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20 Bold African Bedroom Decor Ideas (Pro Designer’s Picks)

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  • This is article was written and researched by Carolyne Bor – a professional Architectural Designer from Nairobi, Kenya – who has a passion for African decor and specializes in craft-making interior décors such as wall hangings and furniture.

African decor is known for its warming ambiance and bold textures that can make your bedroom feel cozy with a hint of boldness that creates character.

So what is the best way to decorate your bedroom with an African theme?

The most effective way to create an African-themed bedroom is to focus on Moroccan fabrics, South African patterned wallpaper, African wall plates, West African tapestry, faux animal prints, juju hats, Ankara lampshades, African engraved pots, and carved furniture.

The above elements and accessories will create a bold African theme in your bedroom that will have a striking impact.

But what are the best paint colors to use in your African-themed bedroom to create that warm feeling that will help you relax and drift off to sleep?

The best bedroom paint colors to create a warm, African-themed bedroom are earthy tones like oranges, yellows, browns, reds, and even neutrals like soft beige – this will create echoes of Africa that represent the Serengeti, soil, wildlife, deserts, and the sun.

In the rest of this article, I have combined my professional knowledge of African decor with my passion for creating design projects to give you 20 inspirational African bedroom decor ideas that you can copy or modify to your requirements.

Need a new mattress? Click here to see the top-rated mattresses to buy online now.

20 Bold African Bedroom Decor Ideas

Below are 20 African bedroom decor ideas created and picked by Carolyne Bor – a professional Architectural Designer from Nairobi, Kenya:

1: Choose Moroccan Fabrics to Create a Vibrant Feel

African Themed Bedroom With Moroccan Fabrics
African Themed Bedroom With Moroccan Fabrics (#1: Custom Image)

Moroccan fabrics are a fusion of Arabic and African patterns – they are colorful and unique, creating a lively space.

The patterned fabrics can be used on pillows, duvets, carpets, and curtains.

However, it is important to mix both dull and bright patterns for a harmonious design.

In addition to giving the space character, the decorated fabrics make the room fun and exciting.

How to Achieve this Look

Paint your walls white to give the fabrics prominence. 

Choose patterned Moroccan fabrics with a tinge of blue for pillows, duvet, curtains, and the carpet.

The inner light curtain should be white and decorated geometrically.

Choose a wicker bed with geometric patterns to match your Moroccan feel.

Place it centrally against the wall.

The side tables should complement the bed on either side.

Place lamps on top of them.

Add a plant close to the window on one side of the bed.

Place a wall-art piece above the bed.

Try these 10 colors that go with gray bedroom furniture.

2: Use a South African Patterned Wallpaper for a Distinct Look

African Themed Bedroom With South African Wallpaper
African Themed Bedroom With South African Wallpaper (#2: Custom Image)

This design is simple, easy to achieve, and beautiful.

The wallpaper here is the focal point – it captures your attention immediately.

The other elements in the room should then complement it. 

To do this, match the remaining fabrics and spaces with the colors used in the wallpaper.

Here, the colors are green, white, and red.

The duvet and lamp’s materials are red, and the wall paint is white, thus creating a well-balanced color palette throughout the space.

How to Copy this Design

Stick an African-patterned wallpaper on your wall.

Place a wooden bed in a central position against one wall.

Paint your window frames black, and the surrounding wall white.

Use a matching red duvet and lampshade.

Click here to see 28 of the best decor ideas for a 10-year-old girl.

3: Add Color With a Maasai Shuka Headboard

African Themed Bedroom With Maasai Shuka Headboard
African Themed Bedroom With Maasai Shuka Headboard (#3: Custom Image)

If you are one for calm spaces, then this is your style. 

The walls, bed, chair, lamp, and wall-art piece are all toned with light, delicate colors.

The addition of a colorfully upholstered headboard livens up the space. 

The space then becomes your own, depending on what you do with your headboard.

