Interior Design and Fashion: Mixing Things Up

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Maki Oh

Designer Maki Osakwe knows how to mix it up and her collection Maki Oh is a testament to women’s fearlessness and complexities. The Nigerian designer grew up in the bustling city of Lagos and witnessed power dressing to the max. After dabbling in design as a child (inspired by her mother) Maki went on to formulate her own line, driven by modernity and cultural influences.

Interior Design and Fashion-makioh2

The liveliness of Lagos is seen in Maki Oh’s eclectic collection. For her latest offering- Spring 2014- there’s a healthy dose of sheer, paint splatter, athleticism and ladylike appeal. And it’s wonderfully cohesive to boot. Maki says there’s a hidden meaning behind each piece, which draws inspiration from decades ago when Nigerian women used their clothing to pass messages to others. This line also cares about the environment. Maki uses fabric that is organically dyed on silks and cottons as opposed to industrial paint dying. There’s a passion for sustainability and every part of the design process is done on Nigerian soil.

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The shining stars of this collection are as diverse as the line itself. An off the shoulder knee length dress boasts puffed sleeves and a sheer skirt. It’s equal parts artistic and whimsical. Another look features an athletic-inspired top with peplum sleeves in a graphic print, reminiscent of chipped paint. The rest of the look is comprised of a high waisted silk trouser with a tad bit of colorblocking under the knee. The details are both evident and discreet, loud yet bashful, mysterious but sweet: much like the duality of a woman. At the core, Maki Oh embodies the freedom of defining your own beauty.  Women want to express all sides of themselves and with this line there’s no need to choose. I’d like to see these pieces at the Fall ready-to-wear shows next month, opening night at an exhibit or pretty much any NYC event. They’ll do quite nicely in my closet.

Kara Mann

Interior designer Kara Mann does for spaces what Maki Oh does for the body. Her work is multifaceted: daring, strong, sexy, worldly and edgy. And sweet. The New York City and Chicago based designer creates distinctive interiors by mixing modern and traditional. Here are some standouts from a few spaces she’s worked on.

Table Toppers

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Inspired by Eclecticism

Eclecticism derives from the Greek “eklektikos” which loosely translates to knowing to choose what’s best for the soul. The concept originally related to ancient philosophers, selective in picking out doctrines that fit their reasoning, today embraces art, architecture, religion, music and medicine among others.

The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is a good example for eclecticism in architecture. The city blends in different historical styles and is well known for its eclectic-style buildings and interiors that are a good source of inspiration and fresh ideas for interior design and home decoration.

The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is a good example for eclecticism in architecture

The House of Parliament in Budapest is one of the most remarkable combinations of neo-Gothic and neo-Renaissance style.

The House of Parliament in Budapest

An eclectic mix of styles is often reflected in fine and decorative arts. Eclecticism is a preferable approach for everyone who is not afraid of changes, likes to experiment with aesthetics and combine different styles. Mixing antique pieces with modern elements adorns each room and produces harmonious and inspiring interiors.

This is an image of the room that incorporates techniques from a diverse range of styles. Irregular black and white stripes reminiscent of a barcode create impression of the lack of precision. Adornments and touches of gold along with 1930’s chair, modern-style mirror, white fireplace and plastic rocking chair designed by Henrik Pedersen make it a truly unique interior.

Room designed by Henrik Pedersen

Eclecticism likes to experiment with colors and shades juxtaposed in original and fresh combinations.

A Moroccan rug BB3689

Eclecticism does not hold rigidly to a single style. It represents a combination of a variety of influences and its only peculiarity lies in the ability to draw on different techniques that can yield aesthetic and unique arrangements.

Eclecticism

Its attractiveness resides in its very personal style that can be spiritual, sensual, dramatic, eccentric or colorful.

EclecticismEclecticism Eclecticism Modern rugs

Greek Key in Rugs – Accentuating What is Common to us All

The most common design used in ancient rug making is the Greek Key (Fret). This design is basically characterized by a meandering pattern, taken from the twisting and winding Meander River in Turkey. Why was Greece connected with this design when this river is located in Turkey? The reason is that: in ancient times, when this particular carpet style was formed, Turkey was under the occupation of Greece. Since the ancient Greeks were basically eclectic in their approach, the cultures of other countries they occupied were used and applied in their own native land.

ImageModern Greek Key rugs and carpets have taken up this particular motif from the design of the mosaic floors in ancient Greek and Roman structures. This motif can be considered as one of the oldest art forms in human history. In fact, it can’t really be ascertained if this design form started with the Greeks. Some historians have indicated that it may have originated as far back as the Minoan Civilization, from the first inhabitants of Crete.

The interesting thing about the Greek Key is that it can also be found in numerous ancient civilizations including that of the ancient Aztecs and even in Chinese culture. Some historians attributed this to the elemental ideas prevailing in humans whatever the time period is, causing this design pattern to arise independently in varied cultural settings. It is then safe to consider that since this motif has appeared in almost all of the countries in the world, it must appeal to something that all peoples have in common.

tnw520-bb3033This early 20th century Chinese rug has a variation of the Greek Key on its borders.

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An early 20th century Samarkand rug has a similar version of the Greek key to the Chinese rug.

And because of its common appeal, we now have Greek Key (Fret) designs in modern day carpets and rugs. Our collections of these types of rugs will surely find resonance in the hearts of many people.

ImageA modern version of the Greek Key.