Amazing African Inspired Interior Design Ideas

Amazing African Inspired Interior Design Ideas

Hello my lovelies!

In the past I’ve had interviews and features on the blog – lovely Amy contacted me and asked if she could do a guest post.

“Why the hell not?” I thought!

So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy :)

Suzzy x


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With two major influences coming from Europe and the Far East, there was little space left in interior design for ideas inspired by African culture. Now, the situation is slowly but steadily changing. The diversity and uniqueness of the vast African continent, when translated into the language of interior design, brings us a rich, beautiful and often transcendental style. Vivid colours, animal prints, locally crafted wooden figurines, landscapes of sunrises over grasslands, unique instruments, all reflect the captivating mystique of the black continent. African interior does not require too much investment if you are not going for a complete makeover. For a start, add an element or two of the African style to your home (a few clay or wooden masks or an animal themed wallpaper) and you will witness an instant transformation.

Although each of the 55 countries of the continent has its own unique aesthetics, there are some common elements to the style that we have listed below.

1. Organic textures

Texture is an essential element of interior design. Textured objects present a focusing point for the eye, and without them a space may look sterile and dull. But, just like with everything else, be careful not to exaggerate. In terms of African style, organic textures are its main qualifier. Any natural material, such as silk, cotton, wood, stone, leather, etc. will work. There are no limits to their use either. From bed covers to kitchen elements, organic textures are a desirable choice. Animal skin wall tapestries are also a distinguishing feature of the style, but while used with measure, overusing it might take you straight into the kitsch trap. There is also the ethical issue to consider. Instead of animal skins ethnic rugs are a great option with a lot of texture.

 

2. Rich colours

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All warm shades imaginable will fit perfectly into the cosiness of African décor. Think yellow, deep orange, bright red, terracotta, brown and sand. Another trick is to combine contrasting light and dark colours. While splashes of vivid hues are very common, they are used only for accentuating purposes and to bring a touch of drama. Do not avoid even black colour. However, neutral colour palette, consisting of natural, earthy and sand tones, should prevail as they have the calming effect. Instead of the polished look, the walls and furnishings should have a rustic appearance.

 

3. Exotic patterns

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Recreate the African safari and sunsets over the vast grasslands in your home by throwing in a rug with leopard print, pillow cases with zebra stripes, or a giraffe patterned ottoman. Turn your living room into the African Savanna with colourful jungle-themed wallpapers. Exotic wallpapers are fashionable again, so they should not be so hard to find. Why stop there? Tribal patterns, cheetah spots, protea flowers, banana leaves, baobab trees, and many more authentic patterns can be transferred to anything from walls, via bed linen, to floor coverings. You do not have to stick to only one pattern as they can be easily combined with each other.

4. Wooden furniture

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Furniture is one of the most recognizable elements of the African inspired interior. The only right choice with respect to furniture material is wood. Be it ebony, cedar, or mahogany, as long as it is dark and raw. Avoid shiny finishes. The lines should be sharp and should resemble the tribal figurines. Upholstery should also be of a natural material, usually dark coloured leather. Other option is patterned upholstery with tribal ornaments, animal prints, or rich floral patterns. Feel free to check out some true African interior design examples at propertymaputo.com.

Which aspect of the African style is the most appealing to you?


 

About the author

Amy Mia Goldsmith is a literature graduate from Melbourne with an interest for decor and home design. If you wish to contact her, message her on her Facebook page or Twitter.

 

Happy National Wallpaper Week!

Happy National Wallpaper Week!

Happy National Wallpaper Week!

How. Exciting. Is. This??

I get to blog about one of my favourite topics – wallpaper!

I was recently contacted by the good people at Graham & Brown and asked whether I would be interested in some free wallpaper in return for a blogpost about the paper, and a “before & after” sequence.

How can I say no to that??

For those of you who have read my blog for a long time (I thank you kindly!) you may recall me making a blogpost last Christmas about getting your guest room ready for visitors.

I always felt that it wasn’t finished. But I figured inspiration would come, at some point.

And guess what?

I’ve found it!

Isn’t it stunning??

It’s considered a “Nostalgic” wallpaper by the good people of Graham & Brown, so fits the description of:

Evoke that fuzzy feeling we all get at the slightest sense of home. A humble setting that you can adapt to your very own tastes, our nostalgic theme prompts you to relive fond childhood memories to adorn your home in history. A real homely feel, we’re looking to make you feel right at home as you wind down towards the end of the week.

Think traditional florals and vintage duck egg blue enveloping your walls a classic look.
Well, this humble wallpaper, darling one, is a Vintage Damask (check!) by Kelly Hoppen (check!).
Can’t get any better than that for the guest room, can it?
I’ve always envisaged it to have a real feminine boudoir feel, hence the dressing table and chairs that I refurbished and repainted myself.

