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6 Of The Best African Style Decor Ideas

Africa has given us some of the greatest interiors and design moments, and the large, diverse continent has long been inspiring artists and designers with its bold graphics, strong silhouettes and exquisite craftsmanship. In 2020, as the clean edges of ubiquitous minimal design make way for more organic shapes and bolder colours, African accents are going to be making their way into more to homes. Let’s cast an eye over some of the key elements of this trend and explore some ways to incorporate accents of this effortlessly luxe – but never at the expense of comfort – style.

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1. Earthy and Vibrant

The classic earthy and vibrant colours of African décor style begin with the ochre accent wall and carries through to the various tones of terracotta, earthy brown, deep gold and burnt oranges. Black and white in both strong geometric and organic forms are also commonly found in classic African interiors, and work together here alongside all the other hallmarks of African décor style; natural fibres, wood and linen. Overall this room is all about luxury and harmony with nature. You’re not limited to this palette, however. Colour schemes of blue and green, and purple and pink reflect the vibrant landscape of Africa and the brightly coloured textiles of West Africa. The easiest way to bring some of the colours of Africa into your own space without a dramatic overhaul of your furniture is through cushions and other soft furnishings.


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2. Instant Afro-chic. 

Sustainability is the buzzword of 2019 in the interiors world, and handmade items made from jute, rattan and clay will be popular as a reaction against digital technology and fast fashion. People are seeking more grounding elements in their space as a way to retain a connection with nature. Baskets have long been a key element of African style, whether on the wall or as a decorative storage option, and they are not going anywhere soon. There are so many styles and colours so stock up and use them to tidy spaces, as an alternative to a pot plant or as in this easy, breezy nod to African style; hang them en masse as wall art.

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3. A versatile trend

The beauty of African style décor is that it is a trend wide open to interpretation – there are just so many ways to incorporate it with your personal style. If you are drawn to ultra-glam interiors, hunt out the more ornate pieces that feature beadwork, Cameroonian juju hats and pair them metallics and either soft hues of pastel or strikingly modern black and white. If you fancy a more rugged look, pair white walls with plenty of natural fibres and timbers. Finally, if your idea of interiors bliss is inspired by the romance and wanderlust of the safari, billowing white curtains, natural finishes and plenty of butterfly chairs and cushions are for you; all in an earthy palette.

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4. Please be seated

One African export that never dates is the iconic Butterfly Chair. Originally known as the Triplolina chair, it was first used in the 19th century in North Africa by the British and then the Italians and has been synonymous with African safari style ever since. It’s a natural yet delicate, and is a thing of real beauty. Perfect as accent chair – place one in your entranceway, on your deck, in your bedroom, anywhere. As this gorgeously understated pic demonstrates, they really make a space sing and need very little other help from the décor department to do it.

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5. Artwork

Nothing says ‘safari chic’ like a black and white photographic portrait of an elephant. African art and design is very much inspired by its awe-inducing fauna and there is a reason you see the elephant motif repeated in so many elements of African design. As a staple of safari style, it’s a tangible reminder of what is just outside on the savannah.


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Mixing it up

If this image doesn’t demonstrate the versatility of African décor, nothing will. Africa is well represented in the stunning blue portrait and then echoed again in the small blue elephant statue. These quintessential elements of African design sit more than comfortably alongside a classic modern hand shaped table in silver and a Mid-Century Modern sunburst. It really works. Mixing and matching styles is said to be a strong trend for the foreseeable feature and designers are urging people to be brave and mix it up. Or to put it simply: if you love it, take it home!

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