As an architect and interior designer I am inspired by many things but none more than the Ndebele women of South Africa. One hallmark of Ndebele culture is that women are in charge of decorating the gates and outside walls of the umuzi, the family compound, using plaster and paint. The colorful graphic for the Ikumba logo was inspired by the symbols used in Ndebele house painting.
Another aspect of Ndebele culture found in their architecture is the presence in a typical Ndebele family home of an ikumba, a woman's room. The ikumba is considered a woman's special, private place. It is in the ikumba where the woman of the house holds her personal and prized possessions. The ikumba is painted by the woman artist and marked off from the rest of the house by interior walls and curtains. It is a private space that even family members must ask permission to enter. Strangers must establish trust and respect before they are invited in. Virginia Woolf would have been envious.
So, now, as I make my own personal and career transformation from managing my design studio to world traveler I have created this site as an ikumba to showcase the artisan made home furnishings, decor and accessories I've discovered around the globe.
Every Ikumba Artisan product purchase has a direct, positive impact for the artisan. I source and partner with companies that adhere to Fair Trade standards including fair wages, community development, and environmental sustainability. I call this transformative shopping. Not only can you transform your home but also transform lives thus transforming the world.
Ikumba is my curated collection of home furnishings, decor and accessories that represents my design aesthetic of multi-culturalism, clean lines and vibrant colors. My hope is to inspire you with the senses of a world traveler, cultural explorer and the confidence to use the colors you love in your own home. No matter what your personal style is I encourage you to color outside of the lines, add a little or a lot of color to your home and indulge yourself in design that liberates your self-expression. That's IkumbaStyle.
To all of you - Welcome to my Ikumba!
Marlene C. McGuire
I'd love to hear from you and follow you on social media sites. Feel free to contact me.