Go on, go take a look at the website!

In the meantime, I’m creating my Plan of Attack for when both the boys are out of the house, and I can get my wallpaper mojo going!

Woohoo!!

Are you after support to redesign your home?

Get in touch today!
Guest room preparation for The Holidays

Guest room preparation for The Holidays

Afternoon my lovelies, hope your weekend is going well and not too insane full of Christmas preparation!

Now, I wanted to share a process I’ve had to go through this weekend – preparing our house for the step kids’ arrival tomorrow! Aside from the usual cleaning and food shop (they’re like human hoovers – never seen so much food being eaten in such a small amount of time!) I decided to brave entering the guest room on Friday…

It wasn’t a pretty sight…before

 

Honestly. I suspected it was bad but I clearly had no idea..

I couldn’t even move in the room let alone consider dressing the bed!

1. Gather the rubbish

And there was a LOT.

rubbishAlthough two of the things I ended up breaking while moving around. A mirror crashed, and a picture frame banged! Oops…

2. Try not to get distracted

As tempting as it may well be… I considered trying to wake up from the nightmare I was having – you know, the one where your spare room is filled to the brim with Rubbish??

distractions

3. Become a generous donor

And donate a load of the clothes kept there to charities, and even try to sell some of the wares lying around. You may or may not be successful in either situation of course! But thankfully I have plenty of friends with little ones who would love some clothes! Second-hand? Sure! Not like kiddies get to wear the clothes out before they grow out of them anyway.

4. Hoover the room

…within an inch of its life! You have no idea what kind of random cretins are crawling around <shudder>.

Hoovering

5. Wash all the bedding

…before putting it back on the bed. If your washing machine allows, even put the pillows and duvet through a cycle. It provides awesome peace of mind, after all!

6. Dress the bed

cosy bedIn our case I know stepdaughter isn’t a girly-girl, so quite likes browns. This is one of her favourite bed sets we have for her, so I put this on to make her feel nice and at home. Beaker is an ongoing joke between me and her, so it stays on her bed.

6. Towels are also a nice touch

I remember reading recently – wouldn’t you rather have the guests fully provided for with towels so they don’t have to go through cupboards in the night? I give stepdaughter one bath sheet, one smaller towel (for her hair) and then a flannel to clean her face with – going through teenage years her beauty regime is undoubtedly strict!

7. Prep the bedside table

I leave her lava lamp there, as well as ensuring the table top is wiped down, and the light bulb in her bedside light works.

Bedside table

8. Prep the dressing table

I leave her plenty of space to put her products out, so she doesn’t feel she has to live out of her suitcase.

dressing table

Do you have guests coming to stay? What pointers will you follow; are there any I haven’t mentioned? Feel free to comment below!

after

Do you have a room in your house you feel isn’t flexible? Why not contact me and see how I can help? With bespoke storage solutions many rooms in your house can achieve their full potential!

 

 

 

Christmas Decoration Theme at The Smiths

Christmas Decoration Theme at The Smiths

Hello lovelies!

Hope you’re all doing great today.

Seeing as it’s early December, I thought it was about time for me to share what we’re doing for Christmas this year…

Being of Scandinavian blood, of course everything screams REAL TREE! MASSIVE TREE!

There’s something magical about going to pick your own tree. I remember years ago my cousin stayed with us for a few days (weeks?) and helped to sell Christmas trees on the market square. I went to help her one afternoon, but was never asked to help again. It may have had something to do with my constant complaining of being cold/needing hot chocolate/sweets/hunger/hot chocolate please?/sweets?/need the toilet!.. It’s during those dark days (yes, really dark. Sun sets at 2pm) that you need something, anything to cheer you up. Trees for me does that.

So, let me let you in on a leeeettle secret…

The tree of 2014 is fake

Yes. You read that right.

Christmas tree

Christmas tree

It’s fake. Super-duper-muper-fake.

Why this blasphemy, you may ask?

Simple.

We’re flying to Sweden (YAY!) on the 27th December until 7th. Tree has to come down on the 6th at the latest (thank you superstitious Husband..!) and, well, that means it would stay up until Boxing Day. Which seems a very short time to spend a lot of money on a tree for..

But it’s got real bits to it, too!

It does, I promise!

Pinecones and red berries

Pinecones and red berries

These little beauties are 100% real. And lovely. And smell amazing!

I’m tempted to put some cinnamon sticks in, too.

Our wreath is also fake

But there’s a cute story behind that one.

Making of Christmas wreath

Making of Christmas wreath

Making of Christmas wreath

Making of Christmas wreath

A few weeks ago the local community held a fundraising Christmas Grotto event. Adorable crafts made by lots of little adorable hands. I even managed to convince TBT to stand still for all of 5 minutes (I know, I deserve a medal!) and with the help of a gorgeous little girl he made this:

Christmas wreath

Christmas wreath

So there’s no question about whether I was going to display his version or not. There’s an impressive amount of sellotape on it, too..

