African Safari Decorating
Common elements of African Safari style include the following:
Color: natural earth tones, green, red, burnt orange, gold, purple and touches of black and white.
These colors come from the African Safari landscape, flora and stunning sunsets. They should be distributed to create a harmonious blend throughout the room, much like the symphony of an African landscape.
Furnishings: leather; rattan; wicker or wood furniture made from African mahogany; teak or other wood indigenous to the area such as obeche wood or the highly sought after yellowwood.
Furniture may seem more like art with its sculptural shapes and mix of materials. Authentic African upholstery is often made with animal skins like ostrich, leather, zebra, cowhide and lizard. Furniture legs are often of African wood or animal horns such as gemsbok or kudu, while more contemporary pieces might use chrome.
Fabrics: mudcloth; kuba cloth; brocade; silk; lace; velvet
African Safari decor should include lots of texture and fabrics are sure to supply this. They are beautifully woven and often portrayed with abstract patterns, animal prints or with pictures of wildlife, beetles, folklore, plants and flora. Look also for decorative touches like appliques and embroidery in throw pillows and bedding.
Art: African art offers a wide array of hand made items. Consider African face masks; batik paintings; hand carvings of tribal figures; various wildlife sculptures such as elephants, camels, crocodiles, lions, giraffes and zebras.
Accents: Zulu baskets; African ceramic pots; hand-forged copper; large leafy plants; tribal instruments including African drums, rattles, balafons and bamboo flutes.
Rugs: real or faux animal skins; woven textiles; raffia floor mats; Persian rugs
Window treatments: sheer panels; mosquito netting; lace; shutters or simple wooden blinds. Minimal, natural window treatments accentuate African Safari style.
Lighting: Look for lamps that have a natural, rustic quality to them with a simple animal print shade or a lamp designed to look like a wild animal or palm tree.
Taking these decorative elements into consideration, let’s look at how a living room might be decorated in African Safari style:
- Paint the walls in a warm golden hue.
- Hang wooden matchstick blinds and white sheers on the windows.
- Use an area rug in colorful abstract prints or a woven raffia mat over a wooden floor.
- Furnish with a leather sofa, two wooden side chairs and a faux zebra print ottoman.
- Hang a large print of the African landscape on one wall and a collection of African facemasks on another.
- Accent the sofa with throw pillows in red, burnt orange and green or in colors taken from the African landscape print.
- Include two or three occasional tables of differing types and top one with a few choice African wildlife figurines and another with books about Africa.
- Place several colorful pots of assorted sizes in a corner, incorporating the same accent colors as the throw pillows, and fill with tall leafy plants.
- Provide adequate lighting that complements the space.
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