Walking through Harper Poe’s home is like visiting the global souvenir shop of our dreams. As the owner of textile brand Proud Mary, she’s curated a home that’s every bit as traveled and authentic as her humanitarian line: cushions from Mali, ceramics from Cote d’Ivoire, and ornaments from Morocco are just a few of her collected treasures. We admire Harper’s eye for colorful prints just as much as we admire her dedication to creating a business that’s built on fair trade. Working with the simple motto “pride not pity,” Harper’s business is built on generating sustainable industry in countries around the globe — so we’re not surprised that this entrepreneur’s colorful home is every bit as well-traveled and thoughtful as she is.
photography by olivia rae james
You’ve traveled all over the world. What are some of the destinations and cultures that have most influenced your home?
I am influenced by everywhere I travel but mostly warm places where indoor outdoor living is prominent — Mexico, Morocco, Greece…
Ceramics by a Tunisian artist that I picked up at a craft fair in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, a basket from Niger and Proud Mary shoes from Morocco.
A vintage hat from Guatemala, Fulani hat from Mali, cross from Mexico, and ‘Hand of Fatima’ from Morocco (a symbol of protection).
This photograph was shot by my friend Sam Kweskin. On the couch is a Fulani blanket from Mali and Proud Mary pillows from Mali.
Your favorite room in the house?
The living room, because it has the greatest concentration of all my favorite travel souvenirs and art.
A caftan I picked up in Abidjan by a group of weavers/dyers in the North of Cote d’Ivoire.
What’s your best piece of advice on how to turn a house into a home?
Fill it with tchotchkes from your life and travels, they don’t have to “match” — but they’ll humanize your space.
My leather bag from Cinceros, Mexico, an ornament that was a gift from the gals at St. Frank, and a drawing given to me by hosts at Abidjan craft fair.
What’s been the biggest challenge in decorating your space?
My apartment is a rental and the kitchen cabinets, kitchen fixtures, and bath fixtures are not what I myself would choose, so I have to work around them and try and make them “disappear.”
Your current favorite color palette for home?
White walls, neutral furniture, and pops of peach, pinks, black, and blues from textiles and accessories.
Your perfect house party playlist:
West African music; Amadou and Mariam, Ali Farka, Vieux Farka, Tinariwen.
What do you love most about your home?
Tall ceilings and old French doors going from the kitchen to the porch.
Your style philosophy?
Equal parts high and low. If I wear overalls, I’ll pair with a cute pair of shoes and some gold jewels. Same with my home, I never want things to look to polished, adding different textures and equal parts old and new feel good to me.
Your interior design style in five words or less:
Ethnic-modern, crafty, global with a touch of traditional.
The design rule you never break:
My only design rule is not to have a design rule!
What house projects do you have planned for the future?
A new low profile sectional sofa and some comfy porch chairs.
Your dream house guests?
My friends are very spread out around the world so I would welcome any of them with open arms at any time.
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