Living in Zimbabwe, I saw a huge range of safari decor styles in people’s homes, as well as in local hotels, lodges and restaurants. People got inspiration from things were part of their normal, everyday lives.
Now that I live in England, I appreciate those African safari decor accents even more, and I look for ways to incorporate them into my own home. I am not a big fan of leopard prints or zebra stripes, because the bold patterns can be difficult to blend into a home whilst looking natural. You don’t really see animal prints very much in the homes of people who actually live in Africa. To me, “safari” is about more than African animals – it’s also about the landscape, trees and surroundings. Some people also use the words “tribal” and “ethnic” in relation to this style, too.
There are so many creative and natural ways to incorporate African safari decor into your home. It’s all about embracing the colours, sights and feelings that Africa embodies. You can choose to keep it natural, or to go really bold. You can even mix African accessories with other styles to make it really modern and eclectic. “Less is more” with this style – don’t make it too cluttered or busy. You want to draw the eye to one cohesive idea, not confuse people with an overcrowded and busy room. Here are 10 interior ideas that I’m loving right now. You can see these and more on my Pinterest board.
Here, the African safari accents are in the form of traditional baskets, headrests, ceramics, prints and art. The African accents are dark in colour, and the other fittings and furnishings are white, which creates a contrast between the two. The room still feels fresh and light, yet it has an unmistakeably African flavour.
I’m a sucker for painted/glazed cement floors, and it’s a style that is often used in Zimbabwe. The traditional woven baskets and chunky wooden furniture are a nice nod to nature here. This decor shows that you don’t have to go O.T.T. to bring a natural safari ambience into your space.
Adding accessories with natural tribal motifs are an easy way to bring some African character into a room. Include a bright tropical plant and you’re all set. This style is best used when contrasted with monochrome furniture and colours, as shown here.
Make a statement piece of wall art. Arrange some woven baskets in similar colours and varied patterns against a white wall for a timeless, classy African look.
Pair an African-themed ornament with African artwork on a mantelpiece, wall or shelf. To ensure that the theme is cohesive, try to pair items that have similar colours. Although natural tones are lovely and peaceful, I also like happy, bright colours. To me, Africa is full of vibrant places and personalities, which lends itself to sunny decor accents. Just keep it to a small number of bright accents against plain colours, so that your avoid looking too busy. This baobab ornament is proudly sold by The Impala Collection.
A large piece of African art is one way to bring a sense of the bush into your room immediately. Keep the rest of the decor simple, to ensure a clean look.
This room combines Western pop art with bright African wax print fabrics. I think it really works well. The variation in prints gives it a relaxed, lived-in feel, and the blue/yellow/magenta colour theme means that it is all cohesive.
This monochrome theme is simple and stylish. Some safari-themed rooms are garish and tacky. No-one can say that about this black and white look. There are some large, unusual accessories and bold prints, but they still look timeless.
Okay, so zebra-print makes an appearance in this room. But this is an example of how it can be done with style. First of all, the zebra stripes are textured and life-sized, not those tiny little fake-looking stripes that are overdone elsewhere. Secondly, the other features in the room are all in natural tones. Can you see the elephant ornaments on the drawer? Check out our little aluminium rhino and hippo ornaments, which can be used in a similar way.
Eclectic and natural at the same time? Yes, it is possible! If you wanted to tone down the ethnic factor of this look, you could keep the ethnic wall hanging and the colour theme, and lose the other tribal prints.
That’s all for now, talk soon!
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The Impala Collection is an artisan homeware brand. We are based in Oxford, and sell exclusive one-of-a-kind craft from Zimbabwe. Our products include statement serving bowls, quirky tableware and singular decor pieces such as handmade African antelope horn castings. All of the products are made in small, Fair Trade workshops in Zimbabwe. By buying our products, you are helping artisans in Zimbabwe to support their families in a country where there are extremely difficult economic and political conditions. Shop at The Impala Collection for unique wedding gifts, personal Christmas presents, quirky birthday present, or just a treat for yourself.