Modern Soulful Style and Jeanine Hays

I want to introduce you to one of the most fabulous and talented woman I know...she does it all. Jeanine Hays is the founder of AphroChic. She is a blogger, product designer, and now an author. I have been following her AphroChic blog for years. On her blog, she features stylish interiors that carry a vibrant and lived in aesthetic. Join our conversation below where we discuss modern soulful style, her inspirations, and what's next for the multi-talented blogger/designer.

LAMPS PLUS: How would you define modern soulful style?

JEANINE HAYS: I have always been a fan of modern design. When I started the blog, the desire was to feature modern interiors that were distinctive - that reflected on culture, diversity, and that really reflected the life, personality, and history of the person who lived there. That's what modern, soulful, style is all about - modern homes with soul and  personal touch that tells a story.

LAMPS PLUS: How have you incorporated soulful style into your own home?

JEANINE HAYS: In my own home there are a lof of soulful touches. There are pieces that mean a lot to me. I am currently curating an art wall in my living room and am starting with pieces from designers whose work I have covered on the blog. Everyone I've ever written about, their art has really touched me, and many times I find it reflective of some part of me. You'll find a bit of my personal style everywhere at home. That's what makes it a home and what I love about it.

AphroChic Wallpaper

LAMPS PLUS: Where do you find your inspiration?

JEANINE HAYS: I am really inspired by the city that I live in. There is such a soulful vibe in Philadelphia. It's a very laidback place with a musical and artistic spirit. It's hard to turn a corner and not be inspired by something you see or hear in this city. I'm also inspired by culture. Whenever I travel, I try to learn something new about the place that I'm visiting. Learning about the way people live is very inspiring.

LAMPS PLUS: Right now, I am obsessed with...

JEANINE HAYS: Rugs. In trying to find a new rug for my living room, I discovered how difficult it was to find one that really fits my personal style. There's a lot of contemporary designs out there, but so many rugs are "safe" and don't offer an interesting design.

LAMPS PLUS: What is your current color crush? How does that color make you feel?

JEANINE HAYS: On the moodboard in my office, I've been exploring orange and navy blue. It's such a beautiful palette and perfect for fall. I think it feels warm. Blue can be such a cool shade, but with a nice burnt orange tone next to it, it feels toasty and warm.

AphroChic Shower Curtain

LAMPS PLUS: Who is your favorite designer?

JEANINE HAYS: Ilse Crawford. Her interiors continue to inspire me. I love her use of color, texture, and unique finishes in a space. She can even take a commercial environment, like a restaurant, and make it feel cozy and warm. She definitely understands soulful design.

LAMPS PLUS: What type of content can readers find on the AphroChic blog?

JEANINE HAYS: The blog is all about the things I love - modern homes, interesting products from around the globe, work by up-and-coming artists, and interviews with designers who inspire. It's a real treasure trove of beautiful, modern design with soul.

LAMPS PLUS: What is your advice for turning a house into a warm and welcoming home?

JEANINE HAYS: To be warm and welcoming, your home must showcase who you are. There are a few things that it should include such as art. Art is so personal; it takes your walls from blank slates to something visualy interesting. Even a few prints from your favorite artist will help to warm your space. Color is also important. Think beyond the typical beige or white walls and decorate your home in a color that you love, that makes you feel happy, and that will make you smile every time you come home. Finally, bring in items that tell your story - those can be pieces from recent travels or family heirlooms. Don't just fill your home with anything, but with things that you will love over time and that have meaning to you.

AphroChic Table Linens

LAMPS PLUS: What Lamps Plus table lamp are you currently craving?

JEANINE HAYS: I love the Robert Abbey Delta Schiaparelli Table Lamp in pink. It's that perfect grapefruit pink that is such a fun hue. It looks like a piece of really fun jewelry.

Robert Abbey Delta Schiaparelli Table Lamp in pink


LAMPS PLUS: I hear you are in the process of putting together your very first book! What else do you have up your sleeve?

JEANINE HAYS: It's mostly about the book right now. It's a huge project, where we are featuring homes from all around the country that feature modern, soulful style in action. Right now my team and I are in the midst of photoshoots in New York and then we are on to Philly, D.C., Los Angeles, and Boston. It's one of the greatest projects I've ever had the opportunity to work on. It's fantastic to be able to crystalize the AphroChic design philosophy into a book format. We're also working on an e-book component as well, so we're working on some special content for those who love to read books on their iPad or Kindle. But even with all of that going on, don't be suprised if you see a new AphroChic product line debuting in 2012.

Be sure to venture over to AphroChic to check out the blog, product line, and upcoming events.

Images: Courtesy of AphroChic