Interiors inspired by African culture

It is safe to say that two major influences when it comes to interior design are Europe and Asia. Each of them offer characteristic features and it is easy to differentiate between the two. Thou less present, interiors inspired by African Culture have a significant presence as well. What is more, this presence is slowly but steadily increasing as the people become aware of the difference and uniqueness African culture inspired design brings into their homes. Here are the fundamental design features of this beautiful and enriching style.  

Uniqueness and parallels

Africa is a vast continent consisting of 55 states, with rich and long history full of turbulences and various influences from around the world. Africa is the cradle of civilization and a witness of everything that happened since the dawn of time. Thou so diverse in style and culture, there is a number of elements that are common to the entire African continent. This is especially true when it comes to interior design and these particular characteristics will be the focus of our attention since they are most present and recognizable inspirations for contemporary interior designs throughout the world. 

Color combinations

Neutral color palette, soft shades and warm, natural and earthy colors yielding simplicity and cozinessare the main characteristics of African influence when it comes to colors used in interior design. Individual splashes of vivid colors are present and not uncommon; however, they are used very carefully and solely for accenting purposes. Dominant color harmony needs to prevail and dictate the overall atmosphere. Since it symbolizes Earth and has a peaceful effect it is no wonder it has gained such popularity outside Africa as well. 


Natural is the main qualifier when it comes to materials as well. Silk, cotton, textile, wood and stone dominate and their use is diverse, from bed linen and pillow cases to art pieces, furniture items and bathroom and kitchen element and accessories. Animal skin is also very distinguishable African influence and they are used for various purposes too, from bed covers via paths to wall tapestry. Bearing in mind the strong impact they have on the overall atmosphere, animal skins need to be used with taste and measure, any excessive use will ruin the design rather than enrich it. 


Wood is the main choice when it comes to furniture material, ebony, cedar and African mahogany being the most prominent. Dark colors, sharp angles and carvings resembling the work of tribal craftsmen are immediate association to Africa. Such furniture pieces are one of the most recognizable and widespread influences of African style on interior designs. Upholstery used keeps the spirit, bringing tribal ornaments, ethnic skins or miming animal skin patterns. Naturally, with taste and less is more approach here as well. Feel free to check the representative interior design examples at  


Lastly, rich African art is something that is easily recognizable and highly sought after. African tribes are known for the diversity and beauty of their art work and various styles promise something suitable for every individual. Be it Ethiopian clay pottery, Zulu shields and masks, carved wood statues from Nigeria, Maasai spears  or Moroccan  patchwork wall decoration, to name just a few,  one cannot go wrong since they will surely enrich any interior design.

Bilateral influence

As it was said in the beginning, African turbulent history was influenced by none African populations, especially European. What this means is that contemporary African interior design is marked by European influence as well and the most successful and representative examples of mixtures of both design styles may be found in cities throughout Africa. If you need extra inspiration for your interior design, this is where you should look as well.

To sum up, African culture is a great source of inspiration for interior design and it is steadily approaching those of Europe and Asia. Incorporating it in your homes is something that will provide unique and at the same time calming atmosphere, which is more than enough for full recommendation.

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