Whenever we leave winter behind, I want fun, light-hearted things around. Spring is light, like a spring in your step. And that’s how these fun pillows from One Kings Lane feel. Maybe it’s the frivolous fringe and twirly tassels. And the high contrast of black and white (which is a current trend!) plus a punch of orange and pinks.
Don’t they feel like they’re doing jumping jacks? They’re light and bright, even with black in them. And go ahead, mix Greek key patterns with tribal. Using similar colors is what lets you get away with crazier pattern mixes. As you see here, the Greek key in hot pink picks up on the color in the other pillows. They all have tassels too, which makes the pillows feel like they’ll all get along together.
Switching up pillows is an easy way to change a whole room’s look for the new season.
These rooms all have a common element, but one that’s a bit uncommon. Can you guess what it is?
Interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard (my favorite designer who I met last year!) often uses this design element in rooms:
By now you’ve probably figured it out.
All these rooms have little inlaid tables, like accent tables or side tables, that you can get from Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Egypt or India. You can get them new, vintage or antique. They’re often meticulously made with mother of pearl or bone.
These tables are a sure bet to add that well-traveled look, like “yeah we’ve been somewhere, and we’ve seen some things.” Because you don’t get exposed to the idea and find a table at a regular ol’ Midwestern mall, that’s for sure. I grew up with the JC Penney and Sears catalogs (yeah that just really dated me) and I can tell you, nothing like this was in those catalogs!
So where do you find these tables? I’ll share a few ideas with you at high, medium and low price points. And you can also DIY the inlaid table look.
There are some gorgeous tables at Akbik, and their prices reflect their handmade nature. When I’m shopping for furniture, I often look at versions that are above my price range to see what makes good quality and design, then once seeing that, try to find the best possible that I can afford. Here are breathtaking tables at Akbik:
So if you like the “global well-traveled” style, I hope this unveiled a secret that would instantly make your room look a touch exotic.
Can I bribe you to place an order for this? If you do, then there’s only 58 to go …
Yes, this shelf will be made only if there are enough orders for it. (You can order here.)
Rajasthani artisans are awaiting carving it with traditional methods passed down through generations, father to son, maybe uncle to nephew.
Then they will paint it indigo blue.
Please, let’s get enough orders together so that 60 homes can enjoy this shelf. Including mine! :)
Also, I do have an affiliate relationship with World Market but did not set up affiliate links on this post because I’m so shamelessly begging you to order this! Maybe that makes me a dumb blogger, finance-wise. But I think it’s only fair to offer more value in return for affiliate links! Like a DIY tutorial, or spending my time finding something hard-to-find so that you don’t have to spend your time doing that.
So, let’s go back to ogling this shelf. You know, it’s 49″ long. Long enough to hold a bunch of framed photos, or painting canvas. If I am lucky enough to get this, I may use it to set wall art on it.
And, can we have a conversation about that wall?! Yes, let’s. I think that wall treatment is also needed. The lightly patterned peeling paper scraps. The color. Did you see my recent post about curry color?
The internet connects the world together and I recently heard of a new entrepreneurial way to connect those of us who love Moroccan style directly with the artisans who make the wares. The idea is to structure things so that the majority of the product price goes directly to the artisans. With all the steps to bring handmade products from around the world to us consumers, we’re often unaware that often only a small fraction of the price we pay goes to the original craftspeople. The idea is to develop a more direct connection between us and the artisans, to help them build a better sustainable income for their families and communities which are often isolated from Morocco’s popular tourist centers and shopping souks. It’s doing business while doing good — I like that idea!
First let me tempt you with some Moroccan style, then I will tell you more about MoroCrafts, the company behind the idea. These products are all for sale as part of a Kickstarter campaign. As of today’s post, there are 12 days left in the campaign — the campaign ends February 15 — and they’re already about 70% to goal!
You can get colorful teapots:
Or cute mini tagines, perfect for jewelry storage and gift giving:
And true to the spirit of the venture, here are some of the artisans who make teapots and mini tagines. MoroCrafts wants to be able to connect you directly with these craftspeople:
There are candles with shadowy glow similar to the popular pierced metal Moroccan lanterns:
The artisans are good at creating products, but they don’t necessarily know how to run a business or a packing and shipping operation. This is why there are community managers like Yasmina to help take care of those things:
The world has gone crazy for Moroccan rugs like Beni Ouarain and kilim:
Through MoroCrafts, it’s like you’re purchasing rugs directly from the artisans who make these rugs:
Lanterns as blue as the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech:
Right now on Kickstarter until February 15, you can help support MoroCrafts’ idea — there are teapots, jewelry, handbag clutches, rugs, metal lanterns, candles, a whole variety of products for their launch. And they say the artisans are excited and can’t wait to make more! Here’s more about the venture in a video:
This isn’t just a starry dream — MoroCrafts has some serious thought and support behind the idea. I know a thing or two about entrepreneurship — my first job out of college for years was at an organization that helped entrepreneurs grow their businesses, I’ve been an entrepreneur in the past with a catalog and website during the very early days of the Internet (crazy times!) and my husband is an entrepreneur, revolutionizing how predictive analytics is done. So I know it’s important to have certain things in place beyond your dreams. MoroCrafts has knowledge about supply chain management — important when you want to develop a new way to get products from where they’re created to consumers around the world, and mentorship backing at MIT. The founder is from Morocco and served as an advisor to the Moroccan Ministry of Handicraft and Social Solidarity Economy so there’s “on the ground” knowledge.
I was drawn both to the business acumen as well as the idea of changing the situation for artisans who are isolated from the tourist shopping centers and don’t have access to sell their wares. For many of them, what they do is their only source of income. I think the fantastic thing the internet brings to the world is the ability to truly connect us all together, from our biggest cities to people in the remotest areas. You can think of this as a modern day souk — a digital souk.
Follow the MoroCrafts journey to connect you with Morocco’s craftspeople on Facebook, Kickstarter(if you want to support this, hurry, the campaign ends February 15!) and their website.
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