African Home Décor

African décor is both exotic and welcoming at the same time. Many of the pieces used in this style are handmade, which makes them unique pieces to be handed down for generations. African décor can focus on handiworks from a particular tribe or geographic area, or it can use a more general, mix and match approach.

One key design element in African style décor is the use of woven textiles. When most people think of African themed textiles, they usually think of animal prints. While animal prints can certainly be used in African themed rooms, there are many interesting tribal patterns that are too good to pass up.

Integrate traditional patterned textiles into every room: use them as wall hangings, table cloths, runners, rugs, or drape them over plain furnishings to spice them up. If you do elect to use animal prints in a room, use them sparingly so that they’re not overwhelming.

African Décor Walls and Floors

  • Wood flooring is one of the most common choices
  • As noted above, woven rugs and textiles can introduce warmth to floors
  • Tiles are another good choice and can be painted or stenciled with patterns to introduce visual interest
  • Because deep colored woods are common in African décor, walls are usually painted in a light color
  • Trim may be left unpainted and can be very attractive if stained to a deep hue to match the furnishings and accessories
  • Wallpaper and borders in African prints are also available

African Décor Furnishings

  • Common materials:
    • Wood
    • Leather
    • Iron
  • Wood furniture, and particularly dark colored woods, work well in an African decorating scheme
  • Upholstered pieces may use leather or woven fabrics
  • Comfort is essential, but steer away from overstuffed pieces that look too country
  • Generally, colors are dark, but consider painting a key piece in an unexpected color like red to make it really pop

African Décor Accessories

  • Wall decoration ideas:
    • Hang a carved tribal mask or collection of masks
    • Prop or hang spears along a long wall
    • Hang or drape a traditional raffia runner
    • Frame and hang a collection of handmade tribal necklaces
    • Display a collection of wood carved wall hangings made from muhuhu
  • Table and counter decoration ideas:
    • Use a Babuka cloth to cover a side table
    • Display a colorful soapstone plate on a stand
    • Use a traditional wood carving as an unusual centerpiece
    • Show off some fresh flowers in a hand decoupaged vase
    • Display a collection of handmade wooden dishes or bowls
  • Lighting ideas:
    • Hand carved candlesticks are good choices for light and decoration too
    • Wrought iron chandeliers work well in dining rooms
    • Table lamps with bases made of natural materials integrate seamlessly into the room

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