Designing Historical Narratives With AphroChic
AphroChic, the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, is one of the more impressive design couples we have come across. AphroChic was born as a passion project for Jeanine, a former policy attorney, and Bryan, a Ph.D. student, to pursue their infatuation with the intersection of culture and design. To emulate their collective vision, the couple coined the phrase “Modern.Soulful.Style.” – a design aesthetic and process that embraces culture and contemporary home furnishings represented in narrative, modern design.
Since its inception in 2007, AphroChic has become a leader in the realm of modern culture and design and has expended their business to provide interior design services and a line of culturally-inspired home decor products, including a paint collection with Colorhouse. Most recently, AphroChic has been producing the Sneak Peek with HGTV, a house tour series exclusively for HGTV’s Facebook Live channel. Here, the impressively talented design-duo shares the evolution of their business, the birth of their signature style “Modern.Soulful.Style” and their passion for merging culture and modern furnishings to create soulful spaces for clients.
“Our content and products are part of an eco-system that supports our larger work – creating spaces with that blend of modern, soulful style.”
B: For me, it’s all about history. I write an occasional series called Design Geek. It’s where I examine the history and development of a specific design style, e.g., mud cloth. When you look at history, you can study something that’s on-trend today, such as chevron, and it has a history to it that is thousands of years old. I want to understand that and bring it into our projects. I also want to share that history with our clients. It’s so important that we are inspired, but that we also inspire them, and inform them of a historical narrative behind a piece.
B: AphroChic has always been a digital brand. We started online as a site that was bringing a diverse discussion to the design industry. We wanted to highlight culture in the world of interiors, and did through our content and products. Over ten years, we also grew into a full-scale interior design brand, working mainly on commercial projects. And that online DNA we’ve always had is still with us. Our content and products are part of an eco-system that supports our larger work – creating spaces with that blend of modern, soulful style. We can bring items like our paint into a project. We can develop custom colors that meet a client’s needs. And through our site and social channels we can also tell the story of that project, bringing them behind-the-scenes on Instagram, giving them links to what we used to bring it to life on the website, and sharing with them the news of any features of it on Facebook. The digital supports the design process.
“We spend each day together and we love it. We enjoy each other. None of this feels like work, it’s just our life together.”