Making an entry, safari style. Pictures, by Dook, in collaboration with Annemarie Meintjes, from Safari Style Africa (Hardie Grant Books, $70). Words in the book by Laurian Brown.
THINK safari style and the imagination might leap to luxurious tents, raw furniture, romantic lanterns and gin and tonics on the deck.
It’s a captivating scenario. And, luckily for us, translating it to suit our Australian homes is a natural fit.
Safari style’s key element is referencing the textures and beauty of the great outdoors — something many of us, with our love of an earthy, natural palette, are already keen on.
Annemarie Meintjes, a contributor to coffee-table book Safari Style Africa, said nailing the style was about linking the indoors with the outdoors.
“When you are inside looking out, it should feel as if you are part of the wild and part of nature,” she explained.
Africa is a vast continent, where climate and environment varies region to region.
But the common thread is the romantic spirit of the landscape, from mountain ranges to grassy deserts and low bushland.
“When you think ‘safari’, you should think ‘wild’ in colour, space and views and then try to reflect that in your interiors,” said Ms Meintjes the deputy editor of South African interiors magazine VISI.
Earthy hues and rustic textures capture the look.
Lanterns and fairy lights add romance.
While a rugged, exotic flavour will always be part of safari style, the look has evolved over the years to become more sophisticated.
For this modern interpretation of the style, you’ll ideally meld considered design pieces with traditional African accessories and art.
While you can certainly decorate with handicrafts and animal prints, just ensure the look always stays refined — don’t incorporate too many different animal prints and avoid cheap African-themed knick-knacks.
“You don’t want to overdo it, so you need to know where to stop,” Ms Meintjes said.
Think stylish and sophisticated.
Get back to nature with an outdoor shower.
On the subject of colours, go with subtle, natural hues inspired by the African landscape, such as earthy greens and browns, and mix in metallic accents including iron, copper or brass.
Ms Meintjes, who spent her childhood holidays in classic safari lodges (round dwellings with thatched roofs), also suggested choosing a bright feature colour that represented an element of an African region.
For example, you might choose the bright red of the indigenous flowering coral tree, the vibrant yellow grasses found in Botswana or even the deep blue of the ocean at the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania.
Whatever you choose, there are no real rights or wrongs, and Ms Meintjes encouraged people to decorate with their heart.
“You aren’t catering for paying guests,” she pointed out. “You have to live there.”
Natural hues will reflect the African landscape.
Create vignettes with carefully chosen pieces.
Get the look
• Consider your lifestyle, location and budget and be honest about what will look good in your home.
• Create interest on bare floors with handwoven seagrass or sisal floor coverings.
• Replace curtains with grass or canvas blinds that can be rolled up to expose outdoor areas or views but can also create a cosy lodge feel when down.
• Reupholster your existing sofa or armchair in leather or a khaki canvas.
• Turn your favourite animal photo into a black and white canvas and make it a feature so it sets the tone for the rest of the room.
• Invest in floor and table lamps with grass, parchment or canvas shades, which will encourage a cosy and romantic mood.
Source: Annemarie Meintjes
The Safari Style Africa book is full of design inspiration.