Image Source: Kirsten Visdal
Just as in fashion, the decor trends are constantly changing in search for some unique and appealing appearance. And the inspiration comes from all sides of the world and periods in history. Five years ago, that style was Moroccan and the current decor craze is all about African home decor. With this new trend it is easier than ever to decorate a room that makes a strong statement and speaks tales about adventure and untamable spirit of life. African decor style blends in perfect harmony woodwork, natural fabrics, animal and ethnic prints and tribal accessories. If you find this tempting, here are a few ways to create your own Out of Africa interior.
The Colors of Safari
Source: Kishani Perera
The best colors to evoke the sights and atmosphere of an African safari are earthy tones, like warm browns and pleasant beiges. The combination of redish brown and ebony, will create perfect contrast, but the end result should be overall harmony. The prevailing tones should be subtle hues, such as ivory, olive green and mahogany, while the brighter like orange, yellow and red are used for accent pieces and focal points. When you are unsure about the colors, just imagine a stunning sunset in African desert and a jungle full of wildlife and you will know what to do.
The Focal Point
Choose a wall that is the most likely to serve as accent one (behind the fireplace, bookshelves, etc.) and make sure that all eyes will be on it. Then choose a darker hue, which will draw the eye and add depth to the room. After, turn that entire wall to African reminiscence by hanging paintings depicting rural life on the continent, African mask (single or an entire collection), wood framed mirror, batik wall hanging or kente cloth. Other options are painting an African-inspired mural directly on the wall, hanging ethnic jewelry pieces or applying tribal stencils.
African Shapes and Textures
Source: Michael Persico
Furniture pieces, curtains, rugs walls, bed covers, cushions and many other items can be elevated with using traditional African patterns. If you are not a fan of the already popular animal print, then you can opt for geometric shapes, such as triangles, diamonds, zig-zag, etc. Coarse textures are perfect to add some warmth and authenticity, while the colors will vary depending on your overall decor.
Bringing the Nature Inside
Source: Design Sponge
African design is all about natural materials. Most of the furnishing and floors are made out of wood. Ebony, cedar and mahogany are some of the most frequent varieties. Softly matted floor is the option that depicts the best the feeling of unspoiled nature. As for the carpentry, it is usually characterized with dark tones, tribal engravings, sharp angles and combination of varnished and matter surfaces. Especially popular pieces are Bamileke tables, drum stools, etc. If you prefer a toned down and refined look, opt for leather upholstery, but if you want to go all the way, use bright ethnic or animal patterns.
Tribal Art as Accents
Source: Connected Artisans
Accessories serve to create a cohesive appearance and tie all the decor pieces together. In this case, you should use well-chosen tribal art items as accents. Drums for instance, have a special place in African art and history, so consider using them as mere accessories or even as club tables. The popular African woven baskets can serve perfectly as magazine holders or fruit baskets. Other pieces can be scattered across the room on various shelves, tables, etc. to bind the whole look together.
Source: Cultures International
Besides its amazing art, culture and free spirit, Africa also takes pride with its unique and vivid wildlife. So mimic the feeling of an African safari by incorporating wildlife sculptures in your decor. It is possible to find many different sculptures, figurines, posters, giraffes, and other items depicting indigenous animals. If you are already using animal prints in your home, stick to a single pattern to avoid overdoing it.
Let the Sun in
When someone says Africa what usually crosses our minds is the sunny weather, so it would be logical to discuss lighting topic. First, you will have to make sure there is sufficient natural light entering the room. As for the windows decking, use jute or cotton curtains, but you can also roll up bamboo or straw shades, if you prefer it so. The artificial light sources should not shine as bright, though, so bright overheads and ceiling fixtures are out of the question. Instead, use various subdued wall lights and floor/table lamps. To take it even further you can light up the corners with bamboo lamps or scented candles.