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kid-friendly home 1

During our stay in Toronto, I kept noticing colorful baskets in various sizes and shapes all over the house. A large basket in the living room held books. A smaller version in the playroom held a toy Viewfinder along with a pile of reels. A tall, slender basket in the master bathroom held magazines. Several baskets in the laundry room held sewing supplies. By the end of the week, I was so smitten with the baskets that I messaged the homeowner about them. She said they were bolga baskets from Ghana. An online search quickly revealed a whole new world of baskets to me. Bolga baskets are on pinterest, etsy, ebay… you name it! Where have I been?

Bolga Baskets

They’re pretty and practical, and you know I’m all over that woven texture. Of course, I had to have one. (Or two.) After some slightly obsessive internet stalking, I discovered affordable options from this online retailer. They offer free shipping on all U.S. orders and are members of the Fair Trade Federation.

bolga basket mudroom

We now have bolga baskets hanging out in our mudroom…

bolga basket living room

…and living room. They’re perfect for corralling shoes, toys, reading material, craft supplies, produce, cats and, oh I don’t know, maybe your 23 Olympic gold medals. They arrive flattened to keep shipping costs down but are easily reshaped with water. I wetted, reshaped and dried mine in the bathtub. Bam! Baskets!

bolga basket kitty

I wasn’t kidding about the cat part.

Did you already know about the bolga basket thing? If so, sorry to bore you, but I was too excited not share! #basketnerd

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

40 Comments

Lovely! I had no idea this type of basket was called that. So eclectic and rich. They add such a nice tactile element to your space. Thanks for sharing. Now I want one (or seven).

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16.August.2016

I LOVE my Bolga! I use it for blankets in the living room. I’m pretty sure that mine came from Whole Foods too, so sustainably sourced and zero shipping costs!

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16.August.2016

Yes I know… I use one to shop with. Here in California you have to pay for grocery bags. Plus it saves the environment. It stays in my trunk, I don’t go into a store without it, unless of course I am doing bulk shopping, and two more of them in the house. Love them. I always get compliments when I am shopping with it and that one I found at a yard sale for $2. #anotherbasketnerd :)

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replied on August 16th, 2016

$2 is a steal!

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16.August.2016

I’ve seen these baskets before but never knew the name. Thanks for sharing. Now I just may need to order like 3… :)

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16.August.2016

I love baskets for storage and these are gorgeous! What sizes did you decide on? These look really roomy which is great!

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Lauren
replied on August 17th, 2016

I’d love to know what size you settled on too! I would love one to corral some shoes in my front hallway and yours look like a great size.

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Mine are ~17.5″ (mudroom basket) and ~16″ (living room basket) across. Keep in mind these are measurements for the entire basket. The actual opening may be slightly smaller. (The “pot” version is taller and narrower at the top.) The measurements listed online are approximate as well and can vary by a few inches in person once the basket is reshaped. Hope that helps!

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Mine are ~17.5″ (mudroom basket) and ~16″ (living room basket) across. Keep in mind these are measurements for the entire basket. The actual opening may be slightly smaller. (The “pot” version is taller and narrower at the top.) The measurements listed online are approximate as well and can vary by a few inches in person once the basket is reshaped. Hope that helps!

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I’ve bought two over the years at the War Eagle Craft Show in Arkansas (there’s a guy from Ghana there who sells them) and they’re SO gorgeous! They look awesome in your home, great find.

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16.August.2016

Yes! I love mine. A lady sells them at a yearly street fair here in Fargo. I may need a new one now tho … Loving the one with the kitty in it

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16.August.2016

I’m pretty sure that at the big farmers’ market in downtown Cincinnati they have these for sale. I remember buying one as a gift for someone when we went 2 years ago and so wish I would have bought one for myself.

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Do you mean Findlay Market, in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati? If so I’ll have to go check!

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replied on August 18th, 2016

They definitely have these at Findlay Market! I have bought one there before. :)

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16.August.2016

Yes Dana , Where have you been? Whole Foods and Costco have had them also.

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Costco?! Really? I love these baskets and have a couple I’ve picked up in various places but never would have guessed Costco has carried them too. What part of the country are you in and how long ago did you see them?

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replied on August 17th, 2016

arizona
it has been a year or so. They had brought them in as one of the “special vendor days.” Amazon also has them btw.