It gives you the freedom to choose different patterns and textures to personalize your bedroom.

For instance, the Maasai Shuka is a common fabric in my country.

Depending on what African country you live in or visit, you may opt for various materials.

How to Copy this Design

Get creative with your headboard, and choose fabrics that you find the most interesting.

Paint plain-toned colors on your walls.

Use simple shades for your sheets, bed cover, and pillowcases, as well as your seat fabric.

Choose a less decorative lamp and wall art.

Click here to see the best headboards to buy online now.

4: Use African Wall Plates to Add Character

African Themed Bedroom With African Wall Plates
African Themed Bedroom With African Wall Plates (#4: Custom Image)

African wall plates can help you achieve a soft or textured interior.

This highly depends on the material used to make them.

Some are carved out of soapstone which ultimately gives a soft, shiny look on your wall.

Others are of woven materials like sisal, jute, banana bark, and fiber.

These offer a harder texture to your interiors.

Your choice will depend on your style.

Arranged asymmetrically, the ensemble involves plates of varied sizes, colors, and textures that create an interesting wall piece.

Remember to match the color palette of your interiors to your decorative wall plates, and vice versa.

How to Copy this Look

Get your African wall plates from Etsy.

Pick those that complement the colors of your fabrics.

You can also buy wall plates, bed linen and curtains that are harmonious.

For the above look, choose woven wall plates and an overall earthy tone.

Hook them on your wall decoratively, as your centerpiece.

Play around with their sizes and colors till you are satisfied.

You can always change the plates’ arrangement and get a different look over time.

Click here to see the 7 best bedding colors that go with gray walls.

5: Unleash Western African Tapestry for a Patterned Wall

African Themed Bedroom With African Tapestry
African Themed Bedroom With African Tapestry (#5: Getty Images)

The focus of this space is the bright-colored West-African wall hanging. 

With its bold colors, it makes the room seem larger than it really is.

I would advise you to use such a piece in a less cluttered room.

However, if that proves impossible, I would recommend you match its patterns or colors, as with the horizontally-placed throw blanket and the patterned pillow.

How to Copy This Design

Hang a densely patterned tapestry on your focal wall, just above your bed. 

Cover one of your pillows with matching patterns and colors, and leave the rest plain white for balance.

Add a lamp on each side table, and include a floor lamp with a lampshade that blends with the wall hanging and bedding.

Hang other African accessories on your wall to complete the look.

Click here for 20 inspiring kids’ bedroom ideas for small rooms.

6: Use Faux Animal Prints to Create a Rich, Textured Feel

African Themed Bedroom With Animal Prints
African Themed Bedroom With Animal Prints (#6: Getty Images)

Animal print is as natural as it comes.

What better way to appreciate African wildlife than to add faux leopard, zebra, tiger, and cheetah prints in your bedroom.

In this collection, the animal print is the dominant pattern.

Red accentuates the fabric while black complements it.

The art pieces and bed are all furnished in this color scheme.

How to Copy this Look

Choose a faux fabric with leopard, zebra, cheetah, or tiger prints.

Choose one to avoid clutter.

Pick an accent color, such as red or yellow, to enhance the print.

Use one of the colors on the print to complete the look.

Choose a bed base with your accent and complementary colors.

You could also cover your bed with such.

Add art pieces with the same colors for emphasis.

Click here to see the best mattresses that don’t require a box spring.

7: Use Earthy Tones for a Warm, Cozy Space

African Themed Bedroom With Warm Tones
African Themed Bedroom With Warm Tones (#7: Getty Images Signature)

The choice of warm tones is a tribute to the landscapes surrounding the African people.

The soil, the sun, the Serengeti, the wildlife, the deserts, and sand dunes are all inspirations for African interiors.

The hues range from orange-yellow to brown and its various shades.

All these colors create a warm, inviting space.

This is why they are used in safari tents and hotels, to welcome tourists and make them feel at home.

