October 15, 2015

Interior Design: Adding African Art to Your Home Decor

As a lover of African art, I always need to include elements of African art to my home decor. I have a huge collection of African carved art, paintings, instruments and much more that I have accumulated over time. I always make sure to buy a new piece each time I am in the Continent.

Due to this huge collection and my love for African Art,  my previous apartment was fully decked out with all my African pieces in every room. Every wall had a painting, every table had a carving and every shelf had some art as well as instruments. I was living in my own little Afrocentric sanctuary; no one could enter my place and not know I was African LOL...

Once I moved into my condo, which meant downsizing, I knew I would not have enough space to display all my wonderful African art. Now came the difficult task of picking and choosing which pieces to use and the hard task of backing away all the rest of my beloved pieces and putting them in storage :( In addition, because I wanted to keep the design of my new space very clean, simple and modern, I could only only use a handful of pieces in order to maintain a simplistic look to the space.

If your space in neutral, African art can be a nice colourful accent to your space. On the other hand, if your place it has a brighter colour scheme, African art such as wood carvings are great for toning things down.

For this post I'll focus on the living room. Because my place has a neutral colour scheme, I chose pieced that would compliment my orange accent colour theme.

Unity Wood Carving & Bowl: Ghana
To start, I have a Unity carving set from Ghana on my Ottoman, which I have instead of a coffee table. Within ones space design, there is usually some sort of decorative element, books or magazines on the coffee table. This is also a great place to add a small African art piece such as a carving or bowl. Therefore, I chose to have a Unity carving on mine and added some orange decorative pieces in the bowl to add an accent. This serves as a nice piece of decor for the center of the living room. A piece like this can also be a nice addition to the center of a dining table as well.

Woven Fan, Kalimba Instrument & Unity Wood Carving: Ghana / Globe: Homesense
Next, I wanted to display some pieces within my shelving unit. Open shelving is meant for displaying, whether it be art, books, pictures or many other things. Thus, this is the perfect place to really showcase some of your African Art. On my shelf, I have more wood carvings and well as an instrument at the top of the shelf. The first item is a cute orange woven fan with a wood carved handle that I got in Ghana. Second is a Ghanaian Kalimba instrument my Dad brought me from Ghana. Lastly is a another unity carving from Ghana, however,  in place of the bowl i have placed an orange globe that I found at Homesense. And, of course I made sure that the African continent was front and center! :)

African Print Dinnerware Set: Anthropologie
Furthermore, the newest addition to my Africa decor is this African inspired African print dinnerware set I recently got from Anthropologie. The the set is so pretty, I thought it was better suited to be put on display rather than hidden in a cupboard. The unique design of my shelving unit provided me the perfect place to display this set. Whether you have shelving, a hutch or a display unit in your living room, each are a great place to display any kind of African dinnerware pieces, cups, bowls as well as African carvings, small instruments and little trinkets you may have.

Djembe & Dondo Drums: Ghana
Although I had limited space, I knew I was definitely NOT putting away my Djembe and Dondo drums. It was a must for them to be in my place! So, I decide to place them right beside my shelving unity where it would be visible in the entry way of my place. This would make it the first decorative item to catch ones eye as they entered the space, essentially making it a statement piece. There should always be some sort of statement piece within a space. This can be a large art piece, a piece of furniture, a unique light fixture or anything else that will catch ones eye. In my case, it's my Djembe Drum. Many people who have come to my place have not left without attempting to play it LOL. Therefore, choosing an eye catching African Art piece as your statement pieces is a great option when designing your space.

Ultimately, if you are looking to add some African art to your space, it is best to start with a few pieces and then slowly add new pieces over time that complement eachother.

For now, these are the pieces I've used in the living room, however, I'm sure over time I will slowly add a few more pieces or rotate some new African art pieces in my place. The next item to add for sure is an African painting on the wall, so will definitely be looking out for one on my next trip to the Continent in December.

Happy decorating! :)