The founder of headwrap brand Fanm Djanm gives us a peek inside her vibrant living room.
By Courtney Runn, Photos by Jana Cantua
Paola Mathé’s life story is imbued in the bright splashes of color and leafy plants and stacks of books that decorate her home. Pieces from Vermont pay tribute to her husband’s home state, while the vibrant hues take her back to her childhood in Haiti, where she grew up in a large home with her extended family, climbing coconut trees and grinding coffee beans in the backyard. As a child, Mathé never noticed her mother caring about home décor. Instead, she filled her house with people, music and food. Mathé carried on that legacy of hospitality and warmth in her Harlem neighborhood apartment in New York City, and continues to do so in her duplex in Austin. When it comes to fashion and décor, she has only one rule: It has to make her happy.
“When people started saying they loved my home through the snippets on my Instagram, I started buying home-décor magazines because when people say I may have an eye for something, I want to see what the experts are saying,” she says. “And then immediately, I felt like the experts were saying buy really expensive stuff, so I didn’t like it.”
While some of her home pieces are investments, Mathé loves to mix vintage with designer elements. Her goal is comfort. When guests come over, no one needs to be afraid of spilling wine. Home has changed locations throughout her life, but it has always been rooted in where she feels loved and inspired.
“If someone comes to my home,” she says, “they will know this is Paola’s home.”
“I’ve never been ashamed of my identity or culture.
If anything, I’ve always tried to celebrate it every way I could.”PAOLA MATHÉ