script> Africa Moto: 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

West African Style by Jessica Antola

Did you see the traditional and wax print images by the avid traveler and photographer Jessica Antola in AFAR magazine? They are awesome. I loved every one of them. I had to go to her website to learn more. Jessica Antola takes the style of photographs I would love to take. I love how she captured the beauty of the colorful textiles, patterns and people of West Africa {Burkina Faso/ Ghana/Benin/ Senegal}

                            Love the wax print sail and woven hat.


Thursday, October 1, 2015




Set sail to Kenya and make your way to Tribe Hotel. A design hotel located in the heart of Nairobi. The interiors fuse traditional African artifacts and textiles with contemporary aesthetics. 

The luxurious hotel features spacious rooms and suites, the epic Jiko restaurant, a well-stocked library, garden wrapped pool and adjacent shopping complex. On the weekend you can enjoy the Maasai craft market.

Limuru Road, The Village Market, Gigiri, Nairobi 00621 Kenya. 


Monday, July 13, 2015

A Journey to Zimbabwe

I took a short trip with my son back home to Zimbabwe last month. I mostly stayed around the farm in Ruwa because it was partly a work trip.

My family decided to get out into the wilderness for a quick nature adventure. We took advantage of the winter special at Chengeta Safari Lodge for fresh, local lunch and an amazing activity--we chose to do the game drive.  There are plenty of other activities you can choose from including elephant riding, lion encounters, horse riding, canoeing...

Chengeta, which means to keep in Shona, is a just an hour outside the capital Harare. Making it the ultimate weekend getaway.

Friday, June 12, 2015

10 Spectacular Places You Must Visit in Zimbabwe

The countdown is finally over. I'm traveling to Zimbabwe this weekend!

To celebrate my trip home, I thought I would share my top 10 places to visit in intensely beautiful Zimbabwe.

1. Get adventurous at amazing Victoria Falls

Photo: Wild Horizons
2. Watch the sunset in Kariba

3. Enjoy the beauty of Jacarandas in Harare

Photo: Buzzfeed
4. Stare over the beauty of the Eastern Highlands

5. Get amazed by the rock paintings in Matopos

6. Watch the wildlife at the watering hole at Hwange National Park

via Flickr
7. Enjoy the unspoilt beauty of Mana Pools

Photo: TCSWorld Travel
8. Be amazed by history of Great Zimbabwe

9.  Gaze at the deep blue water at the Chinhoyi Caves

Image: WoodenDreams
10. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Nyanga

via Flickr

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Interior Design Inspiration: African Design Style

via Flickr
 Traditional African textiles and textures are great for creating a home that is steeped in cultural style. African design style continues to inspire leading interiors designers and design enthusiasts around the world. It is easy to see why it is easy to combine it with any traditional home décor. It also blends perfectly with modern design and adds mystery and adventure to any room. 

For me, the allure of African style is the ability to layer and blend textures, patterns, and colors to create a home that reflects my culture, travels and wanderlust.  

Key Elements of Africa Design Style:
  • Natural materials
  • Handwoven prints
  • Textural details
  • Neutral Colors
  • Unique decorative objects
Color Inspiration
To bring in a color palette of African design use mostly neutral earthy colors then add one or two textiles for vibrant color.
Traditional Textiles
You can add instant African chic appeal to any space with traditional textiles. Customize with African textiles like Bogolan (mud cloth), Kuba Cloth and Kente Cloth to create unique decorative print pillows, wall art, chair covers and table runners.

Upholstered chair in bogolan
Reupholstered Mudcloth Chair
Custom Upholstered Chair and Ottoman

Cedar, pine and ash wood can add the subtleties of nature and if you are looking for a more rustic look – mahogany or ebony wood with its rich dark can give a timeless look. 

For a more organic feel and earth friendly décor; bamboo, rattan, and bamboo materials can be used and because they are fast growing trees they can be easily and quickly replaced.

