Posted by the trend stalker on 27th September 2011

Safari style

Beach House eclectic living room

This Trend Stalker had a mini crisis last week and retreated – as girls do – to the spa for an afternoon. It was called Heaven on Earth and certainly sounded like nirvana.

It wasn’t.

The treatments were fine. But the decor was hell … Tribal masks and shields. Retina-searing orange walls dotted with wildlife watercolours. Leopard-print. Zebra stripes. Giraffe carvings. Ostrich egg and porcupine quill ornaments. Grass baskets. Guinea fowl … I half expected to find plastic crocodiles floating in the Jacuzzi!

Instead of being elegantly “out of Africa” (which I believe must have been the intention) the overall effect was touristy and, well, tired. Yes to a rocking colour scheme. Yes, proudly South African is the way to go. Yes, leopard print is über-cool. But all of this, all in one room? Too much of a good thing. Seriously.

Shelter Island House #2 contemporary living room

Africa, with all its colours, textures and prints, is a happening décor destination. But, as with most looks, remember the “less is more” mantra. Pick out one the aspect that most appeals to you and introduce it subtly.

There’s a restaurant close to our home where we love to while away Sunday afternoons on the shaded verandah with its plush couches upholstered in a deep charcoal corduroy and laden with oversized scatter cushions. While I can recommend the house merlot, what I really want to tell you about is the piping on the ottomans: faux crocodile skin in pale green, with a metallic sheen. Trend Stalker heaven.

Newlyweds home eclectic bedroom

Globally, metallic interpretations of animal skins are big news and are irreverently being used on everything from bathtubs to kitchen walls. I love the look! And – anything to minimise the demand for poached or hunted items.

Bathtub African Skin - Croco modern bathroom

Let’s face it, surviving in Africa often demands a sense of humour. Play with this in your decor. It’s fun, I promise.

The Wallpaper Collective - installed images contemporary living room

Snakes – love ’em or hate ’em, they were here before we were. And it seems they’re here to stay – in decor circles, at least. Try moving beyond the obvious snakeskin theme and concentrating instead on their sinuous forms …

Dining Delight eclectic dining room

Most of all, I think, remember that there’s a reason people go on bush holidays: to see Africa’s animals in the wild. Where they belong. If you’ve got the Big Five in your living room (or spa massage room, as the case may be) you’re doing it wrong.

Houston Estate eclectic family room

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