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An interior designer tells us how to introduce Safari Chic-inspired interiors

How to introduce Safari Chic-inspired interiors in your home

In the iconic movie Out of Africa, Karen Blixen proclaims, “There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne – bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.” And if this doesn’t sell you on safari chic, I don’t know what will.

I have recently returned from an extraordinary trip in South Africa, which felt like stepping out of a vivid dream. The colours, the smells, the unwavering landscapes and exotic creatures certainly made me feel drunk with glee and so 'safari' is top of mind. I want to draw inspiration from the untamed beauty of the African wilderness, capturing its rugged charm and vibrant energy.

It has been said that beige is the colour of fear, but a well-curated monochrome palette of neutrals can be elevated with textural delights, echoing the diverse landscapes and rich hues found in nature.

Imagine stepping into a space where the essence of Africa is palpable – from the fiery hues of sunset, reflected in warm ochres and reddish browns, to the earthy tones of sandy savannahs, and the organic shapes of sculptural boulders. This is the canvas upon which Safari Chic interiors are painted, a celebration of the wild and untamed.

To bring the spirit of Africa into your home, embrace the use of natural materials, like wood, rattan, bamboo, leather, and linen. These elements not only add authenticity, but also foster a sense of connection to the outdoors, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living.

For those embarking on their design journey, or seeking to elevate existing interiors, a touch of jungle-inspired furnishings can be just the ticket. Consider adding playful accents, like funky palm candlesticks or velvets patterned with electric tiger skin to infuse personality and the adventurous spirit of safari.

Avoid the clichés of colonial furnishings and tribal art, and instead use a rattan sofa with modernist curves or a mid-century Danish bench as a unique, but practical, coffee table.

While a neutral palette forms the foundation of a safari chic interior, texture is the crucial secret ingredient that elevates a space from showroom to sanctuary. From tactile fabrics to rough-hewn surfaces, texture adds depth and visual interest, inviting you to touch and explore.

When crafting a Safari Chic look, the goal is not replication, but reinterpretation; capturing the essence of Africa in a way that resonates with your authentic style and sensibilities. So, dare to embrace the wild side of design, and let the untamed beauty of Africa inspire your home.


1. Bohemian 72 Sofa by Gubi 

You can’t go wrong with rattan. This 3-seater lounge has the curves, the character, and the textural neutral boxes all ticked. Designed by the legendary designer Gabriella Crespi, The Bohemian 72 Sofa has the gyp-set character of the 70’s combined with Crespi’s deep sentiment for the cosmic energy of nature.


2. Snake and Pomegranate Rug by Studio Shamshiri

Studio Shamshiri is renowned for its originality, and their rug collection is a testament to that. Co-founder Pamela Shamshiri is deeply passionate about storytelling through design. Drawing inspiration from historical Tibetan Tiger rugs and the symbolism of the snake, their collection weaves a narrative about the individual experience of far-flung travel and the adventurous journey it entails.


3. 1972 Pendant by Gubi

With a shade crafted from slats of bamboo — a material revered by diverse cultures for centuries for its durability and flexibility — this beautiful pendant exudes both functionality and character. It possesses a collected quality, as if it has been cherished and passed down through generations.


4. A Tiger In The Orangerie Velvet Jacquard by Dedar

An idealised interpretation of tiger skin, both fierce and receptive, this gorgeously vivid jacquard velvet by Dedar is soft in texture and wild in colour. Elevate your neutral space by using exotic upholstery or decorative cushions to liven up your room.


5. Safari Chair by Rachel Donath

Inspired by campaign furniture taken on safari by the British military, and later by well travelled Ladies and Dandy’s in the 20s. Rachel Donath has created a modern archetype that stylishly ticks all boxes – warm, slick and considered, this hand stitched leather chair is the definition of safari chic.


6. BM0488 Table Bench by Carl Hansen & Søn

In contemporary design, the principles of form and function often take precedence, especially when it comes to furniture design. Børge Mogensen's table bench exemplifies this ethos. Though originating from 1950s Denmark, it effortlessly satisfies our craving for safari chic. Its versatility is unmatched – whether used as a coffee table or placed at the end of a bed, it seamlessly blends style and functionality.


7. Toro Ceramic Dish

Your home tells a story, and showcasing your collection of hand-crafted treasures you travelled the globe to is key to weaving a characterful narrative. But if you're not too keen on scouring chaotic African markets or trekking through the savannahs, fear not. Simply step into Tamsin Johnson's and discover the tale waiting to be told with this charming hand-painted dish from the 1960s.


8. Palm Ceramic Candle Sticks

Homeware label Les-Ottomans draws on founder Bertrando Di Renzo’s many years of travels and champions the charm of exotic traditional textiles to create homewares. These playful candle sticks certainly set the mood for a dreamy night in or a chill get together with some of your favourite people.


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