Most African patterns also embody such colors.

How to Create this Space

Paint an earthy color on the wall adjacent to your bed.

Burnt yellow and orange are the choice in this design.

The lampshades on the wall on either side of the bed are a soft beige.

Match your throw and scatter cushions with the accent wall.

The bed cover and remaining pillows should be left white for balance.

Your walls could be white or beige in color, the carpet light, and the bed a deep, rich brown.

Click here to see 7 ways to warm up a north-facing bedroom.

8: Introduce an Accent Wall to Spice Up Your Interior

African Themed Bedroom With Accent Wall
African Themed Bedroom With Accent Wall (#8: Custom Image)

If you are one for neutral colors, this would be a perfect element to brighten your interiors.

Any Ankara, Vitenge, Dashiki, and Kente materials you may have can be used to create this interesting wall fabric.

Think of this as a quilt for a wall.

It allows you to think creatively. 

This could be in the form of many wallpapers, or a wall tapestry created from a variety of African fabrics.

Ensure your surrounding interior elements such as walls, furniture, planters, and windows are dull-colored to allow your accent wall to be the focus of your space.

This wall adds a softer element to your bedroom.

It also exploits contrast as a design principle.

This soft element also adds warmth to your space.

How to Copy this Look

Get a large piece of plain material, and sew random fabrics onto it.

Play around with fabrics until you get an interesting combination.

You can also use wallpapers instead; they are easier to attach.

However, your fabric wall can be reused, while your wallpapers can’t.

Keep the other interior elements as plain and neutral-colored as possible. 

Add a planter on one side of your bed.

Use a dull-colored carpet.

Try these 31 amazing college bedroom dorm ideas for girls.

9: Hang African-Inspired Paintings on Your Wall for Decoration

African Themed Bedroom With Paintings
African Themed Bedroom With Paintings (#9: Envato – bialasiewicz)

Everything in your interior will depend on your style.

You can opt for simple, modern art pieces, as in the picture above, or if you have an eccentric flair, you might paint your entire wall with something you like about Africa.

You can also get an artist to do this for you.

I’ve seen various paintings of African sunsets on walls.

However, you have to remember that Africa is a large continent with fifty-four countries.

All these countries have their own landscapes and climates.

If you have enjoyed visiting the pyramids in Egypt, then by all means, hang or paint it on your walls.

This is a chance to introduce an art piece that jogs your memory and makes you nostalgic for a certain time in your life.

It is like a picture from when you were younger.

I would highly recommend you take this approach on all your paintings.

How to Achieve this Design

Place your bed against a wall.

Install a wall shelf right above it, and display your African-inspired paintings and decorations.

Pick items that remind you of a good time in your life.

Your walls could be your album.

You can also choose a wall to paint African-inspired art pieces on.

Add pillows and storage baskets at the side and lower end of your bed.

Put a cabinet against your window and add a planter on top of it.

Click here for an 8 step guide to decorating a small bedroom.

10: Customize Your Wall Shelf for More Storage Space

African Themed Bedroom With Custom Shelf
African Themed Bedroom With Custom Shelf (#10: Custom Image)

Do you need more storage space?

Instead of going for common headboard storage or wall niches with storage space, you can customize your shelving to resemble the map of Africa.

This design is for anyone who has too many pieces to display on their wall.

Include books, artifacts, carvings, models, and pictures to create a personalized bedroom.

Keep your skirting, bed, and shelf the same shade and grain of wood for uniformity and harmony.

The random shelving pattern of the map allows for an interesting piece on your wall.

The shelf serves as a functional artistic piece.

How to Copy this Look

Center your bed against the wall.

Choose white bed linen with an Ankara-like bed cover.

Match your bed cover color with your lampshade.

The lampshade should be a plain color.

Customize your wall shelf and hang it on the right-hand side of the bed.

This is important, as the corner of the headboard will fit into the Gulf of Guinea on the African map.

