Eva Sonaike is a London-based interiors company specializing in luxury home textiles and soft furnishings with a distinctive and vibrant West-African aesthetic. The company’s ethos ‘Bringing Colour to Life’ is reflected in its signature collections of cushions, rugs, fabrics and furnishings using textiles designed by Eva Sonaike. Starting in the editorial world, Eva uses her vast knowledge of the interiors industry and fashion to inform her work, while always being driven by her passion for African textiles and vibrancy. Her designs are widely favored and stocked worldwide in prestigious stores such as Globus in Switzerland, Temple Muse and Alara in Lagos.
The pattern found continuing through the wallpaper, pouffe and pillow gently placed on top is Eva Sonaike’s signature batik-style. The geometric pattern is modern and stylish, perfectly adding some beauty to any given space.
Reed Davis: How has your heritage inspired your work?
Eva Sonaike: My work is a mixture of my West African Yoruba heritage and German upbringing. It’s where color, vibrancy and bold pints meet my structure, organization and clarity. My transcultural heritage and upbringing makes me who I am.
Reed: Would you like to see more collaboration and connectivity amongst African designers on the continent? If so, why?
Eva: Yes, I would love to see that, as there is so much talent and diverse skills on the continent, which can only enrich the world and make it a better place. United we are strong and can conquer the world! I am up for it.
In this plant-filled room sit a few of Eva Sonaike’s textiles found on cushions, lamps and pouffes. The Aburi cushion at the front of the collection of cushions is inspired by the lush Aburi Botanical Gardens in Ghana, and is filled with a luxurious feather pad giving you the highest level of comfort.
Reed: What does design mean to you? What does African design mean to you?
Eva: African design can’t be generalized. There are so many different cultures and traditions on the continent; it is so much more diverse than many people think. But what unites us all is that every culture and region has its own design style, which often dates back hundreds of years. Many of them are timeless and are translated by designers, like myself, into contemporary African design.
Reed: Where do you find peace?
Eva: In the evening, reading a book and looking at the night sky.
Reed: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
Eva: Haribo Gummi bears and Milka chocolate. The German in me…
Reed: What’s your favourite cocktail?
Eva: A whiskey sour in a cool London bar after a hard day at work. Nothing can top that.
The soft sage light is the Asa lampshade on a velvet base. Versatile and sophisticated, this lampshade can be used as a table lamp or ceiling lamp lending a warm glow to any space.
Reed: What would be your dream project?
Eva: I am dreaming of building a modern, floating bungalow in the mountains above Accra in Ghana, West Africa. The base wall and flooring would all be in concrete with large glass windows overlooking the lush Aburi valley. I would kit the place out with my colourful soft furnishings and bespoke furniture made in Africa. Minimalist African elegance.
Reed: What are your beauty secrets?
Eva: 7-8 hours of sleep and Moringa Leaf tea every morning.
Reed: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Eva: Believe in your dreams. They will be your reality tomorrow.
About The Designer | Creative Director Eva Sonaike graduated with an MA in Fashion Journalism from the London College of Fashion, where she specialised in contemporary African fashion and textiles. She then pursued an editorial career working as UK Fashion Editor for one of Germany’s leading magazine publishers for six years, working for titles such as German Elle, InStyle and Focus from their London office.
Driven by her enormous passion for African fabrics and interior design, she set up the company in 2009 with the mission of bringing the vibrancy of African colours and aesthetics to the luxury home-décor and interior design market. Eva, who was born and raised in Germany and is of Nigerian origin, has taken the best elements of both cultures to inspire her work – her designs draw from the two distinct influences of colourful African textile traditions and European antique and mid-century furniture. With textiles expertly printed and products manufactured in the UK, Eva Sonaike stays true to her concept of ‘Bringing Colour to Life’, celebrating a luxury African way of life, that perfectly complements modern contemporary living.
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