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Interior Design Trends Around the World: Get a Feel for Africa


As designers, we travel the globe for inspiration from different cultures, heritages, and traditions, which often translates into new materials, colour schemes, and décor aesthetics. We are starting a new blog series to showcase the various countries we have visited to find fresh global design trends and inspiration to share with you. This week, we are exploring the interior design trends of Africa! Welcoming, energetic, and engaging, African design styles are as charming as the continent itself!

Africa is a diverse continent that has long inspired artists and designers with its bold graphics, strong silhouettes, and exquisite craftsmanship. Each country has its own distinct style, however, there are commonalities that are consistent over the entire region. Although we have not personally visited the entirety of Africa, we pulled together some of our favourite styles found during our visits to South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. We will be laying out the basics to help you incorporate these styles into your home!

Are you ready to explore striking African design concepts? Let's dive into it!

 Finishes and Textiles

Italian Bark

In Africa, natural materials such as terracotta, clay, wood, straw, and leaves are not only used in construction, but also in detailed handcrafted décor pieces. Wood such as cedar, ebony, and mahogany are often used to fashion these decorative items. Craftsmanship is of high importance in African décor, utilizing techniques honed over the centuries. Women in many different African tribe's weave fabrics, carpets, and furniture pieces made from woven material such as jute and sisal.

The interior of an African home aims to reflect harmony with nature. Handmade items such as plates, baskets, and carpets, made from jute, rattan, or clay, have risen in popularity. Baskets, whether on the wall or used as a decorative storage option, are a key element of the African style. Traversing the local Saturday markets in South Africa and Uganda, we saw firsthand how these beautiful baskets were crafted with style and care. Incorporating woven or earthenware pieces into your space is a great way to create the African look in its truest form.

 Texture and Colour


There are essential elements in African interior design that can be easily used to add texture to modern interiors. Details such as the instinctive geometry used in various African patterns, and exotic tribal artworks are key in creating that African-Chic feels in your space. The quintessential elements of African design sit comfortably alongside a classic Mid-Century Modern interior, so don't be afraid to incorporate different textures and pieces into your home.

Enriched Earth Palette by Sherwin Williams

The African interior design style typically incorporates warm colours and tones that are earthy and neutral, but also contain splashes of colour. The colour palette is vibrant and bold in North Africa, and earthy and neutral in South Africa. Shades of yellow, sandy orange, muted reds, and brown fit this design concept. The Enriched Earth colour palette by Sherwin Williams or the combination of Rosy Peach, Kingsport Gray, and Potters Clay by Benjamin Moore are perfect examples of this oxidized and exotic colour scheme.

Neutral Earth Palette by Benjamin Moore


African design is all about showcasing the raw beauty of nature. It's highly influenced by the natural landscape and the locally sourced materials discovered there. Many African tribes are inspired to create natural arts and crafts pieces in their own cultural style, which offers a large variety of decorative ideas and pieces to incorporate into your own space.

Lene Bjerre

The key elements in both North and South African design range from wood carvings to unique patterns and wild animal prints. Natural materials such as bamboo, clay, ivory, and wood are used to craft these designs and décor pieces, while bold animal and botanical prints are used in textiles and wallpapers.

Use of the Space

Delightful Pinterest Airtasker

Due to the warm climate, African interior architecture has adapted and generated creative ideas to transition easily between indoor and outdoor spaces. One of the most common solutions to this challenge is to have an area partitioned with wall dividers, ideally with semi-private openings which allow the air to flow freely throughout the space. This design also makes great use of open floor spaces to place cushions and lower furniture pieces, such as tables and beds.

The Unique African Experience

Recreating the African style in your home is all about reconnecting with nature in all its splendour. It’s about experiencing the warmth of the sun and sand, but also the wealth of flora and fauna. This style continues to expand from interior design into other avenues such as architecture and fashion, showing its longevity and adaptability in design.


Natural elements are appearing more in our homes as we wish to retain a connection with nature. The intrinsic value of craftsmanship and traditional techniques is becoming more apparent as the demand for authentic, one-of-a-kind décor pieces grows.

When you are ready to start exploring the African design concept, feel free to give us a call or send us a message if you need additional design advice!

Have fun!

White Dahlia Design Team


1 Comment

Can you recommend a safe online shop for african interior design? Where csn we buy?


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