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16.August.2016

I’m just now obsessing over the bolga basket too…I have bought two small ones from whole foods and at another natural food store in my area they sell them too. They are so cute and practical. Thanks for sharing!

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16.August.2016

I love the pillow in the white chair! Would you mind sharing the source and cost?
Thanks! I love your blog; only “discovered” you about a week ago.

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replied on August 16th, 2016

You can read all about that chair and pillow here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2016/05/19/a-new-old-chair-a-k-a-my-mama-chair/

The pillow was an etsy find!

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16.August.2016

At least 20 years ago, I was in northern Ghana for work, bought 5 of these, carted them back to Canada. Since then, only one became ruined. Was back to bolga tanga last month, and stocked up again! Love all the new styles/colours.

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Glad to hear they hold up well!

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17.August.2016

Oh Dana, I LOVE these baskets and I have to say, you are my design inspiration in so many ways. I love your aesthetic-not to pigeon hole you, but I definitely think it’s an organic modern style that I try to emulate in my home through lots of texture. I will definitely be hunting down some of these baskets locally!

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17.August.2016

just for perspective, what sizes are yours? i love them!

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Mine are ~17.5″ (mudroom basket) and ~16″ (living room basket) across. Keep in mind these are measurements for the entire basket. The actual opening may be slightly smaller. (The “pot” version is taller and narrower at the top.) The measurements listed online are approximate as well and can vary by a few inches in person once the basket is reshaped. Hope that helps!

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17.August.2016

I love Seeing Cheetah in your photos. Pets make a house a home ; )

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17.August.2016

These are great! Thanks for sharing your source. Can you also share what size your two baskets are for those of us with very poor spacial visualization skills?

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Mine are ~17.5″ (mudroom basket) and ~16″ (living room basket) across. Keep in mind these are measurements for the entire basket. The actual opening may be slightly smaller. (The “pot” version is taller and narrower at the top.) The measurements listed online are approximate as well and can vary by a few inches in person once the basket is reshaped. Hope that helps!

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17.August.2016

What sizes did you get? for context…. Thanks for sharing!

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replied on August 17th, 2016

Mine are ~17.5″ (mudroom basket) and ~16″ (living room basket) across. Keep in mind these are measurements for the entire basket. The actual opening may be slightly smaller. (The “pot” version is taller and narrower at the top.) The measurements listed online are approximate as well and can vary by a few inches in person once the basket is reshaped. Hope that helps!

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17.August.2016

These baskets are so gorgeous and cheetah is just too cute!!

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17.August.2016

I love these baskets too, but didn’t know their name. I have one that I bought in Senegal 8 years ago at a Pan African craft trade show and carried it back on the plane with me – I use it to store my blankets. Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to check out your link if I want more, as buying fair trade items are important to me. I have seen these bags for sale at my local high-end supermarket, but I’m not sure if they are fair trade.

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17.August.2016

Purrfect ^ _^ basket…Cute ^_^ kitty too!

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17.August.2016

Love the cat in a basket.

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17.August.2016

A sweet man from Ghana sells them at my local farmers market in Northern California (as does my Whole Foods for twice the price) and I have about 11 different baskets in my house so I always told myself not to buy one because I didn’t need one. Last Sunday I finally bought one, and lo and behold I DID need it, too corral my infant’s toys on the carpet! Love it and now want more – I have friends who use them to hold beach gear in the trunk, to shop for groceries with, and to collect garden veggies with. So I think I need three more. :) They truly look like they were always in your house, gorgeous!

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18.August.2016

I absolutely love those kinds of baskets. I have a green one in my kitchen nook for all those papers that come home from school, so they don’t pile up on the table. It’s perfect! I want more!

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18.August.2016

Your cat obviously loves them! :D

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18.August.2016

Love these baskets too! I have a few that we’ve picked up on our travels. On another note, could you please share more info about the sneakers pictured by your mudroom bench? I’ve been on the hunt for something just like them! ;)

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03.September.2016

Yup! You already know Ive heard of them. I have several AND will be carrying them in my new shop! I’m scared shitless, but also super excited about it as well. Living in Cali farmers markets and open air shops are abound so these guys are all over the place here. Also like the commenter said earlier, we get charged for grocery bags so baskets are a necessity for us:)

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replied on September 5th, 2016

Congrats on the new shop!!!

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