APiF: Please introduce yourself.
Nana Amu: I am a Ghanaian global nomad, an eclectic mix of cultural and creative influences. My father was a diplomat, representing Ghana in various countries around the world. I was exposed to a rich tapestry of cultures and variety of art forms in Australia, Italy and the UK where I grew up and developed a passion for art. I taught for 18 years at Ghana International School, teaching a range of subjects from English and Math to Art, before working as the PR Lead for an international marketing company and finally working on my own. I consult in real estate, interior design/ decoration and PR and have also exhibited my own mixed media paintings.
APiF: Your spaces on Airbnb look beautiful and like pieces of art. What inspires you?
Nana: I am inspired by nature, by balance, simplicity and harmony; by the effect that color has an emotion and mood; by the juxtaposition of color, patterns and natural materials and textures. I am drawn to spaces that have an indoor/outdoor aesthetic, where the outdoors feels like part of the internal space. I love the richness of our Ghanaian pageantry and West African fabrics from Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Senegal and Nigeria. Functional design, good execution and attention to detail is also inspiring to me.
I think visually. My constant need to satisfy my creative inclinations has taken me from painting, styling, bead jewelry designing, work as a make-up artist, designing my clothes to interior designing and decorating. Creativity is an intrinsic part of my DNA. I am self-taught and instinctively use my eye and sense of aesthetic balance to design and create.
APiF: What is your relationship to the bungalow where you are renting a room?
Nana: The house is my home, where I brought up my two children. It was originally a shack which I bought 20 years ago. The building was then designed by my late ex-husband Paul Fleischer- Djoleto. He was one of the most creative architects I know, and a great believer in innovation and authenticity. There are now just two walls left of that original structure and it would take a lot to imagine the shack I first saw, with goats munching away at the forlorn front hedge!
APiF: What made you consider opening your spaces to Airbnb guests?
Nana: When the kids grew up and went to university, I found myself in a 4 bedroom house, only using half the house except when they were home for the holidays. Thus I did a conversion from a single family home to two semi-detached homes and downsized to a more upscale two bedroom house. I now share my home with guests on Airbnb, hosting interesting people from all over the world.
APiF: Can you summarize the personality of the house?
Nana: The house reflects what inspires me. It is simple, organic, it breathes, it’s a creative and functional use of space, it is bathed in light, it celebrates nature, it showcases
natural materials and eclectic art from around the world. I feel happily transported every day and believe people deserve the joy of loving the space they live in, loving a space that suits their lifestyle, personality and individual needs.
Nana Amu’s Airbnb listings: