Bring the Heart of Africa into Your Home
With its distinct and timeless style, African decor is one of the most popular choices among homeowners. The look and feel of an African style interior is rooted in nature, making it a most welcome and comfortable place to live, with pops of unique color and craftsmanship contributed by regions throughout the country. For as little, or as much as you want to invest, you can put together a well-decorated African themed home in no time as African influenced accessories and furnishings can be found in many places and in every price range.
Capture the country’s ethos of the outdoors
You may be thinking you want a full on animal or tribal look to your place, but first things first. The central theme of African home design is to create a space that brings the warmth of the country inside. The majority of homes in Africa are made of clay walls and often cement floors covered in hand knotted or woven rugs. You can achieve this look by texturing your walls with muted toned paint or woven natural colored wallpaper. Wood floors should not be high-polish, but rather maintain a matte finish, or you can put a wash over a cement floor or lay simple earth tone tiles. Choose light natural wood blinds, deep rich brown wood cabinets, rattan furniture. Basic color scheme: think of it as bringing the sun and warmth into your home. Keep in the color family that includes golden yellows, sand and terra cottas. From there, you can embellish and create your own personal living style as the many diverse regions contribute a multitude of design options to pick from.
Mix patterns and textures of African design
Where you have the opportunity to make your African-esque space represent your particular vision is in the use of African inspired fabrics of your rooms. Animal prints can be muted and coordinate subtly from furniture to flooring. The beauty of zebra and giraffe is that the contrast of all the animal prints of the country makes for a feast for the eyes, not to mention comfort for the body. Just as in nature, they exist beautifully together in your home. Add a pop of color with a vibrant Nigerian colored bedspread and pillows. You can borrow ideas for everything from wall hangings to lampshades from the Wodaabe warriors in West and Central Africa, known for their use of feathers and beads. To enhance the ambience, keep your space warm and inviting by opting for the light of candles with exotic scents, rather than the harsh glare of electric fixtures.
African art unmasks its rich spiritual sensibility
The art of Africa is strong and spiritual, an extension of its tribal diversity and deep relationship to the spirits of its ancestors, animals and mythological figures. These ceremonial masks in wood, bronze, copper or woven materials, along with pottery and tribal portraits can be made into a central theme in your home, a single room, or used sparingly throughout to add accent to a simpler, uncluttered space. Standing authentic African carved figures are a sleek and strong presence, keeping watch over, and adding character to your home.
Have fun and allow yourself to try new things
The really cool thing about African décor is that everything you choose can almost always be used together. As diverse a country as it is, there are commonalities that make for a multitude of designs that all come from different people and places, but with a similar lifestyle and symbolic sensibility. For you, it means you have a lot to choose from that will work together to make your home your own, while still being true to a stylistic approach.
“Guest post by Alicia Rennoll”
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