of pattern and texture, using our The Vibe and Silhouette pillows with Room & Board’s Jacquard Wool Zig-Zag bedding.

In the bedroom a black and white photo of Tina Turner add a little “diva style” to the vignette.

Our Haze Mimosa Runner added a pop of color to the dining room table. Above the credenza, we created a stunning focal point with a wall display of Room & Board’s collection of handmade Makenge Baskets.

Thank you to our book tour partner, Room & Board, to our media partner, Los Angeles Magazine, and to everyone who came out to support our LA book party! You can see more images from the event over at Los Angeles Magazine.

REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul, is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, the iBookstoreIndieBoundAphroChic.com and everywhere books are sold

Join us for our next book party at Room & Board Atlanta on March 4th. RSVP here.

{Images by Los Angeles Magazine}