North Africa

North Africa particularly Morocco is famous for its renowned mosaic art in colorful ceramic products, kilim rugs, Zellige tile patterns and Moroccan wedding blankets (which I love!). You can incorporate Moroccan inspiration through bedding and reupholstered chairs.

Kilim Upholstered Lounge Chair
African Art

Picasso was very fascinated with African art and this is reflected in his many paintings.  The artistic impressions of Ernst, Leger, Klee and other masters of modern art also drew much influence from African art.  If you are new to decorating with ethnic design consider starting with an African art piece in your design plan. 

Decorating Ideas for African Design Style

via Houzz
Bamileke Stool; Bamileke Headress; Baule Masks
via Baobab Interiors
So are you ready to spice up your life with some African design inspiration? 

You can source treasures through your travels, flea markets or online marketplaces like Etsy or Ebay. Here are some ways you can style your finds:
  • Place a carved wood statue or a small mask on a coffee table or mantle, view it as the sculptured piece.
  • Place a Malian Dogan door or framed textile print as the focal point above a fireplace. 
  • Lay a mud cloth print over a bench, sofa or dining room table
  • Add some drama to an entryway by placing four different objects of different height, texture and styles on a table and this will give even more dimension to you design element.  
  • Benin bronze figures create an interesting vignette when placed alone on a table.
  • Use African masks and statues as a focal point in a room or as part of an entire collection to enhance your home.  Elongated carved heads of Modigliani is a mimicked graceful form of Baule masks.
  • The subtle colors of a New Guinea mask blend beautifully with the patterns of an antique Kuba cloth from Congo.  
Find something that resonates with you. Trust your own judgment and your options will soon be limitless. Happy discovering and shopping!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Designer Home Tour: Carlos Mota

Take a look inside this Dominican Republic beachside getaway packed with an eclectic mix of patterns, sculptures and handmade textile prints in pretty colors. Love the nomadic furnishings and bohemian feel of stylist and author Carlos Mota’s perfect getaway.

Gold Verner Pantom chairs, purple sofa with striped Peruvian textile, large Kuba African print pillows
Bobo mask above the bed and rustic fibers fill the bedroom
Pop art

Rustic and minimal design in the bathroom

Wicker Chair; wax print pillows and purple couch

how good does that view look?
{All Images: Architectural Digest}

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Decorating with Color: Blue

While you are dreaming of oceans and pools let's explore decorating or redecorating in blue this Spring/Summer. Blue conveys new beginnings, purity, tranquility, harmony and wisdom. Blue is also the universal color of nature.

This classic color has been used in decoration for centuries in Africa. Bring a touch of African-inspiration into your home with blue in its various hues {indigo, cobalt, turquoise...}. The color pairs perfectly with a lot of colors especially white.

Be inspired by some of my favorite blue pieces and spaces below

                                                 Stitch Resist 20" Pillow by Aboubakar Fofana
                                              Small Blue and White Wicker Basket by Danye

I am obsessed with the color blue, don't you just love it?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boutique Hotel Tour: Dar Beida, Morocco

Dar Beida (The White House) is a 4 bedroom restored retro riad located in the coastal town of Essaouira, Morocco. This gorgeous boutique holiday home is owned by designers Emma Wilson and Graham Carter. The home style is a fusion of traditional Moorish style with a retro twist. The interior style of this lovely escape includes whitewashed walls, concrete floors, pillows and poufs in flower power prints, unusual accessories and woven rugs. The architecture is traditional Moroccan style with spaceship shaped fireplaces.

The holiday home is featured in a lovely decorating book I'm reading called Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson. Emily captures inspiring interiors in bohemian modern style. To get this style for your home you can mix and match African art, traditional textiles, Berber rugs, hammocks, and hand-carved wooden furniture.

Cosy Wicker Chair

Woven Moroccan Rug; White Poufs, African Art 

Moroccan Bird Cage

Framed Kuba Cloth Art; Buffalo Horn and Animal Hide Chair

Yoruba Beaded Chair; Flower Power Pillow

Hammock on Rooftop Terrace

Built in Benches with Striped Pillows

Images via: Castles in the Sand
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