As living rooms are one of the most central…
We loved the English country look; Provence-styled living areas were charmingly chic and airy; Nordic décor gained worldwide popularity over the past couple of years; Japanese homes were another important home design trend that has seen its moments of glory during the decade. Still, none of these national-inspired styles can live up to the exotic and bold appeal of African décor: a point where culture and nature collide, African Continent is the cradle of interior design ideas that are spreading among home decorators across the world like wildfire. Let us take a quick look at dominant Afro décor features, shall we?
Inspired by Nature: Wood and stone indoors
African homes feature furnishings made from exotic woods, such as mahogany, ebony, cedar, wicker and bamboo. Hardwood flooring is often left exposed, and it can be either polished to a high shine or left unvarnished to achieve a matte, natural feel. Authentic African items are characterized by a masterful interplay of sharp edges, straight lines, and soft curves that evoke the primal spirit of this wild land and its deep connection with both gentle and harsh aspects of Nature.
Coarse like indigenous skin: African fabrics and textiles
The list of fabrics used in an African-styled home range from linen, cotton and silk to coarser materials such as jute, canvas, coir, and ramie. Upholstery is often executed in natural leather, and animal skins can be thrown across the floors and sofas (or sometimes even suspended from the walls) to create the jungle feel. African style is characterized by crude textures and matte finishes, but glossy varnishes can also be used with moderation to add a sense of luxury and refinement.
Earthy color palette: Dark as the heart of Africa
Colors that pervade an African-inspired home include deep earthy hues such as reddish grey, raw umber, Rangoon, chestnut, redwood, ebony, mahogany and burnt sienna, and olive green, ecru, beige and ivory details are also common in this style. Bright hues such as orange, yellow and red are deployed sparingly to achieve contrast and evoke the shades of tribal paints, while blue and white can be deployed sparingly as accents, but their occurrence in African homes is kept to the minimum.
A note of tribal art: African-inspired stencils and accessories
African décor verges on minimalist: furniture pieces are imposing and masterfully crafted, and accessories and ornaments are few and carefully picked. To enrich your African living area with a dash of tribal art, you can use Makonda statues, Zulu shields, Maasai spears and tribal masks, Moroccan patchwork, tamtams, Egyptian papyrus reproductions and pottery. Wall art featuring Africa-inspired stencils, indigenous paintings and tribal motifs can be deployed to create a focal point in the room.
Light to chase away jungle nights: Subtle and elegant rays
As for lighting, African style relies on lamps with wooden or brass bases and shades made from natural materials. Bamboo lamps are a common feature of AfroPolitan homes, but dimmer switches can also be installed at a relatively affordable price, allowing you to adjust illumination intensity and recreate the feel of the African sunset and dusk. (A side note: conceal the switches as they would stand out from the rest of the room and can be a major eye-sore against a natural backdrop.)
You can find many authentic examples of this marvelous style via African real estate portals such as meqasa.com. Energetic yet sophisticated, Afro décor is the new face of contemporary ethnic styles, and due to its primal yet opulent feel, it will probably stay trendy for a couple of years. Are you daring enough to transplant a piece of wilderness into your snug quarters?