FASHIONABLE FURNISHINGS

By Amanda Black | Photography Anne Rhett

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Celadon, a free-spirited home furnishings store in Mount Pleasant, features items of décor from every corner of the world—think Romania, Indonesia and Mali. In the company’s eclectic showroom, handwoven African baskets rub shoulders with plush velvet couches, and block-printed bedding stands next to hand-painted greeting cards. Sound like a mash-up? Not at all. Somehow, everything just fits.

Character and theme connect every piece the store carries, thanks to head buyer Rebecca Hawkins and her savvy team. “We curate a space filled with all kinds of different, unique items,” she says. “We find diamonds in the rough.”

If you think Hawkins goes to trade show after trade show, you’d be right, but there’s a lot more to her job. As she hops around the world, she meets interesting characters along the way. They, in turn, lead her to those diamonds she talks about—undiscovered gems from tiny companies and gifted artisans.

Recently, she took a trip to spice up your home with celadon’s take on international trends what she calls the “fashion week of furniture,” Maison et Objet, a Parisian trade fair that features the hottest designs from all over the world. When she returned we asked which trends impressed her most—and how she’s integrated them into Celadon’s collections.

Refinished Turkish Rugs
Forget what you know about tired, old Turkish rugs. Gone are the dated designs and dark, antique colors. They have been replaced with fresh styles and bright hues, says Hawkins.

The scoop: Crafters in Turkey are taking old, traditional Turkish rugs, mostly made between the 1920s and 1960s, and updating their look. High-pile rugs with old-school colors, says Hawkins, “are being shaved down, bleached and re-dyed in funky, cool colors.”

Woven Pendants
Raw, natural materials are putting a new spin on oversize pendant lights. Artisans use everything from water hyacinths to rattan and other organic materials to achieve a beautiful structural look.

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The scoop: Hawkins notes that the larger woven pendants, with their intentionally imperfect look, were everywhere in Paris. She says: “These pendants bring so much drama to a room! We source from two female-owned businesses—one in Indonesia and another in Vietnam. We can’t wait for our spring trip to Southeast Asia to bring our own ideas to the makers we work with.”

Ode To Old-World Europe
If you’re tired of mass-produced furniture, you’re not alone. It seems that nowadays the adage “They just don’t make it like they used to” still applies, which is why some regions of the world are taking another look at how past generations built their pieces.

“I was on a buying trip in India,” Hawkins recalls, “when one of our suppliers told me to check out what’s going on in Romania. We found so many amazing things there!” Among them were reproductions of classic French furniture. “Artisans hand paint the finishes on reclaimed pine wood, ” says Hawkins. “The soft blues, grays and creams give their pieces a distressed, vintage look that’s timeless.”

African Accents
The diverse cultures of Africa have much to offer, from unique textiles to exotic flora and fauna. It’s no surprise then that Hawkins, on recent scouting trips, has noticed that the design world is paying homage to Africa.

The scoop: “We import beautiful mud cloth and indigo-dyed textiles from Mali,” Hawkins says. “While the indigo plant is found all around the world, it is largely connected to Africa.” But today’s fascination with Africa goes beyond textiles. Large-scale portrait photography of tribesmen and oversize necklaces meant for display are just a few items finding their way into sophisticated homes.

Amanda Black is a writer and editor living in Charleston.