What comes to your mind when you think of Africa? If your answer is impressive biodiversity, rich textures, scenic sunsets, abundance of color and inimitable handicraft masterpieces, you are right on spot – and so is the contemporary African décor. A unique blend of natural materials, woodworking mastery, imaginative interplay of earthy and vibrant colors, and use of charming details are some of the landmark features of African homes, which is why this style is rapidly gaining popularity on the global interior design scene. Here are some suggestions how to introduce a dash of African energy into your home – hope you like ‘em!
Soothing colors of the wild land
African color palette inspires coziness and warmth: from gentle and neutral tones of nature to splashes of vivid hues once used as tribal facial paint, every element of African décor is deployed with care and moderation. Bright tones are commonly used as accents against an earthy backdrop. The overall tonal harmony heavily relies on peaceful hues such as mahogany, ebony, olive green and/or ivory, and orange, blood red and yellow are used sparsely for minimal (yet visually valuable) contrast.
It is a stylish jungle indoors
As for materials, African decors are marked by extensive use of natural materials such as wood, stone, bamboo, rattan, leather, cotton, jute and silk. Natural elements and ornaments dominate the ambiance, creating an impression of a stylish jungle indoors. The use of animal skins is also highly prominent with this style, and the skins are used for various purposes, from sofa and bed covers to tapestry and floor coverings. If you decide to add hides to your home, make sure you know your balance: excessive use of animal skins can completely ruin the look instead of supplementing it.
Masterful woodwork and ornaments
African style can easily be achieved through deployment of wooden furnishings crafted from mahogany, ebony and cedar. Stylistic features that pervade African-inspired carpentry include sharp angles, combination of matter and varnished surfaces, tribal engravings and dark wood tones. Upholstery sometimes sports ethnic prints or hide patterns, but leather is also a good option if you are aiming for a sophisticated minimalist look.
Tribal artwork and stencils
Artwork used to recreate the African look often exudes the tribal spirit. From Ethiopian pottery, Egyptian papyrus replicas and Nigerian carved-wood statues to vibrant Moroccan patchwork and stenciled wall art, Maasai spears and Zulu masks and shields, African interior design thrives on tasteful combinations of color and texture. To achieve a true African feel, use handcrafted ornaments and accessories made from natural materials to enrich the décor.
Let there be Afro light
As far as lighting is concerned, African style is marked by subdued light, so ditch your ceiling fixtures and bright overheads, and throw in a handful of chic lamps with brass bases and ivory-colored shades. Installing dimmer switches is another good idea: dimmer lights allow you to adjust luminosity in your home depending on the occasion, mood and time of day. Or, you can experiment with different light sources and add scented candles and bamboo lamps to the shady corners to chase away the darkness from your African nights.
For more ideas on how your African-style home should look, you can check out the authentic décor of Dark Continent’s apartments and houses featured on regional real estate portals such as meqasa.com – the best place to look for designer inspiration is always the real thing. Are you ready to bring the spirit of the jungle into your home? Follow these simple tips and your home will soon become your personal oasis of peace, style and comfort the African way.