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When developing a new collection, part of my job as a designer is doing research. If that sounds boring to you, trust me, it’s not. To create a new print, I examine both the latest trends and the history of a certain pattern or detail. My husband, the scholar in our family (he is currently working on his Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies), recently gave me a book — African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design by Ron Eglash. (For you Ph.D. types, Eglash traveled to Africa for his research on the intersection of fractal mathematics and African architecture, art and culture.)

At its core, the book is about the creation of African patterns, something I love and have incorporated into my own designs. I look to the past and then impose a modern twist. The Beat pillow from AphroChic does just that, using an African kuba print in a large, oversized scale, and in mod colors like cerulean and coral. Here’s no-math-required look at my finds for incorporating African print and pattern in your home decor from stores that have included them in their collections.

Anthropologie-Dutch-Wax-Ottoman-African-Print

One of the things I love about African prints is that they incorporate a variety of colors into each pattern. This Dutch Wax Ottoman has a beautiful color palette of green, blue and yellow. It’s the perfect starting point for a colorful room.

Etsy-AmaniAtHome-African-Batik-Pillows

The Etsy shop Amani At Home offers some beautiful African batik pillows. Each design features bright and bold hues. One or two would make the perfect accent piece on a neutral sofa.

And how about these adorable seats from Artifort? They are called African Swamps and come in a variety of lush colors like hot pink, lemon yellow and teal. I definitely would like one of these as a pouf for my living room. So cute!

Anthropologie-Josef-Wingback-Chair-African-Prints

Finally, the Josef Wingback Chair from Anthropologie, upholstered in an eye-catching African wax fabric, would serve as a guaranteed statement piece in any room.

Do you have any African prints at home? Have you always wanted to incorporate them in your decor but haven’t been sure where to start?

Tell me in the comments below.

16 Responses

  1. I've just stumbled across this post while doing some research. Fab article, I'm a British-Nigerian Interior Designer who has just started making Handmade Ankara/African print fabric lampshades which I sell on http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnkaraLampshades . I also love blogging about my new found passion which you can find here http://dezinekonnections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/y
    I'm delighted that African prints are finally getting more exposure & global recognition be it runway fashion, home accessories and even baby buggies too!
    Thanks for this post!

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