How we live home tour with Orien Carter
Influenced by the music and films of the 80's and 90's Orien Carter was born to create. Her willingness to roll up her sleeves and add character to her home one DIY project at a time is inspiring.
We often feel like our home has to look a certain way based on trends or magazines; what I love about Orien's home and philosophy to decorating is it's your home, your rules. Decorate your home the way you want.
Let's take a look at her Northern, New Jersey home filled with beautiful DIY projects, African accents and personal style.
I like to say that I was created to create. My background is in event coordinating and design. Running my event business led me to creating and selling wedding and event favors and accessories such as wedding brooms for the tradition of jumping the broom. I began sharing my life as a creative mom on YouTube and Instagram in 2021 under the name “I Put The O In Mom”.
How would you describe your decorating style in three words and who or what influenced that style? Personally, I don’t subscribe to any design style, but if I had to, I would say that it’s eclectic, soulful, and cultured. My mother has 100% influenced my style. Being an “Afro Boho” plant mom is quite trendy now. I like to say my mother is the OG of that style. I get my, “make it work” attitude and love for thrifting from her as well.
Do you have keepsakes or family heirlooms incorporated into your home decor? If so, what are they and why was it important to incorporate them?I have both of my grandparent’s bibles on my bookshelf. They’ve both passed on, so it’s a privilege to be in possession of something like that. The built-in bookshelves in this house are one of my favorite features. So, I was intentional about what and how things are displayed. Those certainly had to make the cut.
What was one major decorating challenge you faced in your home and how did you solve it? Having an older home has been the biggest challenge. It’s an old colonial my husband and I purchased as a young couple. Older homes require more work which equals more money.
I’ve done most of it little by little over time. The larger projects that were out of my zone of genius we’re designed by me but carried out by our handyman. It’s still a work in progress but has come a mighty long way. Watching it become our own has been rewarding
Why was it important for you to incorporate African decor in your home? What types do you have and what countries are represented? I’m a bit of a homebody, so it’s important that my home feels good. Having our culture and heritage surrounding us feels right and welcoming. I would compare it to the difference between being in a room full of strangers, versus being in a room full of family and friends. If that makes sense.
In our home there is lots of African and African inspired art and décor. Including Mud cloth pillows, curtains, Zimbabwean bowls, Baoule art from the Ivory Coast and more.
For those that are hesitant to incorporate African decor into their space or don’t know where to start, what's one piece of advice you’d give them? I would say don’t be afraid to do it your way. I like to say, “My house, my rules” Don’t feel like your design approach has to look like everyone else’s. And have some fun learning about the cultural items that you may incorporate in your design.
If you were hosting a dinner party, what three people would you invite and why? My three dinner party guests would be The Singer Ari Lennox. I feel like her music is the best of old and new school music combined and I would love to write a song with her over dinner.
The second guest would be my sister because I always have the best time with her. And last I would say either Amanda Seales or Charlemagne The God because I enjoy good thought provoking conversations and/or debate.
At Reflektion Design our mantra is, See Yourself at Home. How does your home reflect who you are? My home reflects me because it has me written all over it. There is evidence of my love for art and music, especially hip hop, R&B and soul.
The 80’s and 90’s era music, tv and movies greatly shape who I am. The patterns, textures and color choices also help reflect me and my style. Most importantly my creativity is on display because our home is full of décor elements that I’ve made myself. Every single room has my influence on it and our culture’s influences on me. Which I hope will have an impact on our children.
Also, my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/VisionPossibleCCC (CreatiOns) where you can purchase some of my creations.
Looking for African decor that reflects who you are? Head to the shop: www.reflektiondesign.com
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What is your favorite design element in Orien's home? Use the comment section below to let me know what you think!
P.S If you enjoyed this home tour, check out our previous tour featuring nursing professor, Jennifer DuBois you're gonna love it!