Black and White: An African Design Tradition

If you’ve opened an Interior Design magazine lately or strolled through your local home decor store then you have noticed the heavy presence of all things Black and White.

black and white baskets

I personally love it! In fact a lot of my own home is based in black and white. Although I didn’t know that the colors that I was using were African for sure, there was something instinctual or grounding about this color palette for me. It spoke to a deeper connection to Africa and culture that I so desperately seek in my home.

black and white kitchen


Needless to say, I was elated to find out that black and white are deeply rooted in African Design Traditions. Did you know that? Well, I didn’t either. I knew that the majority of the black and white home decor items were usually adorned in an “ethnic” or “tribal” pattern but I didn’t know that these patterns and monochromatic colors are African. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know an  exact  location until I posted this picture and someone gave me an exact African Country from which this came.

big plant black and white

GOLD! I mean, I live for nuggets of information  while I journey to find what authentic African Interior Design really is. ( Read more about my journey with African Design, HERE)

burkina faso 2


Photo Cred: HERE

This architecture and design are from the Tiébélé in  Burkina Faso( A Country neighboring Ghana),  the Tiébélé are known for their amazing traditional Gourounsi architecture and elaborately decorated walls of their homes. – Amusing Planet 



Photo Cred: Here

The picture above is a photo of The Larabanga Mosque. This mosque is , built in the Sudanese architectural style in the village of Larabanga, Ghana. It is the oldest mosque in the country and one of the oldest in West Africa, and has been referred to as the “Mecca of West Africa” – Wikipedia

Not only is this an African Design that is deeply rooted in African culture and history it is also an Islamic and deeply Muslim tradition, too! It really doesn’t get better than this for me.

With just this tid-bit of information I look at my home differently. I know that my home is connected to something greater than just looking pretty. It’s connected to me and my people on so many levels. That makes me proud.

Have you noticed the black and white trend? Do you have anything that is black and white in your home? Let me know in the comments below!




    1. Danielle, you the GOAT! you don’t know how happy comments on the blog make me lol. I feel you on the white and indigo. Such a beautiful combo.

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