Our garland is fake, too

But it still looks stunning!

Christmas garland

Christmas garland

Christmas Garland

Christmas Garland

The diffuser is a gorgeous Frosty Scent and really smells like Christmas. The little lantern from IKEA reminds me of the ones we used to have while walking around outside at night making snowmen in the winter.

But there’s also traditional authentic elements to our decorations

Christmas stag

Christmas stag

For some obscure reason we always have Christmas stags. My parents still display the ones we used to have as kids at home, and I spotted this beauty at IKEA a few years ago. Not sure what the thinking is behind them but story goes it’s related to Thor’s stags he used to travel with in the Norse faith (the “proper” one, not the Hollywood/Marvel depiction). For me, it’s another tick in the box for a proper Christmas.

Christmas tree rug

Christmas tree rug

Finally, we have a gorgeous hand-sewn Hessian Christmas tree rug – a rug that sits underneath the tree. It’s been passed down to me but unfortunately I don’t know the background of it. I just love the idea that an ancestor of mine would have lovingly sat and sewn it ready for one Christmas and it’s still being used, many years later.

So there you have it

Pretty simple this year, don’t you think?

Nordic inspired with a family twist.

We’re opting for a “classy Christmas” before TBT has more say. I suspect he may start making demands next year about blue and green baubles. And tinsel. Lots of tinsel. *shudder*

Vintage bauble

Vintage bauble

Vintage bauble

Vintage bauble

Red star

Red star

What theme have you gone for this year? What does Christmas mean for you?

Decorating a staircase on a budget

Decorating a staircase on a budget

Hello my lovely readers, how are you all doing?

I’m still full of my chest infection – boo. Chocolate seems to do the opposite of help, frustratingly!

Today, however, I had one of those days where I just had to do something. Just Anything. Being the extrovert that I am and being locked up in the house for a few days doesn’t do me a lot of good.

So today for some reason Husband wielded a hammer (those who know him will know this is NOT natural behaviour for Husband!) and it inspired me to sort out our staircase!

As our budget is currently very tight, I have plenty of ideas of how to re-design our staircase with new carpets and beautiful paintwork and new bannisters and suchlike, but no money to action it with. Especially before Christmas every single penny seems to be going towards getting presents or cards or food preparations, am I right?

I’m really pleased with my result, it didn’t take long at all!

1. Print a load of 6×4 photos

This can often be done cheaply. I got an amazing deal for photos on Snapfish last year, with a massive amount of free prints (huzzah!) as long as I paid the postage. The photo quality is fab, too.

2. Buy a load of clip frames

Last year I managed to get an insane discount on the ones from Dunelm during their Christmas sale – I think they were only 50p each or something like that, so definitely keep your eyes peeled.

Dunelm clip frames

Dunelm clip frames

3. Decide on a location on the staircase wall for your pictures

I chose the wall climbing the staircase as it was such a massive blank canvas and already had a picture of Husband and I. It’s one of my most favourite photos of us, taken at my sister’s wedding where I was a bridesmaid (this is taken shortly before my hair pops out of the beautiful style the hairdresser had made – damn hair!) and I don’t even think either Husband or I can remember it being taken. I just love how happy and relaxed we both look – it’s us, well and truly. Our wedding photos are beautiful too, of course, but I feel they’re a little more staged. And, more to the point, I don’t look like me at all in them. Sometimes a good thing 😉

Us

Us

4. Grab a pencil, ruler and a spirit level and come up with a strategic pattern placement on the staircase wall for the pictures

Word of warning – I did attempt putting them in a block so nicely next to each other. But with only a pencil and no spirit level or ruler I did it by sight alone. Not ideal for beginners but it worked out fine for me.

5. Put the pictures up, admire your handiwork and go “aaahhh…”

What I love about this pattern is:

  • It shows off Husband, myself, The Blue Thing and the Stepkids. As much as we do try to make them feel included when they come to stay, they are in their teenage years now so may be anxious about their place in our family. I hope that this wall will help reassure them that they are very much loved and part of us.
  • It’s grown around Husband and I. We are still centre stage, but the kids are a wonderful addition to that.
  • It’s organic. What I mean by that is – any additions are easily made in the future. Should we have another photoshoot like we did for TBT’s first Christmas (where the majority of the photos come from) we can easily add them in new frames and just keep building the wall. I’d love to have the whole staircase covered in photos one day!
Finished product

Finished product

Dont we all look amazing?

Don’t we all look amazing?

Have you done something similar? Share your views/ideas in the comments below, I’d love to hear your feedback!

Sx