September 27, 2021 - Interior Design

African Style Interior Trends & Ideas

African interior design idea handwoven table mats by Womencraft displayed on wall sitting room

Africa is a beautifully diverse and exotic continent with a rich cultural heritage. African culture offers an endless source of inspiration for unique interior design styles with a focus on natural raw materials and handcrafted products.

This interior design trend looks best when small touches of African inspired décor are fused with simple, western elements such as modern furniture to create a warm, cosy, peaceful, and relaxed feel in your home.

African interior design styles terracotta vases handwoven basket wall display pattern cushions earthy colours

What’s great about African interior design is that it can be as simple or as bold as you like. Unique African elements can add personality, warmth, and charm to your living space. It’s easy to add African interior design ideas to any home.

Go wild and explore how you could decorate your home in African inspired style!

African Interior Design Inspiration

There are numerous sources of design inspiration when it comes to African style interior. Discover some of the main influences below.


The African continent boasts an impressive variety of different terrains including deserts, forests, mountains, rivers and white sandy beaches with palm trees. Similar colour themes and images can be incorporated into your home decor.

Wild Animals

Two Zebras standing next to each other in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania

Wild zebras at Ngorongoro National Park in Tanzania

Wild animals including lions, leopards and zebras, are popular in the fashion and interior design industries. Exotic animal prints are a timeless, luxurious trend commonly seen on the catwalk, in fashion retail shops and in magazines. Wild animals are a big part of African culture, which inspires art, fashion and design.

Culture & Heritage

Due to the African continent being so diverse there are many decorative items that often represent tribal culture and history. Each handcrafted item has a unique story behind it, which adds interest and uniqueness to your home.



Kente weaver Ghana controlling handloom using feet

A kente cloth weaver in Ghana

Handmade African designs are usually made from natural raw materials, such as sisal and rattan, and use ancient processes linked to tribal culture. Handcrafted African inspired décor can add soul and personality to a room; no two items are ever the same.

Art & Sculptures

Art and sculptures are very impressive in many African countries. Some painters like to pass down their knowledge and expertise to their children to continue a family business.

African Décor Colour Themes

The usual colour theme for African inspired décor features earthy, rustic colours in rich, natural and warm orange, brown and red shades inspired by African sunsets, culture and nature. Dusty pink and blues with terracotta shades are also common. The colours can be a mixture of bright and dark tones.

How to Introduce African Interior Design into Your Home

When it comes to African interior style, natural raw materials and untreated surfaces that give a rustic texture and imperfect look are popular. African textiles with decorative prints and vibrant colours are also commonly used.

Cushions Covers

Cushion covers are great for adding pattern, texture and even a pop of colour to a simple chair or sofa that uses natural colours.

African style interior ideas sofa cushions plants terracotta vases earthy tones

Handwoven Baskets, Bowls, Place Mats and Coasters

Handwoven baskets can be used to store magazines or to display exotic plants. Handwoven bowls can be placed on feature walls in groups as seen in the example below. Handwoven placemats and coasters can complement a wooden coffee or dining table.

Handwoven baskets in different shapes and sizes by Womencraft African interior design ideas Handwoven table mats by Womencraft displayed on wall above sofa African style interior ideas

Handwoven items by WomenCraft

Rugs and Mats

You could go for a traditional handwoven rug such as the example pictured below or an animal print-themed mat to add a cosy feel to your sitting room.

Handwoven African rug made from palm leaves by Nabri London

Handwoven rug made from palm leaves by Nabri London

Wood Carvings

There are so many wood carvings handcrafted by African artisans so you will have plenty to choose from. Tribal masks are great for adding interest and a wow factor to a plain wall.

Wooden hand-carved tribal face mask African interior design ideas

Sculptors and figures can be displayed easily in your sitting room too. Wooden carved utensils can be displayed in the kitchen or on your dining room table.

Wooden hand-carved lemon and lime squeezer from Tanzania by Qasa Qasa Wooden hand-carved coffee scoops from Tanzania by Qasa Qasa African inspired kitchen decor

Hand-carved wooden coffee scoops and lemon squeezers by QÄSA QÄSA


Handwoven throws for beds and sofas can add the finishing touch to a room and create a cosy and relaxed feel. There are many luxurious throws available that use locally produced African cotton too.

