Incorporating African Influences within Interior Design

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African influences have begun to pop up more and more in modern interior design, with designers keen to take advantage of the spark and character that this trend can lend a room. If you’re looking to inject your own African flavour, then these tips should help you get started.

Use colourful bedding

One of the key features in African design is the use of bright and vibrant colours, and bed sheets represent an ideal place in which to use them.  As well as providing a really stunning focal point for the bedroom, the tapestry-like feel can add a really creative vibe.  You could even show your wild side with a zebra print blanket!

Brighten up the walls

A single brightly coloured wall in an otherwise relatively pale room is another great way to add a spark of African personality. Strong reds in particular work really well, as they have that vibrancy and passion that’s so quintessentially associated with the continent.

Natural furniture

Carved solid-wood furniture is another excellent way to inject an African edge to any room.  The use of natural materials like wood works particularly well in more contemporary spaces, where the rustic craftsmanship can add a real sense of warmth to what can otherwise be quite a clinical and cold aesthetic. The type of furniture used is largely down to personal preference and the room being decorated.  Stools are quite popular, as are coffee tables: the latter in particular is ideal for anyone seeking to make the feature a focal point of the room.


There are few more interior design features quite as eye-catching as African lighting.  As with the wooden furniture, lighting can be a wonderful focal point in an otherwise bland room.  African lighting takes a number of forms, but those created using pearls and individual gems can look particularly breathtaking.  This use of lighting also offers a different way to insert some genuine African colours into a design for anyone that’s reluctant to get the paint out!

Woven items

The use of traditional, woven items can add a more low-key hint as to the African themes.  Some people like to use tapestries as part of their wall design, others will focus on something smaller such as a throw for an armchair or pillow covers.  Rugs are also a good option, especially if the floor is made from a colder material such as wood or tile.


Statues and talismans represent an excellent way to add a bit of African aesthetic without making any substantial changes to the room’s structure.  These can be purchased in a range of different materials such as wood or in stone, and in enough colours to suit almost any scheme.  Smaller craft pieces will look great perched on the shelves in the bathroom, and larger sculptures will create a great talking point downstairs in the lounge.  Combined with a couple of splashes of bright colour, the statues are perhaps the easiest way to present that African personality without breaking the bank.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35