It may surprise you to know that much of the world’s interior design inspiration comes from just two major geographic locations. Often we look mainly at western concepts, inspired by different European nations and the design styles that originated there, as well as the east where some of the ideas are more exotic.
One of the areas that is often most ignored is the African continent. Believe it or not, the African style is one that we encounter less often than we’d probably like. However, now is the time to put all aspects of African interior design and home decor at the center!
Africa is a fairly large continent, stretching from countries like Morocco and Egypt in the north down to Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa in the south. Each country certainly has its own style of interior design. However, interior design styles from this region usually include more earthy and neutral hues that also include pops of color.
Africa’s decor is mainly inspired by nature, as are colorful fabrics, wild animals and various types of traditional wood carving. There are a number of reasons why people seem to be inspired by African designs. Some enjoy the thought of going on a safari to snap photos, while others simply enjoy the various cultural and historical perspectives of the area.
Regardless of what inspires you the most, there are many different ways you can incorporate the African style into your own surroundings.
Using design techniques that came from abroad is not so alien to interior designers as they have always used their own passports to come up with new and exciting ideas for their own projects. Perhaps the biggest and most popular trend right now is African-inspired interior design.
Colors that are both rich and deep paired with more natural components are what you’ll find in most African-inspired designs, and all of these add a sense of comfort to any space they occupy. This particular style is more about using aspects like earth tones and natural materials than stuffing an animal’s head and mounting it over your fireplace.
LESS IS ALWAYS MORE
If you want to decorate a room with contemporary African decor, never think of having to fill a room with decorative masks, photos, chairs, tables or the like. In terms of flooring, tiles made of terracotta or sandstone should be laid.
In addition, you can also opt for a simple concrete floor that has been stained as this style is also very popular in most parts of southern Africa, largely due to the fact that these floors stay cool in hot climates. If you choose to use this type of flooring, you should put thick sisal mats on top of it. When it comes to your walls, they work best when painted in neutral hues like beige, cream, or brown.
Alternatively, one or two opposing walls can be painted in colors similar to clay or terracotta if you prefer. You may also want to use textured colors, which is another popular aspect of African design. This is a paint with a rough sandy texture once applied to a surface.
WARM AFRICAN STYLE COLORS
Since the African design style obviously originated in Africa, it is no secret that the main colors of this style are warmer. Typically, you will mainly see the following colors:
- White milk podton
As you can see, there are practically no cool colors in this style. Using these warmer colors will make any room feel filled with sunlight, even on cooler days, especially in environments where the sun is barely seen.
WALLS THAT ARE LIGHT
You can enhance details in your African room with a colorful wall. Of course, it’s important to note that not everything in the African-inspired interior design is bright and vibrant. However, this can be changed if you highlight certain parts with a wall painted in either cherry or mango color.
At the same time, think about what a more traditional African home looks like. You will find that these are small huts covered in clay and other similar and affordable materials. This means that we should consider something similar in our own four walls – without literally using clay, of course.
Consider using plain or Venetian plaster of paris, more textural wallpaper, and embossed mixes designed to emulate different surfaces.
DECOR MADE FROM MORE NATURAL MATERIALS
Items used for home decoration in Africa are made from completely natural materials such as straw, wood, clay and leaves. If you are looking for decor that you can use in your own home and that is done in the same style, consider choosing pieces that are also made from all natural materials to keep the flow going.
For example, choose woven blinds for your windows or wooden frames for your photos that hang on the walls.
Wood, regardless of its shape, is extremely important to all of African design. If you prefer a more “full-fledged” look, earthenware and artifacts are great ways to best express the African theme of your home.
In addition, many tribes across Africa are very passionate about different types of handicrafts, which you can consider for yourself as well. For example, think of a story you like and closely related to the continent and display it with either wallpaper or a wet plaster fresco.
AFRICAN TASTE THAT IS MORE DIFFERENT
If you do something as simple as throwing a crosswalk rug, it in no way means that you have adopted the African style into your home environment. However, if you combine small pieces of this style with another design style, you can actually still be very successful.
For example, you can also achieve a great African look by using a more tropical theme. This is a theme that lets you bring in more than just African aspects – you can bring in a little bit of Asian and South American aspects too!
ETHNIC DESIGNS AND MOTIFS ON TEXTILES
There are many people who are already very familiar with different types of African-style motifs, such as “ornament ikat” and “zebra pattern,” mostly from things they have either seen or read.
These two motifs are generally considered to be the most popular; However, there are many others that include different types of tribal figures that are ubiquitous in the overall decor as seen on pieces such as bedding, curtains, and woven mats.
Over the centuries, women in many different African tribes have woven various fabrics and carpets, many of which contained precisely these motifs. These pieces are considered to be very unique because the pictures they contain were created practically on site. Textile companies, on the other hand, usually produce several pieces that focus on African themes, which means that it is not that easy to find the most suitable types of textiles.