White Walls and Dark Floors

That last post was a little heavy, let’s lighten things up a little. Speaking of lightening things up, I’m debating white walls. See what I did there? Textbook segue.

Right now, the condo is ensconced in a light, dove-gray. Gray is my favourite colour—or shade, for you purists. But stark white walls coupled with ample natural light just screams “refreshing” as soon as you walk through the door. And a delicious benefit of Brobdingnagian* proportions? The floors are dark hardwood so the contrast would be eye-popping. Literally. One’s eyes would be hard-pressed not to pop, the retina’s just drinking it all in.

Some beloved examples found on Pinterest. You can follow me on there ya know?

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*Use of the word inspired by The Big Bang Theory. Oh, Sheldon.

Not Identifying As Black

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The big chop, transitioning, pre-poo, co-washing, protective styles, twist-out, bantu knots, jojoba oil…there’s an entire vocabulary and untapped community of young, black women dedicated to the pursuit of caring for and keeping their natural, curly, kinky locks. I came across the hidden city of natural hair a few weeks ago, when I made the decision to jump the chemical-straightened-societal-pressure-ship and grow my mane naturally. The pursuit of naturalness has oddly brought some feelings to the surface that I didn’t realize existed. And I find them confusing, so let’s talk it out…

I grew up in rural Canada. My brother and I were the only black rugrats on the block, in our elementary and high schools, and among our extended Canadian family. I had no black friends growing up and wouldn’t land any until late into university. My experiences with black people only involved what I saw on TV and visits to the hairdresser’s. The latter made me MOST uncomfortable. I didn’t identify as black and all the black people at the salon knew it. I was a fraud. Thumbing through the hair style magazines while waiting for my appointment, an abundance of wigs, weaves and braids…oh my! The “natural” hairstyles consisted of dreads entwined with puka shells—their models wore African tribal prints and deep burgundy lipstick. As a 12-year-old growing up in rural Ottawa, Canada, I didn’t identify with these people. These people didn’t look like me and I sure as heck didn’t want to look like them. I wanted straight hair; like my friends, like the better-dressed women and black celebrities in the hairstyle magazines. Long, bone-straight hair. I didn’t know any different.

Earlier I said, “I didn’t identify as black”, let’s revisit that shall we? Actress Zoe Saldana took a heaping pile of flak last year for expressing her distaste in people’s obsession with race. In an interview with BET she stated “…all of a sudden you leave your household and have people always ask you, ‘What are you, what are you’ it is the most uncomfortable question…”. Growing up where I did, in the family that I grew-up in, I agree. It is uncomfortable and everybody wants to know. The need to remind me that I am black seemed fruitless; unless you’re blind. And don’t even get me started on online dating (do I have to be a certain kind of black before you can speak to me?)! Those times spent at the hairdresser, I didn’t wear tight-fighting clothes, have manicured nails or big hooped earrings. I didn’t speak with an ebonics-gangsta-don’t-mess-wit-me-tilt or hissed my teeth in derision. I wore boys’ Adidas, hated earrings, spoke quietly, and played hockey.

Recently, I’ve begun to actively seek more role models in fashion who are of colour. Because, why not? We all wanted to play with the Barbie doll that looked like us. Julia Sarr-Jamois. Solange. Robin Givhan. Shala Monroque. Tamu McPherson. Most recently, Lupita Nyong’o. While I still don’t identify as black, I am a lot of other things; mainly myself, Amoi.

Hi, good ta meet ya.

This post doesn’t nearly scratch the surface when it comes to race, but please, weigh-in. Comment below.

Moroccan Me Crazy

Moroccan Me Crazy

Last year, I reluctantly became a homeowner, the dorm room-esque decor had to go. I is adult now. And with that, the inclination to forgo IKEA in favour of Eames arose. The latter, however, far exceeds the more familiar prices of Kijiji haggling and the Swedes’ build-thine-own furniture empire. For the uninitiated, Kijiji is, more or less, the Canadian version of Craigslist. Decorating my oh-so-very-humble abode was going to take a while.

Not unlike the pursuit to clothe oneself, one eventually finds that fast fashion collaborations or Joe Fresh more than suffice. We all can’t afford to swathe ourselves in Rodarte, Tom Ford or Givenchy. Or to fill our homes with Eames, Wegner or Saarenin And not unlike the pursuit to clothe oneself does styling your outfit differ greatly from styling your living room. Thank. God.

Take this Moroccan-inspired rug; took me a glacial minute to find and it is an investment piece. As one would invest in a little black jacket à la Chanel for your closet, an area rug for your living room requires the same attributes: quality, durability, timelessness. And as with any carefully put-together ensemble, a neutral base with accents is much desired. The juxtaposition of textures, contrasts and pops of colour anchored by the achromatic…wait, I’m talking about home decor, right? Anyway, the sofa and rug wax achromatic, a jutting contrast to dark oak floors, while my accent preferences as of late have included vintage travel posters, gold, an array of pinks, and just recently, green. Like the banana leaf button-up, who wouldn’t want a hint of the tropics for a throw pillow?

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