Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The JuJu Hat: Are you over it?


Last night I was watching Dear Genevieve on my DVR. Genevieve was decorating a small office, the focal point of which was going to be a juju hat. And it got me thinking how fascinating it is that these feathered Camaroonian ceremonial headdresses (also known as tyns) have become the darlings of the design world. How in the heck did that happen? Sure, they add a wonderful pop of color and texture to  a wall and are a fun conversation piece. But now, with their debut on HGTV, they've officially gone mainstream.

So the question I have for you is: are you over it? I'll be honest, I've got mixed feelings on the subject. I hate the idea of spending several hundred bucks on what is probably just the next "Keep Calm" trend and yet I can't deny their ability to add some wonderful color and texture to a space -- as all of these wonderful examples show.

Sally Wheat (via High Gloss)

As an avid fan of bright color, I can't help but be drawn to the bright orange juju hat against the soft gray walls. The color also ties in nicely with the orange flowers on the mantle. Sometimes, it just takes a little splash of bold color to make a big statement.

Laura Day

Another brilliant red-orange example, this time against a bright yellow wall. There's just something so incredibly happy about these colors; this is a room that could make even doing your taxes less chore-like.

Jenn Cranston (via Canadian House and Home)

In a room full of whites and neutrals, the white juju hat adds a nice touch of texture (essential for keeping a neutral space from being a total snooze fest).

Elizabeth Martin (via Elle Decor)

I've got to say, I'm falling more and more in love with orange everyday -- especially when played off against blues or grays. It just feels incredibly fresh and sophisticated but still (and I think this is so important in design) fun. The hat's African origins compliment the other exotic accessory choices, including the zebra skin rug.


Alessandra Branca

This pink and chocolate brown lounge is an all-time favorite of mine -- and I only just noticed it sports a white juju hat on the wall! I think the white juju plays up the crisp white trim nicely and really pops against the hot pink walls. It's also a fun mix with the Chinoiserie print chairs and traditional furnishings.

LivingEtc

Of all the examples of juju hats I found, this bubblegum pink (with a dash of black) version might be my favorite. It fits perfectly over the asymmetrical fireplace and is balanced nicely by the narrow tapestry in the adjacent niche.

Hout Bay Manor, South Africa

Two red jujus, one over each doorway, are a nice way to highlight the red trim around the walls. I must say though that what I'm most drawn to in this room is that stunning floral artwork over the sofa, which is really just stunning.

Photograph by Melanie Acevedo

I love the bright, warm colors of this room, which are nicely tempered by the white walls and neutral sofa. I'm a big fan of very traditional Victorian spaces painted out in white and decorated in a modern, colorful style. It just always seems to work.



The rich jewel tones of this room are fantastic. Despite the fact that nothing "matches," all the bright colors work so beautifully together because they're all the same level of saturation. The lack of print (save for the over scale floral of the rug) keeps the noise level down as well. Could all this be achieved without a juju? Absolutely, but it's a eclectic touch that works well with the Moroccan pouf, midcentury chair and loveseat and the very ornate console. By the way, I have no idea who to credit this room to. If you know, please share so I can give proper credit!

Where to Buy. If you're not over this trend, there are a number of good e-stores that carry jujus in a variety of colors and deliver internationally:

Laviva Home (USA)
Table Tonic (Australia)
Design My World (UK)

So now that I've shown you some examples, I want your opinion.

29 comments:

nkp said...

Not even close, although your HGTV reference made me cringe a little, truth be told. Nonetheless, I think these are wildly exotic and fun and add an incredible finishing touch. The last room speaks volumes, doesn't it!

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

I am definitely NOT over it! I watched the same Dear Genevieve episode and I spent the whole time trying (unsuccessfully) to figure out how to DIY it. If it was in the budget I would definitely have one!

Mandi Smith T said...

OK, I have always hated them! Sorry to say, but they remind me of mums (which is one of my least favorite flowers). There are so many other wonderful ways to add a pop of color that do not include a pom pom. M.

ampersand-design.blogspot.com said...

I love mine. I don't have mine hanging on the wall, but sitting on a table.

Mine is a deep red wine colour and I'm yet to see one the same.

I got mine from www.safarifusion.com.au which also ships internationally.

Sandy K

Susan said...

Apparently, I don't read the right magazines, or watch the right TV shows, because I've never heard or seen these before.

It's not a decorating trend I can see adopting myself...

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

As a design enthusiast who decided to quit her job to stay home, I can't always afford the latest trend the minute it hits. I like these, even if they have become mainstream. But I also believe in decorating your home to make it a place that makes you happy, filled with things you love, regardless if they are of the moment.

Bromeliad said...

