African express: how bright textiles brought one London home to life | Life and style

Eva Sonaike’s journey to becoming a textile designer began when she realised she could no longer stand the bland character of the small flat she and her husband used to share. “I was on maternity leave and I felt the need to make it warm, welcoming and more ‘us’,” she says. Eva headed to London’s Petticoat Lane market and bought bolts of bright African wax fabrics to make into cushion covers, throws and curtains.

“As a quick fix, it worked,” she says. “Of course, I now know that those materials aren’t right for upholstery – too flimsy, not colourfast and so on. But it made me see very clearly how vibrant fabrics can bring joy into a space.”

Ten years later,…

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