Sometimes in life, a sharp right-hand turn is necessary. That was certainly the case for London-based Eva Sonaike, a former fashion journalist who saw a gap in the market for high-end African interiors brands. And what began as a side-hustle cushion collection for friends while she was on maternity leave, very quickly became a going concern.
Eva’s Nigerian heritage and sharp eye for colour and pattern are at the heart of her beautiful textiles. Completely self-taught, she set out with a dream of bringing the vibrancy of African fabrics to luxury home decor. Fast-forward 12 years, and her joyful, hypnotic patterns can be found in many stylish homes, on cushions, pouffes, lampshades and more.
What we find most amazing about Eva’s fabrics is that they work as well in a pared-back, modern space as they do in an opulent, maximalist one. There’s something about her playful use of colour that makes each piece a kind of interior-transformer, elevating whatever other pieces you have in the room. It doesn’t need to match anything else you own to fit in seamlessly and quickly become something you love.
5 questions with Eva Sonaike
What are your favourite pieces in the collection?
I absolutely love our pouffes. They are so versatile, and clients (and me) use them as seating options, footstools, side tables or even bedside tables. They are handmade in Britain and are an easy way to add a touch of colour to any home.
Are there any Instagram interiors accounts that you love?
I am obsessed with Kit Kemp’s design thread (@kitkempdesignthread) as I love her use of colour and pattern. Another Instagram account that inspires me is AAKS (@a.a.k.s), a Ghana-based company that specialises in handwoven bags and baskets. Not solely interiors, but I love the colours and the ethos and am a big fan of the brand.
Where do you find the inspiration for your prints?
I usually travel a lot and find inspiration for my prints and colours when I am abroad, especially on the African continent. When I am out there, I’m like a sponge, picking up any form of visual information, be it fashion, art, architecture or everyday life. There is beauty in everything. When I am back in London, I translate all this into my prints.
What is the key to combining printed fabrics in your home?
One of the key elements is to develop a colour scheme that complements your style and personality. If you are unsure of how to start, use one feature colour and add printed fabrics in this hue into your scheme. If you are more confident, try mixing different colours and patterns, but make sure you always have one focal point or statement piece that integrates with the overall scheme.
Where is your ultimate staycation?
I have friends in the Chew Valley, just outside of Bristol, and love the area. It is perfect for long country walks, and the villages out there are very picturesque – great pubs and restaurants, too. A perfect change of scenery from busy London.