I've been wondering the same thing since I have a DIY in mind - but do I like it enough to spend hours making one?

Laura@JourneyChic said...

I'm laughing here, because never in my life have I seen that thing before! It's a hat, really? Definitely not my cup of tea. Imagine the dust it would collect!

Patch said...

Weird! I'm with Laura- never seen this before, and thinking about DUST!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Like anything else - I wouldn't buy one unless the trend had been around long enough for me to get sick of it. If I DIDN'T tire of it and still really loved it, then I'd invest.

The problem with the JuJu hat is that it has to be placed well: appropriate room decor, not too high/not too low, etc. The biggest risk is having it look like some kind of party decoration that was never taken down.

Honestly - it's not my favorite, but I think it looks nice in many of the rooms above. I do think that Hout Bay Manor space has a "day after the party" look going on...

Mary said...

I believe Candice Olsen used one in the first episode of her new show a while back. (It was a large, serene, neutral bedroom.) The second I saw her place it in the room I knew it had gone 'mainstream'! I still love them and think they are unexpected, but I am sure that will change once you can buy them at say Target!

Kate Collins said...

So this post breaks my heart. I really do hate to see them become more and more mainstream.

I got mine in white in South Africa, about two years ago. I spent the entire month long trip debating over the correct color to buy. I finally bought mine and brought it home with me, which was no small feat. Mine didn't have the hefty price tag because I bought it while I was there. That isn't fair though, since I know a lot of people can't travel to S. Africa. It just so happens that my husband is from there.

I love mine and all the memories from the trip it invokes. I will never get rid of my JuJu hat, but I'm sure we'll travel to Africa many more times and end up with other relics as well.

I also used it in a recent client's room because Africa is one of her absolute favorite places to visit and she wanted her travels to be reflected in the room.

Here's the room (if you're interested): http://kcinteriors.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/the-making-of-a-bedroom/

Life of Style said...

I personally love them and am of the frame of mind you buy things you love not because they are a trend.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

I first noticed them recently when Candice Olson used one in a space. They look absolutely great in all the rooms you've shown. I don't think one will be showing up in my house, but it is interesting how it has become such a trend. I wonder who thought to hang the first one?
Janell

Christy said...

Averill, Before reading this post a couple days ago, I had never heard of, nor noticed, a juju hat. Now? I'm a huge fan! Your first, third and final images are my faves. LOVE them. How have I missed this design trend? Must be the two little ones scampering at my feet!

Hope you're feeling well!

Kathysue said...

I remember seeing these before and not being too impressed. I think in a little girls room in a bright color would be fun but in a main living area not so much!! KS

LindsB said...

I think they are kinda cool- love the texture and colors!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Averill great post and some really stunning design examples of using the Juju hat in a room. But I was one that voted never into it. Although I like them and agree that they make the room in many of those examples, I'd stay clear to not become a victim of a trend. I don't mind being a design trend slave but I have to 'love' it to give in. Count down to baby; thinking of you from Katy!

Christy said...

I just looked up the prices and am shocked! I hope Target makes them next year for a fraction of the real thing -- then I'd totally scoop one up. In turquoise!

Karena said...

Don't ask me why I have just never been into them, granted a great conversation piece, just not my style.

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Lisa said...

I will admit I've never even seen these juju things, so no, I guess i'm not over it. I kind of dig it, actually.

Danielle said...

Love a little texture on the walls and fun color options. Like a fun bow for the hair!

Anonymous said...

When I was watching this episode and saw the JuJu hat, my heart sunk. I just spent 6 weeks in Liberia, West Africa where JuJu, also known as witchcraft, is very much real. People live in terror of the JuJu man. I find it terribly sad that America is making things of JuJu a 'trend'.

David said...

Anon: You make an excellent point. And I think it underscores my issue with this type of "trend" -- I always find it a bit distasteful when certain cultural or historical motifs or objects are adopted into popular consciousness without any understanding of the underlying meaning.

Alicia said...

Candice also used one in a bedroom on Divine Design but being that Gen is more every man I wonder to but mainstream I doubt. Now when it shows up at Pottery Barn...then we're done for.

Love Design Company said...

I wasn't so sure about them at first... but now i am totally obsessing over a pink one! Love the juju! Pretty blog, i'm your newest follower!

rosa @ flutterflutter said...

I just posted a tutorial on how to make a JuJu Hat! Come check it out!

court. said...

The Juju hat has been haunting my decor area of my brain for a while. it comes and goes and then I realize that I'm dying to incorporate this into someone's house! Maybe mine?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this 'fad' will pass in North America, where, judging by the comments, people think they are 'pom poms' that 'make them laugh' (breaks my heart too), but for people who are African like me, it will always have special meaning. And I will always think they are beautiful.

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