Contemporary African Decor Ideas for a Burst of Color

African decor

You can use contemporary African decor throughout any area of your home or office.

Contemporary African Decor

When you think of Africa, you probably envision the earth colors that make up the African landscape. What you may overlook, however, is the brilliant hues that are often found in woven materials, pottery, and other handcrafted items. Africa is excitement, color, and beauty, and you can echo this thought throughout any room in your home or office.

Where can you find inspiration for using a contemporary African decor? Start with a single piece that you love. This could be a rug, painting, pottery bowl, or simply a picture you've found in a magazine or online. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you love about the piece?
  • How important is color to you?
  • How much change do you really want to make?
  • What atmosphere do you want to create?

While of course you'll need to pay attention to any budget constrictions, finding contemporary African decor doesn't have to be expensive. You can add a few items to a room, or you can completely redo everything from the floor up!


Furniture with a contemporary African flair usually incorporates lots of dark wood, as well as bamboo and rattan. The great thing about decorating in an African theme is that you really can find inexpensive furniture and accessories in this design! If your budget is really limited, look for items at closeout stores such as Big Lots. Target and TJ Maxx often carry a line of contemporary African décor that is beautiful and affordable. There are also numerous stores online, and while some of those stores may be more expensive, others may offer quality items at great prices.


While much of the African décor you find may be in browns, blacks, and other earth tones, you can add boosts of color throughout the room with beautiful accessories. African colors echo the brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges of a sunset, as well as the brilliant greens and blues of the grass and the sky. Use these colors in pottery pieces, throw rugs, afghans, lamps, pillows, and other décor.

  • For your walls and as accent pieces on tables, dressers, etc., look for tribal masks and African headgear.
  • Throw in a few animal prints to play up the whole African safari theme. Zebra or leopard prints look wonderful on rugs, blankets, tablecloths, and even framed as art.
  • Rugs can be made of more natural materials, such as sisal or jute.
  • Curtains can be simple, breezy mosquito netting draped across a long walking stick, or gauzy material that gently moves in the breeze of an open window.
  • For more dramatic flair, consider adding a mural to one wall. Paint the tall grasses of the African savanna, and for additional whimsy, place animals so that they appear to peek through the blades of grass at visitors. This looks especially adorable in a child's room!
  • Purchase an overhead lamp/fan combination. There are numerous styles that echo the African décor with large leaf-shaped fans in dark mahogany shades.
  • Scatter African styled sculptures throughout the room, interspersing larger pieces with smaller ones.
  • Wicker baskets are inexpensive, yet beautiful items that will look great with your new décor, as will candles.
  • Add real or synthetic plants to the corner of the room to give the feel of the jungle.

As you decorate, keep in mind that many of these pieces will work well with almost any color scheme, so don't be afraid to mix and match and play with your favorite shades and materials.

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Contemporary African Decor Ideas for a Burst of Color