African Style Interior Design
African-style interiors are all about combining earthy tones with splashes of vivid colors, organic materials, captivating prints, and bold décor elements.
With colors and patterns evoking nature in its richness of tones, tints, and shades, African décor is energetic, fascinating, and inspiring.
Masks, wood figures, pottery, fabrics with a distinctive look, and woven baskets…An array of options helps introduce this truly unique style – from bold accents to artifact collections to a minimal, understated approach. Even a framed piece of African-style fabric used as wall art can do the job.
As African-inspired spaces are intriguing and exotic yet cozy and inviting, this design trend is popular for many years.
You like that dynamic, charming style? Actually, it is not that difficult to add some African touches to your living space. An easy, simple, and affordable way to try is incorporating African-themed wallpaper. Another budget-friendly option is to use animal prints.
Speaking of Africa, probably exotic is the word that best describes it – referring to its vast deserts with warm and vivid colors, fierce wild animals, and enigmatic traditions, some of which dating from the dawn of history.
Given the above-mentioned features, it is no wonder that African style is one of the most popular and alluring interior design styles used nowadays for home decorating.
Typical for this style is the wood décor, most often with an angular form, pottery, animal patterns in various forms and styles, masks, and statuettes, all being a direct reference to ancient and mysterious traditions.
Above, a mission-style living room with a breathtaking ceiling with exposed wood beams. Wood-and-leather furniture offers comfy seating. A colorful area rug beautifully complements the space. What actually makes a statement, is a huge giraffe replica. What a stunning, creative way to add African touches! Definitely, a space that exudes warmth and coziness!
Above, an African-style bedroom in warm browns. Wood furniture, figures with the unmistakable African-style look, animal prints, bamboo sticks…The abundance of colors and forms emphasizes the primary bond between humans and nature…
As already mentioned, masks are a key feature of African traditions and culture. They often represent the bond with ancestral spirits which adds mystery and opens a door to a magical world. Therefore, the tendency to decorate a home with African masks is completely explicable. People who put them as a part of their interior design, probably have a strong belief in after life or they just believe that placing a small piece of an ancient tradition in their home will bring them luck and a long life.
Above, large masks used as wall art complemented by an array of smaller African-inspired décor elements create a home office with an enigmatic yet charming atmosphere.
Although trophy hunting has its supporters and opponents, displaying African hunting trophies is another way to create African-inspired interiors.
Above, proudly displayed hunting trophies serve as wall décor. They both add exotic touches to the space and help keep memories for exciting African safaris alive.
However, you don’t need to fully embrace the African theme, you can introduce it in a delicate, restrained way. Incorporate randomly smaller décor objects, such as an African drum-inspired coffee table, basket-style stools, containers of different shape and size, collections of animal carvings, throw pillows, and more for a subtle and sophisticated nod to African- style décor.
Generally, any kind of natural material, associated with Africa in one way or another, from wood/cedar, ebony, and mahogany are common choices/ to clay to native grasses, desert flowers, and colorful feathers can be turned into an accent piece of African-inspired décor.
Animal Skins, Prints, Photographs, and Paintings
Obviously, African wildlife is an endless source of design inspiration. Mix and match animal skin area rugs with animal-inspired prints, add African wildlife-inspired photographs and paintings…Simply, just go bold…and even wild!
However, African art is not only vivid colors, wood or clay masks, and animal prints. If you want to try something else yet equally expressive and recognizable, consider adding pieces of tribal graphics in black and white. Photographs in the same style can also do the job.
You think pieces of original African artwork are not affordable? Think again! Garage sales and flea markets can always surprise you!
Unquestionably, placing animal skins on the room floor or wall is a distinctive feature of the African-style interior design. They definitely make statement décor elements and add color, visual interest, personality, and touches of raw exotica.
Above, an inviting safari-themed bedroom. A zebra hide area rug immediately grabs the eye and enlivens the space. Fascinating matching side tables and table lamps create a sense of balance and harmony and add extra visual interest.
Although animal prints/especially zebra and leopard ones/can be used in an array of options, they definitely make fabulous curtains and upholstery for any kind of furniture.
Above, a luxury living room with attention to detail. Dark leather furniture offers comfortable seating. An oversized zebra-inspired piece of art is the focal point in the room. A pair of elegant zebra print ottomans adds to the wildlife theme. Unique lighting brings in extra doses of visual interest. Unquestionably, a wow-worthy space!
Above, a set of scarf curtains in a leopard print adds touches of drama to this magnificent space.
You think that animal prints can be used only as living room and bedroom décor? You are totally wrong!
Above, a luxury contemporary bathroom. Just have a look how a piece of zebra-inspired print transforms a mundane vanity into a piece of art and makes it the focal point of the space. Definitely, a creative way to use animal prints!
Similar to masks, pottery has an essential role in African traditions, respectively in interior design. Its importance is defined by the fact that handcrafted art dates back centuries and plays a key role in developing the contemporary face of the African art.
Handmade pottery, ceramics, cushions, basketry, beaded items, throws, throw pillows, table linen, and more made of natural materials, such as wood, fabrics, clay, stones, grasses, leaves, and shells, usually in warm, earthy colors, definitely make fascinating accent décor elements, which add color, texture, pattern, and personality in a unique, captivating way.
Focus on Kuba cloth and Mud cloth. Using unique, tribal centuries-long techniques, the people from Congo and Mali lend their hand woven fabrics an unmistakable graphic look, which is a source of inspiration for many contemporary interior designers.
From sculptures to masks, musical instruments, spears, and accessories, often combined with diverse animal prints and African-inspired wall art …There are literally endless options to introduce this enchanting design style.
Whether your home is traditional, contemporary, or minimal, even the smallest piece of African-style décor is a surefire, exciting way to add exotic touches, charm, and character in an unexpected manner.
Above, a breathtaking great room, exemplary for the African-style décor. The open concept creates a sense of space. African-inspired furniture pieces, upholstery, pottery, throw pillows, and wall murals add color, texture, pattern, and tons of personality. Exposed wood brings in warmth. Definitely a feast for the eyes!
Magical, enchanting, exotic, warm colors, natural materials, handcrafted art, ancient history… those are the words that best describe African-style interior design. No matter if you chose to decorate your home in African style because you follow the fashion or just because you are captivated by its beauty, one thing is for sure- people may love or hate it, but your décor will constantly gain attraction.