Africa has long remained a “conserved” continent that has not been exposed to other crops. Therefore, the style formed in these open spaces has retained its primitive and archaic nature. Dwellings of indigenous tribes, as a rule, are decorated concisely, as the locals could not afford the luxury and delights. It is this simplicity that attracts the attention of spoiled representatives of a more civilized society. Of course, modern African style in the interior combines the features of many European trends with elements of local culture, that is, the situation does not pretend to authenticity. We will talk further about how to correctly add elements of the “black continent” to the situation.
The history of the formation of style and its main directions
The history of Africa has chosen for itself a unique way. For a long time, the continent has not been subjected to the cultural influence of an intensively developing Europe, therefore the atmosphere of a typical aboriginal dwelling has retained archaic features. This "boom" in the African style came at the beginning of the last century. Although progressive European countries from the Middle Ages colonized part of these territories (mainly the North), the “race for Africa” began only at the end of the XIX century. Until then, the black population was treated exclusively as free labor. No one was interested in the culture of the locals and the colonialists were in no hurry to bring something new into it. The whole continent literally sawed into zones of influence France, England, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Expansion continued until the 60s of the last century. Although the state wishing to eat new territories did not want to give up their possessions, a number of African tribes finally began an active struggle for independence. Eventually, it turned into internecine wars and an endless redistribution of land, along with the local residents living on it. African style, in fact, can be attributed directly to two large groups of directions:
Ethnic is considered the maximum imitation of authentic "interiors" of African dwellings. Since, unfortunately, most Africans live far beyond the poverty line, people who are accustomed to the benefits of civilization are unlikely to convert their comfortable apartments into earthen houses. Colonial direction is the quintessence of the culture of African and European. The cultural founders of modernism, cubism and abstractionism contributed greatly to the popularization of style. In the midst of artists, Africa was glorified as a continent that managed to maintain a strong connection with nature. In this style, it was easy to find simplicity, to which the painters of the new era, and the inimitable color, admired with its easy naivety. Even so far, African culture is considered exotic. In the interiors of its influence is not so common. Designers consider the African style as an option “for the brave lover”, which is chosen only by those who have become attached to the “black continent”.
Features and main features
Two subdirections separated from ethnic African style:
For Moroccan characteristic of the bright features of Arab culture. The Egyptian direction in this regard is more individual, since the interiors are unique. African style in the broad sense of the word is characterized by common features:
- Warm atmosphere through the use of yellow, brown, red flowers.
- Light walls covered with plaster (possibly with irregularities).
- The use of only natural decor (from the usual plastic and glass will have to be abandoned).
- Handmade textiles.
- Angular furniture made of wood, the surface of which was subjected to rough processing.
- The abundance of natural materials in the finish. Wood prevails, as a rule.
- "Animal" prints and patterns: "giraffe", "zebra", "leopard", "lion".
In African style use a large number of thematic ornaments. They are used in textiles, decor and decoration. Also for the direction is characterized by an abundance of symbolism, since in culture a special place is occupied by religion and traditional cults.
The color scheme of the African style consists exclusively of natural shades. Locals have never sought to bring new colors to the interior palette. Only clothes can be motley in Africa, most of which are imported from developed countries. The color scheme of the interiors displays all four elements: water, earth, air and fire. The base is collected from shades of brown: terracotta, ocher, chocolate, brick, sand, walnut, sepia, coffee with milk, brown. It is complemented with black, red, sometimes gray, and surfaces painted blue or green using the “color-mixing” technique, that is, with characteristic divorces. The last two colors are used as bright accents. Since the African landscape consists predominantly of bare, cracked earth with sparse spreading trees, green crowns or blue springs with water are rarely found on it.
The choice of materials and methods of finishing
African huts are usually a very unattractive sight. They are built from the available materials, which primarily include branches, clay and straw. In fact, for the life that the local tribes lead, more is not required. Luxury apartments in the "wild" corners of this continent would look extremely inappropriate. But for designers who need to make adobe huts out of comfortable apartments, the task becomes more complicated, since it is necessary to create something similar to a primitive decoration from modern materials.
Walls in authentic interiors are usually made of clay. They can have various light shades: from soft color of baked milk and to ocher or sepia. To qualitatively simulate a clay surface, use Venetian plaster, which has a special texture, textured wallpaper, or a combined version, where the relief is obtained using coarse strokes of putty.
Accent wall can be decorated with photo wallpaper, which depicts a landscape with savanna before sunset. A stylish solution will be a coating imitating the soil cracked from drought.
When styling the interior under the African style with the floor, problems may arise, since in the huts it is usually earthen. No one will bring soil into the apartment, so they use simple modern options: ceramic tile, floorboard. The tile, by the way, is used in Moroccan interiors, as it pleasantly cools the room, helping to escape from the heat. The coating is traditionally chosen in dark shades: brown, red, chocolate, dark brown.
In budget versions, the surface of the ceiling just plaster without frills. If its height allows, then use decorative beams of dark wood shades. It will be in perfect harmony with light plaster and will give a special charm to the room. Stylish glossy stretch ceilings or frame structures sheathed with gypsum plasterboard are used only in eclectic interiors, where modern details are mixed with ethnic ones. On such surfaces, additional sources of decorative lighting are fixed, which emphasize the special relief of the walls and the unusual, themed decor in the room.
