Style Guides

5 incredible tips for African Adventure!

Ready to go on an adventure, Redecorators? This Season we’re venturing on a design quest through the lively jungles and barren deserts of wonderful Africa. Of course, each and every country in Africa has its own unique style and heritage when it comes to interior design, but this Season’s focus are the dynamic, colorful, and confident materials of West African-inspired origins. The African terrain and climate encourage the use of raw materials and varied textures, with colorful plant and animal inspired textiles to reflect the continent’s natural beauty. The richness of African fabrics, carvings and artworks make them fit in to any design style seamlessly.

Timeless designs wait for you this upcoming Season! Think you’ve got what it takes? Join us on this breathtaking journey and create the most beautiful designs! What is West African-inspired design about?

It’s extremely hard to summarize the richness of such varied cultures in one paragraph, but in general, West African-inspired designs tend to incorporate neutral earthy tones – with vibrant splashes of color! Designs are often bold and colorful, incorporating different textures inspired by traditional fabrics and artwork. “Confidence” is something that West African designs have embedded into their DNA – they are unapologetic, brave, and present.

West African interior design is a timeless style. It’s original, authentic, true to its origins – and it is here to stay.

West African-inspired materials are timeless. They’re original, authentic, true to their origins – and here to stay.

Tip 1 – Materials and elements

When choosing materials for your West African-inspired designs, favor elements that create harmony and warmth in the home, while also exuding personality. Raw elements such as Rattan, clay, leather, palm bark and more, are welcome in this type of design.

Elements that draw their inspiration from the nature are wonderful additions: Plaster, textural wallpapers, paint, wood and stones all work together to create a stunning design with as many textures as possible.

You’ll notice wooden pieces are used often in designs: Cane, Rosewood, Jarrah Wood and bamboo are just some of the gorgeous pieces you can expect to use inside the home. Furniture tends to lean towards the darker-toned woods, giving the room a modern and polished feel, while maintaining the beautiful and authentic effect we’re going for.

Tip 2 – Artisan is the way to go

Appreciating the intricacy of handmade items is something near and dear to our hearts. Seasoned Redecorators can look back on their Artisan Retreat Season and reminisce – the same foundations still stand.

Hand-woven baskets and bowls are wonderful decoration pieces in this style, as well as being useful and functional to everyday living. They add a touch of home in what can sometimes feel like a busier design scheme. Mud-cloth bed throws are encouraged too, adding textures and warmth to the home.

In West Africa, you can find beautiful hand-painted and batiked options in pillowcases, tablecloths and placemats. Decorative Batiks that depict everyday life also make interesting and vibrant artworks to hang on the wall!

Tip 3 – Imperfect is perfect

Natural surfaces are iconic to this design style. Untreated stone and wood work together to bring a breath of nature into the home. It’s not about having everything fit symmetrically and perfectly – it’s about making a statement and being respectful of every piece you choose.

The carefully chosen artisan pieces that adorn the home are handmade and have beautiful small imperfections – this is part of what makes them so unique and precious.

Personal expression is the goal, so take a risk and go on a limb with your designs! Just be true to your roots.

Tip 4 – A hint of modern

Decorative elements with a West African expression can be combined with modern furniture to create a stunning overall design. A creative mix of modern decor spiced with traditional design elements radiates originality, style and personal taste.

As previously stated, this design style is all about bold textures and colors, making a statement, and less about a strict set of rules. You can take a lot of creative liberties to bring modernness and tradition together to the same room in a way that reflects who you are as a designer – while also growing and learning to incorporate new styles into your repertoire.

Modern decor goes together beautifully with West African-inspired materials, so don’t be afraid to mix and match and test out all of your thoughts and ideas! This is the time!

Tip 5 – Color Palette

The color scheme for this Season is heavily influenced by Africa’s beautiful nature scenes. Warm and hot colors that are like the sunset in the savannah include fiery red and blush pink. Earthy shades of clay and terracotta that mimic the earth encompass all shades of orange, red and brown. A dusty blue like the pale horizon balances it all out in a cooling breeze.

What all these colors have in common is the comfort and coziness that they bring to a home. They fit perfectly with large, bright and airy rooms – and you can use them as much or as little as you like in your designs.

The animals of Africa have and will always be a central theme in the continent’s artwork and fabrics. The colors of these animals are a great way to help you determine the overall pallet you want to use.

Grey, brown, black, white and beige are all fairly neutral colors that make for great wall and floor colors. Pops of color can be added through pillows, throws, and art pieces, with animal-inspired prints peeking through.

If you want to stick to neutrals, black and white animal photography or original African artwork of animals always make a bold statement as art pieces when you’re looking for something that really stands out.

The beauty of West African-inspired design is that you can make it as bold or as bare as you feel comfortable with. It makes a statement – but you can choose just what that statement is and how it reflects your own personal style as an interior designer.

Use this month to expand your design repertoire with West African-inspired rooms, filled with a sense of passion and adventure! Design beautiful, nature-filled homes on Redecor.

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