Sunday, December 19, 2010

African Design

{Martyn Lawrence-Bullard}
I came across this photo of a beautiful space by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard this week and the photos in the background got me reminiscing about Africa, my experiences there, and specifically design ideas.  I traveled to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe over ten years ago now, but the experience definitely stays fresh in my mind.  The influence over centuries of so many cultures, both native and foreign, makes for an intriguing mix of design elements.  Here are a few pictures that will provide a visual design safari!

{yvonne o'brien via vt interiors}
We stayed in a beautiful B&B in Capetown that had refined Dutch
elements mixed with great tribal accents, very similar to this picture.

On safari we stayed in some amazing "camps" in Botswana, and then on to the comfort and leisure of the Victoria Falls Hotel, an elegant old British Colonial hotel
with ties to days gone by.  We had high tea on this veranda.  So English!

I first fell in love with vintage travel posters like this one, lining the walls of the Victoria Falls Hotel.  They are from the days when traveling to exotic locations meant so much more adventure than it does today!

{yvonne o'brien via vt interiors}
I love all of the natural elements involved in this setting.

To me this look spells out African Colonial perfectly! 
A bit exotic and a bit refined all in one. 
Can't you just picture a tired, dusty explorer casually tossing down his hat and
reaching for a refreshing drink?

If you liked these images, I wrote a post a while ago specifically about
zebra prints that you can find here.

What do you think of African Design?


Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

Gorgeous places you stayed. I would absolutely love to have tea on that terrace. Someday I would love to visit Botswana and South Africa. My brother and his family lived in Botswana for 6 years, but I never got a chance to visit him.

I agree that the last photo really captures modern African design with the dark wood, natural elements, plants, and some specifically African touches like the zebra skin and the photo. said...

Beautiful African Colonial pictures. I love this style along with British Colonial. It fits well with my large family and my home looks comfortable, not trendy! Thanks for sharing your "finds". I'm new to this blogging-thing but I'll be back soon to explore more : )

Polish_gal said...

I love Africa:) I'm creating my room in this style:dark furnitures, 2 ecru walls and 2 walls in brown.I'm looking for a gold mirror,itd.

Stacy CUrran said...

THIS is your first post ever? My lord, it's awesome! My first post sucked (and I've since deleted it :) You were born to blog girlfriend!

kbd said...

it is a great post! I write a blog completely dedicated to African interior design, and other design, so I loved it! I just discovered your blog and am totally looking forward to checking out more of it. PS: A friend of mine works with Yvonne O'Brien and her work is so, so beautiful.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...