African Inspired Decor : The Celebrity Edition

African Design

March 1, 2022

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There’s no denying the power of the glitterati, and their ability to influence trends from the ridiculous and obscure, to the zeitgeist worthy. As I write, I contemplate where Contemporary African interior design sits along that spectrum. Will it be viewed as a sustainable design style, ready to take the stage, standing shoulder to shoulder with other location-based design styles such as “French Country”, “Hollywood Regency”, “Scandinavian”, “Asian Zen/Wabi-Sabi”, or will it be forever tucked into the folds of “Bohemian” or “Eclectic” design in order for it to enjoy any kind of longevity?

Naomi Campbell in her Villa in Malindi, Kenya

My point of discovery is whether celebrities will be the ones to successfully bring African design to the forefront, and I believe the answer to this lies in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest and the silver screen of their Open Door series. As we review the features that showcase elements of African design, I expect that we will find some common themes and the discussion will be centered around the accessibility of the pieces to our design clients, and how they can be translated into our own homes.

For clarity, contemporary African design is defined as design and decor, by artists, artisans, designers, and craftsmen from the continent, and across the African diaspora, which includes those that identify as African descendants eg. African American, Afro-Caribbean, etc. With that said, the first celebrity home we are going to nosey around is Naomi Campbell’s serene, resort-inspired Malindi property.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell Malindi Kenya Villa as featured in AD

This Malindi Kenya abode boasts workmanship from local Kenyan artists and craftsmen. You will find Morrocan lantern chandeliers hanging from the Makuti roof which gives the villa an openness and the feeling of living outdoors. She displays authentic African art throughout the home, and she has the most enviable collection of African masks.

Ideas to steal:

Drop into a Souq and Pick up a Moroccan lantern or 5 – they can be placed on the floor, tables, or hang them as pendants and create a warm layered feel.

Emmy Raver Lampman & Daveed Diggs

celebrity african inspired interiors
Emmy and Daveed’s open airy Southern California relaxation space as featured in AD

Emmy and Daveed’s home is a delightful collection of colourful pieces that speak to their personalities. It’s bubbly, joyful, and vibrant with a gorgeous selection of African baskets collected over several years. The home has a beautiful lived-in feel with customised pieces that tell their unique stories.

Ideas to steal:

Start your basket collection (the SIKA shop will be carrying these soon, so drop by and look out for some really unique, colourful baskets to suit any decor style)


Iman’s Living Room in Catskills NY as seen in Vogue

Iman’s Catskills home oozes elegance. The space is a seamless extension of the image that we have of her. As she takes Vogue through her home, she discusses the meaningful objects that she has in her home and the most crushworthy item for us is the Rattan cushion that Naomi Campbell gifted her. In the living space, you see African statues, baskets, art, and textures that exude the warmth that you expect from African Inspired decor.

Ideas to steal:

Her “sleeping beauty” masks which are molds of her and David Bowie’s faces are unique commemorations and beautiful conversation pieces that can be displayed in any room of the house for an extremely personal touch.

Swizz Beats & Alicia Keys

Art Filled Living and Dining space in Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats Home as featured in AD

This musical couple’s taste in art and artifacts is truly aspirational. Aside from the striking architecture of the home, which is a statement in itself, they have also made a conscious decision to support black artists and they are not shy about displaying provocative messages that bring awareness to current topics around social justice and inequality in the black community.

Ideas to steal:

Support local, and support black artists. One of our favourite things to do is discover art from up-and-coming artists from Africa and the diaspora. At SIKA we can help you to find the perfect piece of art for your space while supporting the African art scene.

Burna Boy

The African Giant, Burna Boy’s Lagos Home as featured in AD

The self-proclaimed African Giant opened up his doors to Architectural Digest, allowing us to peek into his well-curated living space. He surrounds himself with meaningful objects including vinyl records gifted by his grandfather and art paintings by his sister. A house is not a home unless it says something deeply personal about the person that you are with the things that you love.

Ideas to steal:

Burna boy extends his entertainment persona throughout his home with several bars. We like 2 things about this idea – it reminds us that we don’t have to confine activities to one space and that all areas of your home should be enjoyed. So go on, add a bar cart to that little cove that you had no idea what to do with it.

Nicole Ari Parker

Nicole Ari Parker’s New York Apartment as featured in One King’s Lane

Nicole’s space has an exceptionally stylish charm to it, with nods to African crafts and patterns incorporated softly throughout the house. The textural and global touches that are comfortable yet glamorous are everything that Nicole is.

Ideas to steal:

We immediately gravitated to the wallpaper that is a simplified pattern from Ghanaian art. Wallpaper is a simple way to introduce African patterns and to affordably and quickly update a room for maximum charm with little effort.

Our hope at Sika is that Contemporary African design becomes more widely appreciated and achieves the staying power of the core design styles. The key to successfully executing African design and decor is understanding that it is not only defined by one look. We all love a cozy safari lodge look but it’s certainly not the only way to incorporate pieces from Africa and the diaspora into your home.

Until the next post…stay stylish!

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