Today we are featuring one of the most important leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. A Mississippi native and political power house, Hamer is a truly powerful Black Southern Belle. Today we are showcasing her power through 12 Prolific Images of Fannie Lou Hamer. Hamer shaped the world we live in today and we are honored […]
“AfroChic” – the style of connecting black America with the spirit of Africa. This style was not only reflective in fashion, but was very much inclusive in home décor. In many homes of Black America, this unique and cultural décor created an ethnic style that bonded ancestry to the present. Capturing that essence and visually presenting the creative and artistic dimensions of the Afro-vibe in home décor, Denys Davis, co-author of the book “The Spirit of African Design” did just that!
The purpose of the book was to showcase homes that featured an Afro vibe, unlike a traditional home decorating book. Across the diaspora, an infusion of African art, fabrics, and other home décor pieces were being displayed, exhibited, adorned and treasured.
As a child, Denys’ parents, maternal grandmother, and many aunts and uncles shared experiences and stories about their trips to the African continent. Fortunately, for her they never failed in bringing her an interesting trinket from their travels. Birthday presents always included artwork, visits to New York museums and gallery openings, Broadway plays, and African art books.
As college student, Denys focused on the arts. After graduating, she was among the first five people hired by Ikea Company as a designer for their first United States store. In that position, she traveled to Scandinavia, Europe and many other places. “I loved my time there, but I wanted to explore my African roots through design,” said Denys. After leaving Ikea, she traveled to West Africa and upon her return to the states, she found her niche in interior design and co-authored her first book.
After a lengthy book tour, she took a few years off to regroup. “I toyed with the idea of owning a home and design store, but the cost of real estate and rent seemed out of reach” says Denys.
Instead she embarked on another avenue to satisfy her design spirit. She began scouring thrift stores and used furniture stores to seek out “good bones’ furniture pieces and began her redesigned vintage furniture business.
She also incorporated a line of African tote bags in her “DesignZuri” brand.
DesignZuri is the name of her boutique. Zuri is the Swahili word for “beautiful” Designzuri celebrates the extraordinary, creative wealth and global influence of African design. “Through the exploration and reinterpretation of diverse cultural influences, we bring a fresh approach to African design. I hope you will enjoy our products and visit often.” Denys Davis.
Welcome Home to “The Spirit of Africa”.
One of her most pivotal moments is when she co-curated an installation at The Colored Girls Museum located in Philadelphia, PA. She and her friend, Monna Morton, a graphics artist, created the washerwoman room. The room pays homage to domestic workers post slavery. The memoir museum honors the stories, experiences and history of Colored Girls.
Denys’ love for design and art runs in her genes as she has a host of family members who inspire her and mentor her. From her uncle William H Brown and cousin William H Brown II who are prominent architects to her aunt and uncle, Barbara and George Carter, both who were accomplished NYC artists is adequate inspiration to nurture her creativity. Even though Ikea’s African line didn’t last long, it didn’t stop her from exploring all she could and bring African design to the forefront for home décor. What’s next in her spirit – we’ll have to wait and see. But you can keep up with her on Instagram at DesignZuri
Sring is here and we are ready for outdoor entertaining. If you are looking for some inspiration for tips on how to create a southern inspired outdoor oasis, we have exactly what you need. We partnered with Home Depot for the Patio Style Challenge. Using products from Home Depot’s Mix and Match collection, we were […]
From Daisy Bates to Oprah Winfrey, black women in the South have blazed the trails of journalism. We reached out to black female journalists — women who are either from the South or who now call the region home– to ask them how they found their voices for storytelling. We also asked them to recommend […]
Spring is here and that means it is time to pull out your favorite southern styles. Nothing says spring in the South quite like a great plaid piece. This forever classic pattern adds a bit of chic to any outfits. Today we have Tips for Styling with Plaid from Unlikely Martha and Unlikely Market. These […]
Do you want to add a little touch of elegance to your home? Antiques are a great way to start. Whether you have a modern condo or a classic Victorian dwelling, antiques are always a great way to add layered style to any southern home. With help from Tennessee based Interior Designer, Chad James, we […]
Mother’s Day is right around the girl. Every Black Southern Belle has a mother or mother figure who helped shaped them into who they are. Why not celebrate your mom with a stylish gift. Today we have a curated list of Black Owned Mother’s Day Gifts from Effie’s Paper. These gifts are sure to be a […]
Do you love music and home decor? Why not blend those two interests together. If you want to add a bit of soul to your home, check out these African American Album Covers to Use as Art. You can choose from any era or any genre, these are favorite ways to add some personality to any […]
Derby season is here and we can’t be more excited. There is nothing like a cocktail dress in the Spring to get you excited for Derby fun but the most important element for a Black Southern Belle is her hat. Today we are sharing African American Kentucky Derby Hat Inspiration to help you plan your outfit […]
Looking to add some unique style to your Black Southern Belle home? Nothing is better than a unique gallery wall. Today we are sharing African American Movie Posters to Add to Your Gallery Wall. If you love movies and decor, this list is the perfect way to have a fun and easy DIY project to […]
What is better than one cute kid? Two of course. Today we are celebrating the beauty of twin children. We have curated images of African American Twins Kids Too Cute to Miss. We can’t get enough of these vintahe photo and precious duos. Have a special pair of twins in your life? Sharing their image with […]