Handwoven cotton bed throw zig-zag pattern African interior design styles

Wall Hangings

Traditional African textiles, such as mud cloth from Mali and printed kanga from East Africa, can be used as wall hangings to add colour and texture to plain coloured walls. You could make your own creative wall hanging at home by using leftover African print fabrics.

Kanga fabric from East Africa traditional African clothing

Closeup of a printed kanga cloth design from East Africa

Tablecloths & Napkins

Tablecloths and napkins are a great way to add some texture or colour to your dining table display and could be a talking point at your next dinner party. You could even make your own for a homemade touch.

African print fabric napkins made in Tanzania by Qasa Qasa

African print fabric napkins by QÄSA QÄSA


African inspired lampshades are a great way to add a splash of colour to your living space especially if you use bold and vibrant African wax print fabrics.

Yellow/red/blue peacock African print fabric lampshade by Tropikala

Lampshade by Tropikala using our authentic Yellow/Red/Blue African Print Fabric


Hand-painted and terracotta vases can be displayed in your home to add richness and character. The below photographs are examples of beautifully hand-painted vases and pottery pieces ethically made in Morocco.

Hand painted terracotta Moroccan water cups by Nabri London African interior design styles Hand painted vintage Moroccan vase by Nabri London

Hand-painted terracotta water cups and vintage vase by Nabri London 


The most popular drum made in Africa is the Djembe from West Africa. It is traditionally made by hand and often features beautifully carved designs on the outside wood.

Djembe traditional African drums handmade in Ghana West Africa

Djembe drums handmade in Ghana, West Africa

There are also the Dundun, Bata, and Bougarabou drums. All can be used to decorate your living space while you take up a new hobby at the same time.

African handmade traditional drums from Ghana West Africa

Bougarabou drums handmade in Ghana, West Africa

Wooden Tables

Be it a coffee, side, bed, hall, desk or dining table there are so many options to choose from that can add a rustic, natural look to your home. Handcrafted wooden tables are made with love and come with their own unique story.

African style decor handmade wooden side table


Curtains can be the focal point of a room with bold and bright prints, or they can blend into the background using plain and natural colours. You can also use the same material to make complementary cushion covers to complete the look.

African print fabric curtains by Kitenge Store fabric for interior design

Red/Green Flower African wax print fabric curtains by Kitenge Store


There are so many talented artists in Africa that you’ll be spoilt for choice. A painting can be a main feature and talking point of a room.

Tinga Tinga is a visually stunning painting style, often featuring wild animals, the Maasai tribe, and Mount Kilimanjaro that was developed in Tanzania, East Africa.

Tanzanian tinga tinga wildlife painting

African paintings featuring wild animals by Tinga Tinga Art

Maasai Tinga Tinga painting from Tanzania African style interior ideas

A Tinga Tinga painting from Tanzania featuring people from the Maasai tribe 

Use Traditional African Textiles to Decorate Your Living Spaces

Authentic and traditional African textiles can help to add colour, texture and uniqueness to your home. Examples include: mud cloth, kente, aso-oke, adire, akwete, kanga, kikoy, basotho blanket, and ankara fabric.

Learn more about African fabric for interior design.

Add Colour to your Home Décor with African Wax Print Fabric

African wax print fabric plant pot covers by Tropikala

African print plant pot covers by Tropikala

Versatile African wax print fabrics are well known for their bold patterns and bright colours. The cotton cloth can be used to decorate so many items in your home and garden including curtains, cushion covers, tablecloths, lampshades, and even upholstery. The options are endless so you can enjoy using your imagination and creativity.

Discover more great fabric ideas that you could make at home.

Browse Kitenge’s Range of African Print Fabric


Authentic African wax print fabric designs by Kitenge Store

Kitenge Store’s collection of authentic African wax print fabrics

While you’re here, why not browse our authentic, high-quality African wax print fabric collection and get inspiration for home décor ideas. You can currently get 10% off your first order when you subscribe to our mailing list!

Shop African Print Fabrics


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