Splurge Worthy

A Handwoven Basket From Ghana Ties This Montreal Living Room Together

It’s an instant conversation starter when Goodee cofounder Byron Peart is entertaining

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What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.


“Design items that have character or tell a story, in my estimation, can move around, like beings inside a physical space," Byron says. "You just have to find the right spot for them."

When Byron Peart and his brother, Dexter, founded Goodee in 2019, they did so wanting to unite “good design with the value of good purpose,” as Byron says. The duo sought to focus on well-crafted items whose makers encouraged significant social or environmental impact on the world—like using traditional techniques in their work, something the brothers admired for being environmentally sustainable and culturally significant. “We wanted to ensure that these time-honored skills remain relevant and are passed along through generations,” Byron explains of their mission. “What we believe in is simple: We believe in good design, good people, and good impact.”

Bryon and Dexter’s other design venture, Want Les Essentiels, a clothing brand they created together in 2007, is all about clean lines and uniform dressing, but when it comes to home design, Bryon favors individualism. “What we tend to say is that the most unfortunate error is when one’s interior is stripped of their own personality,” the Montreal-based designer and curator says. “Because the person tries to make a space or setting that is obviously too trendy or derivative of what they see of others.”

What and When?

In 2022, when Bryon moved into his new three-bedroom apartment in the Westmount neighborhood of Montreal, he was looking to add a focal point to the living room. The item needed to center and ground the space, as his new apartment resided in a 100-year-old Victorian building filled with details that, while beautiful, didn’t match his collection of furniture. Soaring ceilings with original moldings on top of the walls in addition to ornate sconces from the turn of the century didn’t quite mesh with his worldly collection of items that hailed from all over the globe, including places like South America, West and South Africa, and different parts of Asia.

“I used to live in Habitat 67, which was made from a series of cubes stacked on top of each other,” he esays. “The concrete cubes came from the World’s Fair in 1967. So to move from that into what might be considered an equivalent of a New York brownstone is a totally different feel.” His eclectic mix of items from around the world made sense in the prior building, but now it all needed to help tell a different story, and thus the ornate fireplace needed a piece that could help blend and balance the different looks. He thought of a special basket. “I had long admired the Yoomelingah basket in our shop and had often wished to incorporate it in my personal home interior,” he adds.

Byron's dog Hugo sits next to the basket, a bold mix of colors and nonlinear weaves that drew Byron to the item.

Byron had witnessed the process that the Gurunsi community in Bolgatanga, Ghana, use for making the vibrant Yoomelingah baskets. These vessels are made with elephant grass and rise in arching curves—each one different and unique to the artisan who made the basket. A designer himself, Byron thinks through how the look and feel of a piece can leave an indelible impression on the viewer. “We had witnessed the artisans making smaller versions of this basket,” he explains. “However, we had actually selected the largest version of the Yoomelingah for our offering at Goodee.”

Seeing the basket in person was something else, he recalls. “It was only once we received it to our showroom, that I and the team all had this collective ‘wow’ moment unwrapping it from its packaging.” Rather than use the basket to hold items, like many of his customers do, Bryon wanted to let the piece sit alone, treating it like an art piece. “It’s a striking companion to the living room and now sits neatly nestled beside the fireplace,” he says.


Bryon likes rendering new possibilities with his interior designs and improvising with the varied looks one piece of decor might have. “We believe an item can change an entire room,” he says. Byron and Dexter like to select pieces that feel unique and intentional, and he’s drawn to decor that acts as its own statement piece. The basket fit that vision perfectly.

This attention to design isn’t lost on others. “Our customers are also seeking out unique and original products for their homes that create a far more authentic and well-considered environment—one that is globally attuned, and which ultimately carries an appreciation of diverse communities.” Likewise, Byron decorates his spaces to feel like the design is an intentional mix, “and not just a look,” he says. “I surround myself with items that not only reflect my travels and my experiences but also come together as a mix, a hybrid, a worldly interior design style. That is how I dress, that is how I design. The company that we built is really an eclectic mix too.”

Bryon thinks that while other baskets might go in and out of style, the Baba Tree Yoomelingah basket is anything but trendy. “Each Yoomelingah basket shows the depth of the artisan’s creativity,” he says. “Needless to say, my basket by the fireplace is always an immediate talking point when entertaining guests.”

Medium Yoomelingah Basket

Bolga Basket

Tonga Gourd Baskets