Are you a new mom or buying a gift for a new mom? We have the perfect list for you. One of the best gifts you can give a baby is time and especially while you are reading. If you need some help beefing up your children’s library, today we are featuring 10 African American […]
“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
There is nothing more important than spending time with your family, especially for a Black Southern Belle. We all have memories of eating dinner, going on vacation and laughing with our families. Today we are highlighting just that and have curated Vintage Images of African American Families We Love! Vintage Images of African American Families We […]
Do you love learning about history and also love southern food? We have the perfect list for you today. From Gullah food to whole hog BBQ, there are a number of cuisines to explore in the spectrum of soul food. My favorite soul food is influenced by church celebrations and today we are giving you […]
It is never to early to start planning for summer vacations and what better way to do that than through reading some great books. Today we are sharing Our Favorite Books on African American Beaches. If you love history and enjoy spending time on the water, these books are perfect for you. Take a trip through […]
Today we are featuring some of our favorite Images of Coretta Scott King. These images exude her classic grace and elegance as long as a little bit of her fun and playful side playing the roles of activist, wife, mom and more. She is the shining example of a Black Southern Belle and we are […]
What could be better than savoring the taste of Lowcountry cuisine from award-winning restaurants in Charleston? Enjoying them while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the Holy City, of course. With its warm climate and gorgeous sunsets over the Charleston Harbor, you couldn’t ask for a perfect place to wine, dine, and unwind. Here are the Top 10 […]
Today we are featuring a beautiful Kernersville, NC Wedding with Garden Style. This northern bride has decided to put her family and marriage roots in the South. Her beautiful garden-inspired wedding left us speechless and we are so honored to share the story of her nuptials. Take some time to get inspired with this beautiful garden […]
Spring is right around the corner and we can’t wait. There is nothing more fun than a garden party in the Spring, especially one planned by a Back Southern Belle. Today we are featuring a beautiful Pink and Green Inspired Dinner Party in Gainesville, GA and hope it gives you all the inspiration you need […]
Family reunion planning is in full swing a few months out before summer. Feeling a little overwhelmed as you get things started? We have some resources to make the process the easier and ultimately fun. To get you started with planning, we have curated Books on How to Plan Your African American Family Reunion. Whether it […]
Do you love crafting and DIY? Of course, you do, you are a Black Southern Belle. For as long as I can remember, there were always women in my life making fun and unique crafts. If you want to learn more about the roots of crafting, these 5 Books About African American Artisans and Crafting are […]