Pick a wood grain and shade that corresponds to that of the skirting and the bed.

Place your accessories and artifacts on the wall and bed shelving.

Click here to see the 7 best and worst places to put your bedroom shelves.

11: Lay Out a Patterned Carpet to Accentuate Your Floor

African Themed Bedroom With Patterned Carpet
African Themed Bedroom With Patterned Carpet (#11: Custom Image)

In my experience, most designers leave their floors dull.

So laying out a patterned carpet allows for neutrality in the entire space.

The room contains soft, feminine colors on the lampshades, but is a little more masculine in the wooden elements.

All of this is blended with a soft-textured carpet with masculine geometric patterns on it. 

This is the basis of traditional African design, as seen in the Agikuyu shield.

This design employs the use of a fitted carpet, which adds warmth, and introduces bold patterns to your bedroom.

How to Copy this Look

Center your bed against the wall.

Paint your walls and ceiling white.

Use black for your window frames.

Add a wooden skirting.

Fit a wall-to-wall patterned carpet with neutral colors.

Add lamps with soft-colored lampshades and brass fittings.

Click here for 15 creative ways to paint your bookshelves.

12: Upholster Your Bedroom Bench to Bring in Bold Patterns

African Themed Bedroom With Upholstered Bench
African Themed Bedroom With Upholstered Bench (#12: Envato – Haveseen)

Bedroom benches are a great way to add color and patterns to your room.

They can also complement the existing colors, patterns, and textures, as in the picture above.

A mix of line patterns (on the bench) and circular ones (on the bed) produce a lively space.

The wooden interior cladding and credenza patterns complement that of the bench. 

The patterns contrast in geometry, but are harmonious in use of bold colors.

How to Achieve this Look

Unlike most arrangements, this bed is positioned in the corner of the room without touching the adjacent walls, leaving adequate space to move around.

The credenza, chair and storage box are placed on the bed’s left-hand side, while the table with planters is on its right.

The bedroom bench is placed at the foot of the bed, upholstered with bold African fabric.

Choose colors that match with the bed cover; a primary color such as red being the dominant one.

Clad your interior with wood.

Align the rug with your bed.

Remember to add wall paintings.

Pick from these 20 relaxing bedroom decor ideas for small rooms.

13: Texturize Your Walls with Juju Hats for an Elegant Interior

African Themed Bedroom With Juju Hats
African Themed Bedroom With Juju Hats (#13: Custom Image)

Juju hats were traditionally used in Cameroon by high-class society members.

They are made of feathers, which will add softness, delicacy, and elegance to your room.

They can be used as both contrasting or complementing interior elements.

For example, you can use a bright yellow hat as an accent accessory, or a grey hat as a complementary element in a bedroom with neutral colors.

You could also use both, as in the image above, for balance.

These can also be used to create softer interiors, especially in bachelor pads, rooms finished in concrete, or on brick walls.

Be flexible with colors and sizes for interesting arrangements.

How to Copy this Design

This is a very simple, elegant design.

Center your bed against the wall. 

Add a gray wallpaper, and leave spaces close to the corners on either side to accommodate wall lamps.

Place a gray-colored carpet under your bed, and a bed bench at its end.

Buy juju hats online, or make them at home in a DIY exercise.

Arrange them creatively in an asymmetric fashion, and place them above your bed in a central position.

Try these 8 small decorating ideas if you’re on a budget.

14: Use Ankara Lampshades for Contrast

African Themed Bedroom With Ankara Lampshades
African Themed Bedroom With Ankara Lampshades (#14: Custom Image)

Apart from your ceiling or wall light fixtures, colorful lampshades offer an interesting ambiance to your interior lighting.

Placing an Ankara lampshade in your bedroom allows for the emission of light in various colors.

The light will also come out in distinctive patterns.

Used alone, this could provide a fascinating aura while reading books before sleeping.

I recommend using Ankara lampshades that add attractive colors and vibrancy to your bedroom.

