African Design and Décor Destinations to Explore
by Marion Nowak
Africa is not only trending in terms of décor but also as a design destination. Historically speaking, many African countries have been influenced by European, Indian and Middle Eastern cultures. This created a unique style only known to these countries themselves, making them a favourite as African design destinations.
As some of these African countries became independent, many cultural remnants were left behind therefore acting as evidence of their existence. Fused with traditional African flair over the years, these destinations have become unique in their architecture, designs and décor.
The country of allure and mystery. When your mind wanders to Morocco, you may be seduced by images of lavish green courtyards decorated in mosaics. Arched walkways in pastel colours, the smell of incense in a bustling souk and the sound of bartering in the background.
Long known for its architectural and design influences in modern boho trends, Morocco is a great destination to visit if you’re keen to find unique pieces for your home. From richly textured tapestries, satins and silks, leather goods, ceramics and more, if it’s rich textures you’re after, Morocco is the place for you. See this lovely shopping guide for Morocco here.
Take into consideration our 11 official languages and the impact those different cultures can have on our lifestyle and living style. Delicate beading inspired by the Ndebele culture has been popular in home décor since Esther Mahlangu started making waves on the international art scene in the early 90s with her BMW art car. Recently Belvedere Vodka made her an ambassador for their Belvedere Red campaign alongside John Legend. She’s still relevant and so is her art and similarly, the influence it has on beautifully decorated homes throughout South Africa.
South African design and décor elements includes re-usable items, bright beadwork, animal textures and raw wood. In terms of design, the Cape offers a lovely selection of Cape Dutch building design. These form an important part of South African heritage and design.
Zanzibar is known for its warm tropical waters and blissful beaches. What makes it even more intriguing is the variety of building styles found throughout Zanzibar. Here you can find subtle clues about Zanzibar’s long and varied history.
Strong Arabic, Indian, Swahili and European influences add a unique and vibrant style only found in Zanzibar. Carved teak doors and decorative doorknobs can be found all over, leaving you with many ideas on how to incorporate it in your home. Find one of a kind furniture, rich fabrics, Massai jewellery and wood carvings to add to your unique décor collection.
Mozambique is another destination known for its beautiful beaches and distinctive Portuguese influences in design. Maputo is a culture trip that can easily take you through different decades of Mozambican life after independence. With over four centuries of Portuguese rule, you cannot miss these obvious influences. Mozambique was considered a trading post on the route to India. Its remarkable architectural unity is due to the consistent use of it by the Portuguese since the 16th century.
From a design perspective, you can expect to see typical Portuguese-like styles in buildings from churches to government buildings. Bright colours are really important in Mozambican culture. Bright colours are everywhere you look and found in their Capulana fabric designs. These make for trendy accents in your home.
From easy to visit destinations to ones that may take more planning, adding these African design destinations on your travel bucket-list is any décor and design lovers dream.