Wall murals, rugs, and walls painted in African motifs

A Bit of History

As you most likely know already, many parts of Africa were European colonies. The Europeans did not hesitate to get bring African slaves to labor for them in different parts of the world. Living side by side with Europeans, the Africans did not abandon their culture, traditions and customs, a factor that led to the spread of African design and other aspects of African culture to other parts of the world.

Some Europeans, fascinated with the African décor, began actively adopting the captivating ethnic décor in their homes. The peak of the popularity of this concept was in the middle of the 19th century. Nevertheless, the African style has remained popular ever since.

It is important to note that African design is of two types:

Charming ethnic motifs in the bathroom

  • Northern (utilizes trends in North Africa);
  • Central (Comprises design elements from other parts of the continent, mainly sub-Saharan Africa).


All design options vary significantly since Africa is a vast continent with many different cultures and ethnic groups, all their own particular different styles.

 The Basics of African-Style Design

There are basic rules, without the knowledge of which it is impossible to properly decorate a bathroom in exotic African motifs. It is important to understand that the design is limited by a set of rules, but at the same time, within the framework of the basic rules and requirements, you are allowed to be creative. Therefore, here are some rules regarding design that are important to understand before deciding to adopt the African style.

Natural materials and flowing lines are the basis of African design.
  1. The design should be as organic and wild as Africa itself.It is not advisable to use elements of styles that differ significantly, like Hi-Tech.
  2. It is important to remember that the African style requires smooth lines and silhouettes.
  3. Natural materials must be used in large quantities.
  4. The decor should ideally be ethnic, including religious symbols associated with various parts of Africa.
  5. You should use just a few metallic elements as using them in excess makes the interior appear cold and lifeless.


It is not advisable to implement such motifs in small rooms.The concept involves the use of many small items, and as a result, a small bathroom will seem cluttered.


With the basic rules of the African design in mind, you can start planning the interior you desire. It is important to consider each individual element, as well as ensuring their combination results in a harmonious result. Every detail plays an important role, and in this case, details are everything.

Using animal print in the interior

Selection of Materials

The main idea to note when selecting materials is that they should be as natural as possible. You can, however, combine the natural objects with other artificial materials. The African design uses the whole range of natural materials, including:

  • Wood;
  • Stone;
  • Clay;
  • Glass
  • Plaster;
  • Natural textiles.

An illustration of using natural materials in the bathroom

Considering the specifics of maintaining a clean and hygienic bathroom, it is worth taking into account that the materials must be moisture and steam resistant. Therefore, you can use traditional tile, which is not natural, but ensure it properly fits into the African style interior.


It is recommended that you avoid plastic. It is better to substitute it with cold iron, wood or glass.Plastic makes the interior appear modern, thus destroying the African concept.

Color Spectrum

All shades of brown, gray, white and black will do. Also, the use of bright colors is allowed in moderation, ideally in textiles and decorative elements. You can top off the beautiful look with a beautiful bright carpet, towels with ethnic patterns and other fabrics.

Contrasts are very popular with African-style designers, for instance, pairing black with white to create an imitation of zebra stripes or combining chocolate with sand. Various animal prints are also highly welcome  as they make the interior more ethnic and harmonious.


It is advisable that you organize everything in a way that at least 80 percent of the total space is occupied by colors from one range.

Choosing Furniture

Use warm natural shades of brown, adding a touch of bright colors

Heavy, bulky cabinets made of natural wood are always relevant. Also used wicker baskets and racks and countertops made of coarse wood. Furniture`s set should not be glossy, rather, they should be simple, functional, and preferably antique.

Furniture made of coarse wood will be a highlight of the interior

Most of the furniture in African designs is hand-made. However, such elements do not always fit organically into ethnic interior solutions. Consequently, you should select and combine pieces after evaluating the unique needs of your home.

It is advisable to use natural furniture without gloss.


Unlike many other design options, in the African style concept, it is undesirable to use glossy headsets, cabinets and cabinets.


Decorations are necessary in complementing the basics of interior, without which you cannot achieve completeness and harmony. For décor you can use any stylized decor options, but only within the basic rules.

Below are some tips for you;

Functional and beautiful baskets made of natural material can replace the traditional shelves and at the same time, decorate the room.

Wicker baskets fit perfectly into the interior

Statues, wooden masks and sculptures are interesting, romantic and slightly mystical decorations.They are perfectly combined with live exotic plants.

Wooden masks and sculptures will decorate your bath beautifully

The easiest and most affordable option is to use wall paintings, print tiles or photo wallpaper spotting African prints.

Wall murals, rugs, and walls painted in African motifs

You should also include an exotic kit that includes the curtain, rug and towel.These elements can also be paired with decorative vases, ideally those in African designs.

Beautiful vases with exotic plants complement the design of the bathroom in the African style.

There are many options for jewelry, so everyone can choose to their taste. If desired, you can dilute the exotic decor with neutral elements.


Unlike many design trends, the African style shuns excessively bright lighting. Below are some recommendations regarding the selection of lighting devices and their installation.

Natural lighting – soft, warm and muffled.
  1. The light used should be soft, warm and muffled.
  2. The main sources of light are lamps, located in different functional areas. The first is above the sink and the second above the bathroom. Nevertheless, the distribution of the lamps depends on the area of ​​the room and the number of individual zones.
  3. It is desirable that you select the lamps in consideration of the stylistic features.
You can use wicker lamps, which add accents in the interior

Wooden chandeliers with fans and neutral openwork ceiling light are excellent. Chandeliers of abstract forms make a great addition as they make the light smoother and softer. The use of floor lamps, wall sconces and other options is allowed, but within the framework of the main motive.

African Style Bathroom Ideas

Ready-made African style items are the best choice. Below are the best options for the harmonious use of the motifs of Africa in the bathroom:

A typical design comes in three basic shades, with white and green accents.

Green flower accent used

This style is the ideal solution for those who equally appreciate the simplicity of minimalism and ethnic motifs.

Wall panel for lovers of minimalism

Fascinating lighting and a dozen different shades of brown, combined with a zest – transparent roof, makes for an exquisite bathroom.

Transparent roof and natural materials in the finish

The African style is simple, concise and convenient, making it suitable for small rooms.

Solution for a small bathroom This style is a trendy idea that incorporates the best traditions of several concepts at once.

Modern, stylish, comfortable

Useful advice: Even in an already decorated bathroom, you can use stylized decorations to transform the room, for an even better result.

Who is the African Style Suited For

The African style creates an exotic look in the interior. Due to the unusual nature of the materials and décor used, the African style is not for everyone. However, it immensely pleases true connoisseurs who will like the atmosphere of Africa. This idea should be tried by those who are tired of the boredom of standard Western interiors. The second category of people to whom it suits are the connoisseurs of culture and environment in which a person feels themselves and as one with nature.

Design suitable for lovers of ethnic styles and natural materials

Homeowners striving for spiritual development, unity with the universe and an increased understanding of themselves will appreciate the notes of mystery, depth and mysticism that are present in every detail of the African style. The African style, with its animal prints, purity of natural shades and beauty of the will also appeal to lovers of wildlife and nature.

Just by knowing the simple rules and requirements in the creation of the African design, everyone will be able to translate this exotic idea into an exquisite reality!