Authentic African Design Influences

AfricaPin1Let me introduce you to Africa in five adjectives: exotic, vibrant, warm, adventurous and diverse. If you put your ear on the ground, soft throbbing beat and hum of African music can be heard in the day-to-day life!

This uniqueness is captured effortlessly in the décor in the African home. Should you want to preserve memories of your visit or dream of this continent, you will be spoilt for choice on authentic African pieces to pick from.

The best part of this is that you don’t have to pay a limb for it. Let’s take a look at these simple ideas, shall we?

The vibrant colors of sun-kissed savannahs and jungles

The African environment is full of color. From the colors of sun-kissed savannahs to green lush jungles, to the magnificent sunrises or sunsets that beautifully adorn African skies; you have a rich palette of colors to choose from.

African Design
Authentic inspiration courtesy of nature.

Designed by Freepik


Bring this African spirit into your rooms with a splash of color on your walls. These can be jungle greens, deep reds, ocher, bright oranges, burgundy and watery aqua, golden browns, and yellows. The modern trend is to color-block two or more colors on different walls.

You can try warm earthy browns, deep reds or even shades of graphite for your kitchen walls. Another alternative is to go for a fire-baked-bricks theme on one of the walls.

african design
An African inspired bedroom.  Photo by Pexels

Going on a safari? Here is what you need

Bring the extensive sun-kissed Savannah grasslands teaming with wildlife into your room. Framed photographs of any of the ‘big five game’- the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo is a great idea. You can use animal prints on the throw pillows, tablecloths, bedspreads or bedding. Preserved stag horns mount on the wall are awesome décor pieces.

Take inspiration from the King of the Jungle. Photo by Pexels

Solid and rustic furniture

The African rainforests produce indigenous hardwoods that give you authentic rustic furniture. The wood is usually untreated to bring out the natural beauty. Roughly hewn logs make unfinished tables that make quite a statement.

Chairs, tables, and beds made from woven sisal are exotic. Look for cabinets or display cases in solid hardwood like Mahogany to complete the authentic African look. Rattan furniture will give your place an authentic African look, too.

Go a notch higher and throw in a few wooden kitchen utensils such as wooden cooking spoons, serving spoons and salad spoons. Wooden mortar and pestle for pounding your spices will do just fine.

african design
Wood crafts are integral to authentic African design. Image by Pexels

Ethnic pottery, woven baskets, and mats

Earthen pots, either for display or for holding your utensils are also authentic since an African kitchen does not lack at least one or two pots. These pots can also be used as planters. You could also use the pots for holding decorative spears and bamboo logs.

Brightly colored and woven baskets can be artfully hung on the wall or placed on the floor. They can even be used to store magazines or some of your kitchen utensils. You could also put your planters, ostrich feathers or porcupine quills inside the baskets for an awesome look.

The African women are known for their weaving skills. Using sisal, they make wonderful rugs and mats. You can choose leopard or zebra prints for your mats.

High quality, authentic African pottery will stand the test of time. 


Soapstone and Ebony carvings

The soapstone is a soft talc-like rock that makes exquisite statuettes of various items. These can be animals or people. They also make gorgeous flower vases, ashtrays, decorative chess boards and candle holders. Place a few of these items in various places in your house. Just like the soapstone statuettes, Ebony figurines of wildlife found in Africa are so cool. A life-sized giraffe statue at the door to greet your visitors is just awesome!

African design
Ebony masks. Image by Pexels

Colorful African fabric

The African fabric is just so unique and distinctive. It incorporates the wonderful and rich colors of Africa. The fabric is versatile and can be used as blinds, drapes, upholstery, tablecloths or throw pillows.

authentic African design
The bright colors of woven textiles add color to the African home. Image by Pexels

These are just a few ideas you can start working on to give you an authentic African design. If you visit any flea market you will be able to get most of these items at bargain prices. Moreover, this look suits both summer and winter seasons.


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