Decorating your home with African American flair can be a fascinating adventure! Envision bringing together decor pieces that capture the natural materials, colors, and textures of the African wild—plus authentic accents drawn from tribal rituals, crafts, and traditions. But how to pull this off with the perfect balance of rough and rustic elements with a mid-century modern style? Read on for some amazing interior decorating inspiration! (*this post contains affiliate links)
African-inspired Home Decor: Options to Buy
The popularity of African American interiors is definitely here! A survey of our favorite home decor outlets readily yielded these wonderful pieces available for order.
See the interplay of materials like wood, stone, clay, sisal, hemp, bone, and animal hide. Colors such as ochre, russet, sand, red earth, brown bark, terra cotta, and white shell. Patterns, symbols, instruments, and implements that serve as decorative elements and even practical pieces. All brought together with style and sophistication!
For key furniture pieces, consider this Espresso Buffet Table (1 – from the Simon Collection, Pier 1), the genuine leather-covered Harmony armchair (3 – from Birch Lane), the Derry Sofa (5 – from All Modern) in emerald-colored upholstery, and this abstract teak coffee table (6 – from Wayfair).
For striking accents, you will definitely make a decor statement with pieces like this authentic sculptural African mask (2 – from Novica, via Wayfair), a Modern Velvet Geese Silhouette Pillow (4 – from Rivet, via Amazon), and a set of handwoven baskets (7 – from All Modern) made from cornhusks. Truly stand out pieces, too, would be this “Jazz Trio” Everett Spruill framed art print (8 – from Amazon), this zebra-print Edolie black and ivory area rug (9 – from All Modern), and an authentic handmade Djembe drum (10 – from Amazon).
African-inspired Home Decor: Projects You Can DIY
Want to try your hand at crafting your own decor elements with African flair? We discovered these truly creative DIY projects to let you do just that!
Believe it or not, you can make these African tribal masks (1 – tutorial by Creativ Company) using plaster bandage over a full-face papier mache mask, painted over, then decorated with beads and wire! This stenciled tribal lampshade (2 – tutorial by Paint and Pattern) plays with ready-made geometric stencils to create a repeating ethnic-look pattern on a plain drum lampshade. While your “for recycling” stash can yield these plastic bottle flower vases (3 – tutorial by The Seaman Mom) painted in chic gold and black. Just add flowers! DIY African juju hat (4 – tutorial by Love Maegan), a ceremonial headdress recreated as wall art! For visual impact, we fell in love with this DIY African basket wall (5 – how-to by Spicy Candy DC) that can fill up a blank spot with a fascinating interplay of patterns.
And for adding small themed touches here and there around your home, how cool is this African hip hop graphic art wrapping paper (6 – available on Zazzle)? You could use it to wrap books, line a tray, fill a small frame, and many other creative ways.
Books on African and African American Home Styling
Of course, learning from the experts is best. So we suggest these references for seeing how truly fabulous this interior decorating genre can be! All available on Amazon
Harlem Style: Designing for the New Urban Aesthetic (1) by Roderick N. Shade and Jorge S. Arango; Peter Madero, photographer
Style and Grace: African Americans At Home (2) By Michael Henry Adams and Mick Hales
African Style: Down to the Details (3) By Sharne Algotsson
African Style (Design Details) (4) By Stephane Guibourge
9 Steps to Beautiful Living (5) By Cecil Hayes