Africanstyle is not only sought after, but is also always highly enjoyed, wherever it’s encountered. Aside from the bright colours in clothing, accessories, and fabrics another perhaps less-mentioned way to bring a bit of Africahome is through Africaninterior design. Designing your home with a few bits of African flair can really light up a room, bringing colour and brightness to almost any space. There are also a number of ways to introduce a bit of Africa into your home – through the use of framed photos or paintings, masks, or even just colour schemes and the odd item made with natural materials such as distressed wood. Whichever way you hope to spice up your space, here are the top seven tips and trends to get you started.
One of the most well-known ways to spice up the space with a hint of African flair is through the use of tribal masks or shields hung on walls in spaces like living rooms, hallways or bedrooms. Tribal masks and shields come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, styles, and colours, with some having intricate painting motifs on them or some wild grassy-styled hair encircling faces. With a large choice between types of masks or shields, there will be something for everyone when choosing to go down this route for adding some Africa to a space.
It’s no secret that Africa is a warm continent, for the most part, an image heightened by its common use of warm tones in things like clothing, homes, and décor. Starting with the walls, making the walls a warm hue to reflect earthen tones will then help you build a fantastic ambience of Africa around the structure of your home. Many homes with Africaninterior design have walls made of clay, so duplicating this is a perfect way to start decorating with an African touch. Things such as tiles or carpet for the flooring can reflect the walls, perhaps a shade or two darker to create a warmer feel and cohesion with the colour scheme for the structure of the room. A feature wall can likewise be added to a room in a different colour altogether, remaining with the warm scheme – ochre, burgundy, brown, red, or yellow would be popular choices for a feature wall.
Some great addition to your Africaninterior design are baskets. These come in all shapes, sizes, and colours and can be a perfect addition to the décor of a room, reminiscent of tribal women picking vegetables or grains in the fields of Africa. Woven baskets and even sifters can be placed throughout the room, either on tables if the basket is smaller, or hung on the walls in the case of a sifter. A sifter makes for an eye-catching piece that can be hung in pairs or triplets on a wall in a variety of ways – straight across, diagonally, spaced evenly apart, to name but a few. Baskets can also be added for things such as storage at the ends of the sofa or bed, and many manufacturers now offer a woven style look for things such as end tables. Small statuettes can be placed on shelves or on end tables under neutral coloured lamps for an added effect.
The famous choice – animal print! This is perhaps one of the most common and popular ways to inject African flair into your space. Many items come in a variety of animal patterns – from leopard to zebras and everything in between, if there’s an animal with a pattern you can probably find it in shops in the form of cushion covers or small rugs, throws or bedding. The favourite patterns, of course, being zebra, cheetah, and leopard print, each working with warm tones to liven up your space in their own way. Although these patterns are common in Africaninterior design, it should be noted that they should be used sparingly in a room, as they can become quite overpowering when used in large amounts, creating a space that’s less African-chic and more African-tacky.
Africa is, of course, well-known for its bold colours and patterns, usually in clothing, but they can be adopted for the home as well. Cushion covers particularly, or other upholstered items would farewell with an injection of some bright patterns to bring the room to life. Blocky patterns in red, brown, or yellow hues will add warmth to the space that will not just make it more inviting but will actually make it feel warmer as well. It should be noted though that bold patterns and animal print in Africaninterior design if being used in the same space should be used very sparingly as they can be overpowering and turn a space from warm and fun to tacky and an eyesore. To make small injections of patterns and colour really stand out, use them against large swathes of black, such as on bedding or sofas.
A sure-fire way to apply Africaninterior design to your home is through paintings or photographs of famousAfrican landmarks or famous animals normally seen on safaris such as lions, cheetahs, zebras, and various monkeys. When framed, particularly in bold, black frames, these photos or paintings will stand out and catch the eye in any room. The favourite theme for paintings and photographs centres around lions, but you can work any animal in with your colour scheme, especially if you haven’t used animal prints elsewhere in the room.
Finally, lighting is another key element to making a space have an African vibe. A lot of lighting in parts of Africa – especially places like Morocco – take the form of intricate warm coloured lamps with shades that give off a fantastic glow. These lamps are usually found in the west quite easily, and some western retailers even stock these types of lamps purposefully as they are known to be popular regardless of whether you’re applying Africaninterior design into a space or not. Floor, wall, hanging or table lamps can all be found in gorgeous Moroccan or African styles, adding that last cohesive element to any African-inspired room. For a real vibe though, go for a lower level of lighting as it will keep the space warm, instead of bright, almost blinding lighting that makes the space take on a doctor’s office effect, and will ensure you get the most out of your new African space.