Tour a Textile Designer's Colorful, Artsy London Flat

British textile designer Eva Sonaike brings a unique cultural and design perspective to her bold, bright digs.

By: Jeanine Hays

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

Photo By: Eva Sonaike

A Crossroads of Culture

Eva Sonaike exists at a fascinating crossroads of cultures. Sonaike was born and raised in Germany to Nigerian parents and lives in Finchley, a leafy suburb in North London. There, among other things, she is the founder and creative director of her own brand of textiles and products produced for the home market. Like the designer herself, the brand is a self-professed blend of African and European aesthetics. With a focus on color and pattern, Eva brought the same energetic style to designing her beautifully renovated four bedroom, Thirties-era, semi-detached house.

An Enticing Entryway

Sonaike sees telling a story as central to the creation of her luxury home products. The same storytelling approach can be seen in the designer’s home. Starting with her entryway, Sonaike used an understated blend of white and gold to set the stage. The area rug and pendant shade are both from the designer’s own collection, and create the perfect marriage of luxury and a global perspective, two elements she sees as key to her design sensibility.

Start With a Classic

Colorful textiles are a perfect way to liven up a classic piece, and Sonaike has done just that with a bold display of pillows on a Chesterfield sofa that define the color story of her living area.

Speaking Through Art

Bold art is one of the biggest statements in Sonaike’s living room.

Books for Days

A former fashion journalist, Sonaike is a designer with an appreciation for the written word as seen in her extensive collection of books.

Design Down to the Ground

Floor space can offer as much opportunity for creative display as the walls in your home. In front of the fireplace, Sonaike’s penchant for art at ground level is on full display as sculpted pieces sit alongside natural elements like the coral fragment and plants. "My house is like a mini museum," says Sonaike. "I travel a lot, especially in Africa and always bring objects that I carefully select and cherish with me."

An Eye-Catching Dining Room

An enduring love of color is one of the cornerstones of Sonaike’s style. It begins with her collection and continues in her home, where an explosion of bright, energetic blues, oranges and yellows distinguishes her dining room.

Tying it All Together With Art

Just as in the living room, Sonaike uses art as a central element of her dining room design. This piece ties the color palette together, echoing the yellows, blues and oranges in the space. The work, by Nigerian artist Damola Adepoju has a very special place in Sonaike’s heart. "My husband and I have very different tastes, but we saw that painting in a gallery in Lagos and both fell in love with it."

The Best of Both Worlds

Sonaike describes her style as taking the best of African and European design and combining those elements into a single aesthetic as with this vintage credenza styled with objects that speak to her African ancestry.

Space for the Kids

Though the design is all Sonaike's, she shares the space with her husband and two children. The colors in her daughter's bedroom are a little brighter, the wallpaper a bit more whimsical, but the love of pattern shines through. "I try to source unique items, that you won’t find in every home and I feel my house reflects my family, our cultural background and the things we love to the core," says Sonaike.

Her Personal Sanctuary

A serene palette of purple, white and light gray makes Sonaike's bedroom her favorite room in the house. "It is the least colorful, but I love the calmness and the light in there. Like all Londoners, we work very hard and city life can get quite stressful, so I love to relax in my bedroom in the evening."

Curating Vignettes

Sonaike has curated some stunning vignettes around her home that speak to her design aesthetic. In the master bedroom, a cowrie shell necklace, collection of perfumes and a keepsake mold of her child’s foot and handprint use design to tell Sonaike's story.

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