Ensure your Ankara material has at least one primary color for contrast.

How to Recreate this Design

Paint your walls white.

Use white and dull-colored bed linen.

Change your lampshades to Ankara material, or get new Ankara-shaded lamps from Etsy.

Be flexible with light bulbs.

You can use white or yellow ones to attain your desired color of light.

Check out these 9 colors that go with dark wood bedroom furniture.

15: Include Natural Materials for Interesting Textures

African Themed Bedroom With Natural Materials
African Themed Bedroom With Natural Materials (#15: Envato – bialasiewicz)

Most African furniture is made of natural materials such as sisal, bamboo, makuti (palm fronds), wood, and reeds.

Any wicker-type designs can easily be found around my home.

In your bedroom, simple use of sisal-made laundry baskets, wicker storage cases, bamboo tables, makuti chairs, jute rugs, bamboo lampshades, and reed vases could texturize your interior.

Such materials are eco-friendly, strong, light, and visually pleasing.

The textures are also connected to your memory senses.

If you are decorating a visually impaired person’s room, placing such elements along their path will guide them around the space.

They could also be used in elderly people’s homes and children’s bedrooms as they are easy to move around.

How to Achieve this Look

Choose a light-colored wooden bed.

Choose a floral bed cover, with pillows and curtains of the same color palette.

Place a bedside stool on either side of the bed.

Position a wicker table on one side of the bed, preferably next to the window.

Place a jute rug below the end of the bed.

Keep your colors light, and the materials highly textured.

Click here to see the best bamboo bed sheets to buy online now.

16: Get African Engraved Pots as Planters for Uniqueness

African Themed Bedroom With Engraved Pots
African Themed Bedroom With Engraved Pots (#16: Custom Image)

If you appreciate history and conservation, this design element is one you should consider.

African pots are engraved with images that tell stories of how things used to be done in the olden days, and how things are done now.

Making the pots functional as planters is a great way to bring these stories into your bedroom.

They also serve as artistic pieces inside your space.

The pots will add curves to your overall design, making your interiors playful and fun.

The only disadvantage is that they are heavy, and thus not easy to move around.

Wooden pots will be much lighter than those made of clay.

How to Copy this Look

Buy a round bed, and place it facing the window.

Use an African fabric for the bed cover and pillow cases.

Paint your walls light yellow.

Pick wooden or clay pots of various sizes and shapes.

Place some on the window niche and some on the floor.

Add a rich-toned, wooden circular art piece to your wall to complement the curvy elements.

Try these 8 ways to decorate the wall opposite your bed.

17: Display African Sculptures and Carvings for Character

African Themed Bedroom With Sculptures and Carvings
African Themed Bedroom With Sculptures and Carvings (#17: Custom Image)

This design is for cultural enthusiasts who travel, collecting artistic items from African countries and beyond.

Understanding their history makes them more interesting and memorable.

Use gourds as vases.

Select wall sculptures that are highly contrasting with the color of your walls.

This is a great way to bring varying textures and materials into your bedroom.

Find a terracotta vase, a wooden sculpture, an ivory mask, some golden and copper carvings, soapstone candle holders, bronze ornaments, and even beaded work as done by the Maasai.

How to Create this Space

Centrally position your bed against the wall.

Go for a dark color palette.

Select a rich-toned bed, gray carpets, gray velvet headboard, and black-painted window frames.

Contrast the dark palette with clean white walls and bed linen.

Cushions should be striped in both colors.

Place the terracotta vase on your right side next to the window, the shield and mask on your left side, and let the wall carving appreciate the headroom height.

Click here to find out how to use dark colors in a small bedroom.

18: Use Carved Furniture for a Vintage Look

African Themed Bedroom With Carved Furniture
African Themed Bedroom With Carved Furniture (#18: Getty Images Signature)

Most of my clients prefer carved furniture, as it is decorative by itself.

