Bokja- A Top 25 Interior Design Blog
Entering the vivid world of Bokja is an experience in vibrant originality.
It is a team, a store, a blog, and a purpose.
Bokja's founders, Houda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, began this beautiful endeavor in 2000, over a passion for fabrics and furniture and has "grown into a brand with a vision and a voice, while managing to maintain its sense of spontaneity and passion.
Bokja is first and foremost a design and craft studio, they say. They create singular pieces for the Interior design world that explore their rich cultural heritage and contextualize it into modern pieces that would be at home in any country. Deeply political, they use art to remember, convey and clebrate their position in the cultural crossroads of the Middle-East. This is design at its best- when it can illuminate and bridge understandings to and from other cultures.
A wash of excitement awaits all who see their beautiful work. They emphasize that it is a collaborative process, with up to 14 hands in each piece, and they stay open to "unexpected associations between unrelated things" through their rigorous curation process- the very reason for their blog.
They structure a rational explanation for their purposefully eclectic, whimsical pieces and that of the esthetic of Lebanon as a whole. "Lebanon is an interesting space to study interior design, as it is strategically postitioned at the systemic edge of Oriental and Western tendencies, giving birth to a unique aesthetic. You see cultural projections of this situation not only in interior design but also in general language, food and fashil. This situation begins to inform a siense of identity which is quite transient and reactive."
They repeatedly describe themselves as being at an intersection of influences, ideas, and information that make their unique products happen. Their work is tactile, yet their approach is cerebral.
Since we are not each able to go to their store and garden, their product gallery in downtown Beirut, go visit it by clicking here.
Our favorite things? So many that it is hard to list, but starting with their layered, patterned graphics, their team portraits (each an art piece- an embroidered "line drawing" over scraps of material- go see them to believe them!), to their insightful descriptions of their joy in the creative process.
Their actual words to us say it so well; "Our surroundings play a huge role in our inspiration. Bokja surfaces resemble an assemblage Bokja surface and , where the old exists among the new and oriental tradition fights to stay alive among contemporary western influences. The country itself situated between old and new, east and west, struggles with issues of identity and its impermanence. Accordingly, behind Bokja's surface fabrication is an underlying question of identity; how it can be created and collected, how it can travel and adapt, and how it can ultimately be shared and communicated.
The Bokja signature is its assemblage surfaces. Through trade and travel, textiles, patterns and colors are collected from around the world, focusing on the Levant and Central Asia. In a Bokja assemblage, each piece upholds its individual physical identity as it becomes connected with foreign cultures and fabrics. The newly assembled textiles are then treated with contemporary embroideries in the Bokja Atelier and introduced in a new context, continuing the journey of the fabric story. The relevance lies in exploiting a perceived banality or overlooked appreciation in the history behind each fabric. The assemblage surfaces then become the upholstered skin of carefully curated objects ranging from furniture to one-off pieces. It is through these juxtapositions of disparate surfaces and its final application that the importance of each component becomes magnified. Bokja brings together poetic fragments of a time and place and situates them in unusual arrangements with a new context. A rich and unexpected new visual vocabulary is created of encoded information and aesthetic expression."
Please visit their shop here, to purchase something truly unique and memorable for your interior.
Thank you Bokja, for giving us the first-hand insight into your artistic business and voice.