There is no better dezign punch for your home than mixing in some wonderful ethnic touch and putting in an unusual table, pillow, chest or vase, that sends the message “I have traveled and enjoy the cultures of other countries!” Being a devout believer in this theory, I incorporated things from Africa, Japan, Italy, France, Brazil, North Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, East Germany, India, England and then some, when I designed the interiors of my house in Fire Island (see this). It was all rather successful, as most people who have been to my house marvel at how smoothly everything is integrated into the design.
As a result, I am always on the hunt for a new source for interesting pieces from the far corners of the globe. Needless to say, I was totally ecstatic to be introduced to Berbere World Imports by my friend, Mary Herne, on my last trip to Los Angeles. Mary, BTW, is a furniture junkie just like me and we both revel in the unusual and exotic from countries where craftsmen still take pride in making things by hand.
Suad Cano is the owner of Berbere World Imports and it is her educated eye that travels the world looking for unusual pieces to sell to her clients. The space in LA is huge…almost 50,000 s/f . If you are on the prowl for some fantastic African, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Moroccan, or Chinese furnishings and more…the items come from over 22 countries…you will most likely find the best of the best here.
In addition, there is a huge outdoor space where marvelous pots, containers, tables, chairs, fountains and iron work for your garden can be purchased and taken home immediately. If I had lived nearby I would have been loading up my car with tons of things!
They also have gorgeous doors and unusual architectural pieces from around the world and exotic mirrors and furniture made with bone and mother-of pearl inlay. AND if you need a stunning vase to place on an entry table or chest you will have difficulty deciding which one you prefer, the selections are all so exceptional.
Suad showed me the workshop in the back where they make all sorts of custom furniture and lighting to fit the individual projects of her clients. As you can imagine, she is not only a big supplier to the interior design trade, but also to the set designers for movie productions.
If you have the luck to be near their La Cienega location you MUST stop in and stroll around. There are so many different items I couldn’t begin to list them all today. If you didn’t find something you liked, I would be surprised, as the extent and variety of Berbere’s collection is vast.
Plus, Suad will gladly take the time to walk you around and explain to what everything is and where it came from. I personally have my eye on some exotic carved wooden African bases that I want to lacquer and then convert into upholstered ottomans for my clients. They are just the perfect touch of zsasz to make a casual living room or a lovely den sing originality!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!