The edges of the furniture are rounded and carved with floral motifs.

If you look at the picture above, the designer has not used any wall art or artistic items to decorate, but only antique furniture and upholstery.

This design is for those who appreciate vintage and cultured spaces.

Most older people would prefer such bedrooms.

A combination of deep, rich wooden elements and neutral colors is common in such spaces.

Above all, faux animal prints are incorporated in the upholstery.

How to Copy this Look

Buy a wooden, carved bed, chairs, and cabinets – preferably with rich-toned and glossy-finished wood.

Place your bed against one of your walls.

Position the chairs at a distance, facing the bed.

Upholster your chairs with leopard print, cover your floor with a white fitted carpet and zebra-print rug.

Use a floral, neutral-colored bed cover with matching pillows and cushions.

Position your cabinets around the edges of your bedroom.

Make your bedroom look indie in 12 steps here.

19: Fix a Canopy Over Your Bed to Introduce Softer Textures

African Themed Bedroom With Canopy
African Themed Bedroom With Canopy (#19: Getty Images)

Canopies are a classy way of installing mosquito nets in tropical Africa.

The sheer fabric produces a soft, light, and delicate element to your bedroom.

In this picture, taken in Namibia, the fabric softens the effect of the hard stone walls.

Anytime you use a fabric, think of various shades and patterns that could brighten your interior.

Pastel shades will work best to maintain the transparency and lightness, and keep your bed cooler.

During winter, the fabrics will add warmth to your bed.

How to Recreate this Design

Create a wooden canopy over your bed.

Hang sheer fabric on the rails.

Get playful with various light shades.

Use hard textures such as stone for your interior wall and floor.

Paint your ceiling white, and introduce wooden elements running across and along it.

Add pillows, bedspreads, and pouches.

Install wall shelving, and hang decorative pieces on your wall.

Click here to find out how to paint your bedroom black and white in 8 steps.

20: Adorn Your Frames with Ankara to Vivify Your Room

African Themed Bedroom With Ankara Material
African Themed Bedroom With Ankara Material (#20: Custom Image)

This is a beautiful new trend I have witnessed in African interiors.

Use Ankara material to frame the paintings, mirrors, and wooden art pieces hanging on your wall.

You could also put the Kitenge material inside the frame. 

Accentuate your wall with materials of various patterns, lines, and shapes.

It is a subtle yet attractive way to liven up your bedroom.

How to Copy this Look

Place your bed against the wall.

Hang Ankara frames above it.

Place one above the other for a superior design.

Choose Ankara materials that match up with your bed cover.

Find an empty frame and fix the Ankara materials onto it using wood glue.

Add shutters to your windows to shade your interiors from the sun.

Create a reading work surface against your wall, with a seat and a computer.

Add a planter and lamps.

Place your Ankara-framed mirror on the far right.

Incorporate track lighting at the tops of the walls.

Tile your floors, and add a gray rug for comfort.

Up next: click here to find out how to decorate a bedroom for a married couple.


Image Attribution and Licencing

Main image: ‘African Themed Living Room’ by Bulgac (Getty Images Signature) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

Image #5: ‘Romantic Bedroom’ by pierivb (Getty Images) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

Image #6: ‘African Theme 1’ by Dcelotti (Getty Images) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

Image #7: ‘Bedroom luxury Safari Lodge’ by stevenallan (Getty Images Signature) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

Image #9: ‘Fireplace in Bedroom’ by bialasiewicz (commercially licensed through Envato Elements).

Image #12: ‘Wooden Bedroom’ by haveseen (commercially licensed through Envato Elements).

Image #15: ‘King-size Bed with Floral Bedsheets’ by bialasiewicz (commercially licensed through Envato Elements).

Image #18: ‘Safari Master Bedroom’ by bgpix (Getty Images Signature) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

Image #19: ‘Bedroom in a Lodge in Namibia’ by Markus Oblaender (Getty Images) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

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