Must-have elements of Africa-inspired décor.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
If you’re often drawn to Africa-inspired décor but aren’t sure how to pull it off, try incorporating some of these elements into your space.
Colors and patterns
We are in luck when it comes to paint colors. So many of 2021’s top colors come from nature, much like we see in Africa-inspired design. You’ll probably want to lean toward the warmer colors. This vignette from @idca__ is a perfect example. Orange, ocher – kind of yellow-brown hue – burgundy and reddish browns are also strong picks.
Don’t think you have to limit yourself to warm earthy colors, though. Buttermilk is an excellent option for something more neutral, according to DigsDigs. And @afropacific shows a gorgeous way to use cool blues and greens. We also love how those baskets with blue weave show how you can have Africa-inspired décor in a more subtle or understated way.
Stylist and plant expert Tracey Hairston of highlights a few of these color options perfectly. The off-white walls and light tan furniture are both neutral and reminiscent of sand and other natural elements. They’re the ideal backdrop for the room’s focal point – the large orange circle and lion photography. There are a lot of prints and textures captured in this living room, but she’s balanced it perfectly with color.
You can’t go wrong with natural, woven materials. So often when you search for Afro décor, at least within the United States, it’s mixed with Bohemian style. This is a large reason why. Rattan is frequently used for accessories like the planter and baskets in @boho_in_africa’s image.
You also see rattan and similar materials for seating and lampshades. Woven light fixtures aren’t unique to Africa-inspired design; you’ll see some in Scandinese décor, for example. But a distinguishing feature here is the unfinished edges, like what we see on the shade in the bottom left of this collection from @leroymerlin.
Accessorizing your Africa-inspired room can be both fun and heavy with responsibility. It should go without saying that any time you use a people’s heritage to inspire your décor, you should do so ethically and with sensitivity. We often used “African décor” very broadly, but designs differ from group to group.
And nearly everything created has meaning. “A collection of pieces or even a single object is beautiful while telling stories about the ethnic group of its origin,” Janine Bell, president of the Elegba Folklore Society, told House Beautiful. “We must remember that most often African ‘art’ is created for spiritual, ritualistic, ceremonial or ancestral purposes.”
No matter your own background, you can enjoy Africa-inspired décor. Just do it with cultural appreciation rather than appropriation.
While Africa-inspired art can vary dramatically, some accessories are seen almost universally. This includes woven wall baskets, usually grouped similar to a gallery wall. Take a look at this example from @idca___. Individual baskets come together for a single work of art with many stunning colors and patterns. And with the designs in the baskets coordinating with those in the pillows, there’s a beautiful cohesive look.
There’s also no shortage of masks and hand-carved wood art in Africa-inspired décor. Textiles frequently feature animal prints – choose faux fur pieces to decorate ethically – and geometric patterns. The patterns themselves often have significant meaning, whether through their color or the design itself.
When you look beyond your front door for inspiration, the possibilities grow more than you can imagine. To learn more about design and trends, visit the Schlage blog.