On Linens and Life: Out Of Africa

January 04, 2014

In 1985, the movie "Out of Africa" was released to great critical acclaim.  It was a cinematic beauty, with sweeping views of the sun-drenched Ngong Hills, majestic animals running wild on the African plains and close-ups of beautiful people.  Despite its problematic colonial underpinnings, the story nurtured not only the budding romance between the two main characters but also one between a viewing public struck with wanderlust and the African setting which bedazzled them.  Even for those of us who had never visited Africa, it was everything we'd imagined it would be. Classic tan colored tents, dark rattan baskets, richly colored fabrics, crisp white linens and gauzy curtains - it was like being on virtual safari.

The movie has steadfastly remained one of my favorites and so have the color combinations featured in it. Minus the stuffed animal heads, it's a decorating theme I could eschew almost all other designs for.  Tan, beige, camel - call it what you will, there is something very soothing in the way these colors work with white.  Though the beauty of the colors seems obvious, even essential, to me, I've been hardpressed to find others celebrating it lately. Pantone's color of the year between 2011 and the  present were turquoise, honeysuckle, tangerine, emerald and now, in 2014, orchid.  All lovely colors, surely, but if I'd brought each of these into my home decor over the last five years, we'd be living in a lollipop.

So, imagine my immense delight when I previewed Libeco's January 2014 home collection aptly entitled, "Gypsy Moth", named after Finch Hatton's biplane in Isak Dineson's "Out of Africa."  With names like Serengeti, Kalahari, Savanna and Sahara... I believe my long wait is finally over.  Table, kitchen and bed linens in flax and oyster to decorate one's home, linen wear and bags to decorate one's self.  Described as embodying "a lifestyle of tranquility and oneness with nature", this theme is my kind of heaven.  The only thing it's missing is the wild animals and those, as most visitors to our house can attest, we can supply on our own.