In African style, use a soft, diffused light. The ideal option would be candles or bulbs, securely covered with shades of yellow or orange glass. Ceiling chandelier choose concise from simple materials with a straightforward configuration. Particular attention is paid to the additional and decorative lighting. The walls are decorated with paired sconces that emphasize the surface finish and decor. On the tables and on the floor put elongated lamps.
The value of textiles in the interior
Textiles in primitive African huts are considered the main decoration. The floor is necessarily covered with long paths with transverse lines that are woven independently. As a rule, use threads of various bright shades. In large rooms, the floor can be covered with carpets with a short nap or products that mimic the "straw" texture. Curtains are used from coarse, monotonous fabrics. Sometimes resort to comfortable roller blinds made of bamboo. Although the material for Africa is not peculiar, similar canvases close the windows and doors in many local huts.
Choice of furniture
For furniture sets choose only wooden elements with roughly treated surfaces. It should appear that each object is made handicraft. It is recommended to use stools typical for African interiors, chests for storing things, low tables. In the color palette prefer dark shades of brown. Upholstery of upholstered furniture is decorated with “animal” prints imitating the skins of African animals. If you choose leather surfaces, then with a complex texture under a crocodile, a snake or a hippopotamus.
Elements of decor
The decor in the design of the African interior plays an important role. Locals love to decorate their homes with symbolic objects that most often belong to religious cults. The main focus should be on small sculptures and masks. Figures of people (mostly women) have irregular proportions, which does not at all indicate a poor master's work. Just for this area is characterized by wooden sculptures with long legs, necks, noses and elongated faces. In fact, in such art, primitive ideas about the “ideal” person are displayed. It is enough to remember that in some tribes they specially wear rings on their necks, so that they lengthen over time. Masks will be a stylish addition to the decor on the walls. It is not necessary to acquire those images in which the eyes are closed or clear animal features are traced. Such masks symbolize the departed, or are used in rites by people who create “temporary shelter” for evil spirits. It is better to choose elements that personify deities or certain characters in religious cults. A special place in the decor will be occupied by earthenware: plates, pots, cups, jugs, vases. They decorate all the rooms, regardless of the functional purpose. Also in the decoration often use animal heads that adorn the walls. Of course, this is not about real animals, but their high-quality imitation (let's be humane). Do not forget to supplement the interior with a live palm tree or a composition of dry twigs in a vase.
To complete the decoration of the room can be spectacular panels or paintings, which depict symbolic characters. This decoration can be made by hand.
African-style cuisine is designed according to the principles of conciseness. In the traditional version, the food is cooked on the stove. Of course, in modern apartments such units have never been encountered. However, under the hearth can be styled hood, finishing its surface with a material that simulates clay. The floor is decorated with tiles of dark shades. The tile which surface imitates sand or the cracked earth will look stylishly. The kitchen apron is decorated with tiles with themed African patterns or the romantic savanna landscape. The dining group is separated from the cooking zone using a low, light partition made of twigs by the weaving method. Above it hang a group of three or four lamps in "straw" caps. The windows are covered with light linen curtains. The walls are trimmed with moisture-resistant vinyl wallpaper with an “animal” print on the surface.
Style in the bedroom
As an inspiration for the design of the bedroom, use the typical African landscape: the setting sun, which gilds the tops of rare baobabs and the sharp silhouettes of giraffes walking about their business. A typical picture for savanna can be a source for creative ideas, and most importantly - it will allow you to create an interior that is filled with peace and tranquility. In the color scheme, use warm, soft shades of yellow and brown. By the way, they will contribute to calm and sound sleep. The ceiling is decorated with wooden beams, and the rest of the surface is finished with plaster tint of "baked milk". A rough wooden bed is covered with simple textiles and decorated with a pair of pads of dark colors. The accent wall at the headboard is decorated with wicker or clay decor. On both sides of the bed set sconces and bedside tables. The floor is covered with a soft carpet with a short nap. The walls are decorated with plaster or sheathed with light wood panels. A stylish addition to the interior will be a large outdoor pot with a plant. The windows are closed with simple ethnic-patterned curtains at the edges.
Living room design
African-style living room has a special color and "warm" comfort. This direction is recommended to use in the design of spacious rooms, where the use of dark shades will be justified. The soft furniture set is decorated with “animal” upholstery. A sofa and a pair of chairs (or stools) are placed around a round coffee table made of wood. Accent wall with a TV is decorated with a stylish panel, photo wallpaper or animal skin. Around hanging masks. Wooden figures, vases with dry twigs are placed on horizontal surfaces, and staffs are placed on the floor. The coffee table is decorated with an hourglass, "tusks" of elephants or a composition of candles. The floor is covered with paths, rugs or skins of zebras, lions, antelopes. Complement the interior with a pair of wicker chairs by the window next to the bookshelf for a secluded rest on the sidelines.
African style is also easy to implement in the bathroom, hallway or nursery. The ethnic interior will definitely be a wonder, since such design even in cafes and bars is extremely rare, let alone apartments. Perhaps the only drawback of the style can be considered a complex combination with tight spaces. Its color scheme and the special texture of the surfaces used are so specific that they simply overwhelm a small room.