Thursday, June 24, 2010

Waka Waka - this time for Africa

Africa has always been known to activate the senses like nowhere else on earth, long before FIFA and long before Shakira put the country in the spotlight with her rousing Afro-Latin rendition of Waka Waka in her Zulu skirt! Its colors and smells are so vivid - much like India - that the visitor carries them around long after he or she has left the African soil! African tribal art is so primal, passionate and unfettered, it is easy to understand the excitement caused by it.

African interior design has gone unnoticed until recently when it burst out of its slumber with vivid colour, bold pattern and hand made detail. Natural wood, woven baskets, burlap sacks, fabrics such as cotton and jute – these natural, organic materials are a part of any safari and translate well into the home. Likewise, the animals and the lush vegetation that are central to a safari – these elements are often used in African safari interior design as well. To get the look in your home consider these - large, dark wood furniture pieces; jute rugs on hardwood floors, when possible; animal prints, like zebra or cheetah for fabric choices; combining both real and artificial plants to give your room the jungle feel. Palms and grass plants are especially ideal choices; accessories with unique touches like mosquito nets on the wall and traditional African art; a safari scene mural to add a striking touch.

The color palette is sophisticated. Colors taken directly from nature - subtle shades of ochre, red, pure white, off white, and light gray. and green which is reminescent of stone found in the riverbed. Flora and fauna found near the river – grass, leaves, stems, flowers, roots, shells, nuts, wild fruit, papyrus, and gourds- these are accessories to this creation of natural fashion.

African interiors are all about people, tradition, culture, symbolism and celebration. The rich culture of Africa home accents comes from proud generations of people. These working people take the spirit of nature contained in the wood, clay, stone, metal and other natural materials. Next they give back by chiseling, crafting , and polishing beauty from the piece of wood, clay, stone, metal or other natural material they've taken. It's predicted more will grow to appreciate and use the exotic interior themes and elements to enhance a space or room in their home.
Here are some images to inspire you.....
Colors of South Africa - black, yellow-gold and green
Adapting ancient traditions to new methods - colored bowls made from telephone wires
African style along with other ethnic pieces - a Thai temple dog and English fireplace tiles
An African "basket" jug made from painted bottle tops filled with porcupine quills
Abstract cushions made from mud-resist Mali fabric
Lustrous gold on the walls, a cardboard and rattan basket and artwork on the wall using African river mud, ochre oxide and Reckitts Blue!
The natural beauty of dried pods and leaves complemented by the exquisitely balanced color scheme of the embroidered antique cloth from Syria!
An ostrich egg incribed by Namibian bushmen against the carved ridged texture of a wooden grain pestle, Zulu mat holder and Ndebele bracelet
African baskets and Afghan pottery in perfect harmony
Rough woven textiles, the smooth tactility of age-worn wood and beadwork are all to be found in tribal art!

Images via Ethnic By design by Dinah Hall


GB said...

Love this post- telephone cord, really? that looks awesome!

AD said...

Beautiful earthy tones!!