Before we left on the trip, I knew we were going to get to go shopping at the markets in Rwanda, so I mentally prepared for it (and brought a bunch of cash to exchange!). I knew I wanted to buy A TON of Rwandan baskets. And honestly, I wish I would have bought even more baskets (I probably bought around 30 of them)! I am obsessed with them. I bought a bunch of them as gifts to give out for the holidays that year (definitely a hit of a gift!) and kept about a third of what I bought for myself.
I have a few of them around my place, but the majority of them I wanted to turn into an installation on a wall in my living room. Now, I’m definitely not the first person to think this up, it’s not an original idea. The baskets come with a little loop on the back of them so they can be hung.
But for me, my Rwanda basket wall is a super special memory that I get to relive every day when I look at it. I love collecting things from places I travel to. I think I subconsciously picked it up from a family friend named Bill Gonz. He was a world traveler and his house was filled with exotic things he’d bring back with him. He’d always tell stories about anything we asked about. I wish I could remember those stories.
I also tend to have a bad memory. I either need visual reminders or I need to study something in depth to remember it, so I love to bring home reminders of experiences I’ve had so I don’t forget. Really hope I’m not foreshadowing anything in my future life here i.e. memory loss…
Anyway, the baskets are very popular in Rwanda, and of course, are much cheaper to buy over there than here in the states. But they are worth every penny because they are made by hand and take weeks to make. And they are just so dang beautiful. Here are a few videos so you can how they make them: here and here.
To hang this wall, I already had an idea in my mind how I wanted it to look on the wall. Then I laid the baskets out on the floor how I thought I wanted them placed, and then just eyeballed it on the wall. It turned out just like I was hoping it would — better even!
Our apartment has all white walls, and all of our furniture is neutral. I bought neutral baskets for this reason and I love how they look on the white wall. TVs are so ugly so I always try to make our TV wall interesting so you don’t focus on the TV (which we barely watch anyway!).
The buddha head my husband and I bought while we on a trip to Austin, Texas, years ago. We aren’t buddhists but we like the peacefulness it symbolizes. It was funny holding it in the airport and putting it through the X-ray machine at security, although I’m sure TSA has seen much stranger things.
The lamp is Arteriors Home. I don’t think they make that exact one anymore but this one (also Arteriors Home) is similar.
Do you have any special collections or things you brought home with you from traveling?
Read all my content about Rwanda here!
Photos by Emma Weiss