“I like to go bold and try new things, and I love a good tub chair,” says Jenn Jackman, owner of Jenn Jackman Designs, LLC. “This Metal Loop chair features many patterns—curves, geometric shapes and straight lines—that any two people could interpret differently.”
As part of the growing trend to incorporate ethnic patterns into home design, Jackman feels this chair delivers a onetwo punch.
“I see tribal influences coming through in the diamond pattern on the base, while the inter-looping curvature of the back has a Moroccan flair,” she says. “It is not a look we normally see in the local design community.”
Jackman likes to push her clients out of their comfort zone, especially those who want change but might have reservations.
She feels the unique profile of the chair is a great way to shake up a traditional look. “Imagine them as a pair, flanking a simple, solid wood dining table—sensational,” she says.
The Metal Loop chair is designed by Noir, known as a tastemaker in the furniture industry. Its pieces are created through green construction methods using sustainable, readily available local materials. email@example.com, 843-822-7723.
Mix It Up
To Jennifer Patterson, owner of Terra Designs, ethnically inspired patterns offer a worldly feel to her clients’ interiors by infusing bold graphics with mixed wood and metals into rooms with more classical furniture. “The arches of this Moroccan-inspired lantern, with its gilt details and aged patina, caught my eye,” she says. “It has a vintage vibe, but the whitewash patina makes it perfect for a beach house or kitchen.” The Jenny lantern is made of wood, metal and resin, finished in antique white.
The patterned bone inlay in the Herringbone drawer chest by Bernhardt is another of Patterson’s favorites. “The bold black-and-white lines and handcarved bone knobs give a modern tribal feel to an otherwise traditional chest,” she says. The classic coloring creates a graphic statement against neutral-hued walls. It is versatile enough to go in a bedroom as a nightstand, or it would look great in a foyer against textured wallpaper. terradesignsinteriors.com 843-856-3991.
From the Past
Jeremy Wooten of Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers deals in items steeped in history and tradition. Many of them feature patterns that reflect the cultural influences of their time.
The Gullah tradition of weaving distinctively patterned coiled baskets, from sweetgrass, palmetto fronds or pine needles, is one of the oldest handcrafts of African origin that was introduced into the Southern colonies. It is a recognized art form still in practice today.
This authentic African pine needle and grass basket was made in the 18th or 19th century and discovered approximately 40 years ago on Lady’s Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina.
“It is incredibly rare to find a true Gullah basket from this period, especially with its lid,” Wooten says. “It is in excellent condition and creates a unique decorative accent with tons of history and character.”
From another part of the globe, comes a 19th-century Russian enamel and silver box with a historically significant design.
“This box features a pattern very much tied to the tribal roots of the country,” Wooten explains. “While Fabergé is the most famous and revered artist of this era, there were many other incredible artisans in Moscow and neighboring Russian cities who produced these beautiful objects.” wootenandwooten.com, 866-570-0144.
A Touch of the Exotic
“We are a global society,” says Jennifer Mendelsohn, founder of J. Rhodes Interior Design. “The Internet has provided us a window into homes from all over the world and design trends are reflecting this. People are exposed to these cultural influences and want to bring a touch of the exotic into their own homes.”
Mendelsohn feels linens are an easy way to introduce cultural touches without spending a fortune. She loves the Vita Indigo pillow sham for its dynamic colors and bold pattern. “It definitely has Indian influences, but it is not too ethnic,” she says. “It feels modern without being super edgy.” The 100 percent cotton sham is part of the Niche Vita bedding collection by Eastern Accents.
For a more dramatic incorporation of pattern, Mendelsohn likes the Ikat Washed Denim cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile. Featuring a chevron pattern, the handmade 8-inch tile comes in many color options, and the size is customizable. Mendelsohn feels the blue and white has both an ethnic and provincial feel and would translate well into modern or country décor “It would make an interesting kitchen backsplash or bold accent wall in the bathroom,” she says, “and it would look fantastic in the shower.” jrid.com, 843-795-9411.