DESIGN TIPS Creating Traditional Tribal Interior Spaces

Creating a traditional looking interior space can be a bit tricky to get right. First, you must know what type of tribal style you want to achieve. Is it afrocentric, ethnic, safari, local or global tribal? In this case, we would be focusing on the ethnic style and this may vary depending on which ethnic group or tribe you belong to.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and has one of the largest aggregation of ethnic groups in Africa. There are more than 300 Nigerian tribes and among the largest include Hausa- Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw, Kanuri, Annang, Tiv, Ibibio, Etsako, and Efik. When we talk of Nigerian tribes and their size, we need to realise that some tribes have large diaspora in other parts of the globe such as Jamaica, Brazil and other exotic Islands. This has to be taken in consideration, and some elements from the foreign tribes can be incorporated when designing traditional tribal interior spaces.

Certainly, all the Nigerian tribes have had a significant impact on shaping the culture in Nigeria. So, they all are important and they all make the nation and history of Nigeria. Every tribe has something valuable to offer; they impacted the language policy in Nigeria and many other key areas of life in this state.

Using textile prints has been very popular among other product and interior designers adding that African touch to a space or product. It could be incorporated in the furniture or objects like throw pillows to decorate the space.

Earth browns, terra cotta and safari pastel colors used for the walls work well with contrasting furniture tones or use the earthy tones on accessories like terracotta art on the walls or tables. African style shed sun and light, it is rich with warm colors: ocher, sand, light brown, flax, mustard, the color of old gold and burgundy.

Wall hung masks, sculptures and ornaments made out of wood help adds that African cultural feel to the space. Clay vases and plates help finish the atmosphere and bring more naturalness in the interior.

As floor coverings, dark wood and solid wood with beaded or decorated tufted textile rug creates a luxurious and rich feel.

Using natural materials like raffia and wood for furnishing and accents is primarily used to add that  African/cultural demeanour in a space.

By Nabil Audie Mohammed

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