I've made a Pinterest board which you can find here and also a style story on At Mine which beautifully demonstrate all the different variations on the theme and you can see some wonderful inspiration from both of these. But here are some of my interpretations.
I've been collecting baskets for some time now, mostly English willow ones with handles and vintage shopping baskets. This year the one's that really caught my eye were from Africa in two tones and quite shallow, dish like, perfect as fruit bowls and as wall decoation.
The distinctive baskets from Zambia are made by the Tonga women to keep them in employment and help to feed their families. I'm always happy to find this sort of enterprise, and keen to support by being a customer but I wish the postage from Africa wasn't so damn expensive. The Tonga craft centre in Binga Village is funded by the Danish government and exports these all over the world, however I'm having trouble tracking any down in the UK. When I was putting the Style Story together for At Mine I spotted one tagged in a photo of someone's home and this lead me to discover the great store Couleur Locale from Belgium. I'm so in love with their styling and photos that a visit may be on the cards, however, as if to prove my point, they have sold out!
The Tonga Binga baskets are made from a palm which is grown specifically for the basket making and in style they can be identified by it's square bottom. Always in the two tones of natural and black the variation in pattern is immense.
Here are some of the other baskets I have on display.
|The two black and white baskets are from Southwood Stores who will be giving away a rather special basket in August.|
|this basket came from a man on a market in Amsterdam, the street markets there often have this kind of cool thing.|
I don't know what you think about Feng Shui, was it just a fad taken on by the West a few years ago or is there really something to it? When I'm adding textures and natural fibres to a room I often think it's got to be a good Feng Shui balancer.
This Chinese practice first came to light in the UK, probably about twenty plus years ago, I really was mesmerised with the idea of this philosophy and bought a couple of books on the subject. I had a compass and went around all my friends homes telling them where their 'wealth corner' was and stuff like that. While I don't remember a great deal, there is still some parts that have remained in the back of my mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite a pragmatist and try to keep my feet on the ground about most things but life is all about balance, hey Feng Shui is about balance, and having a balance of reality and spirituality is quite essential.
The world is pretty small now and the belief system of a whole continent that goes back thousands of years can't be dismissed as poppycock. As I am so passionate about interior style, I find this art really fascinating because it does make so much common sense.
Colour plays a big part in Feng Shui and again, I do believe very much that colour affects mood. I'm not sure it's really possible to do an 'in a nutshell' blogpost about it as it's quite complex but I may talk about it some more at another point.
Until then, I'm getting out and about a lot over the summer, so expect some outdoor photos and reviews soon.