The concept of African lodge luxury has grown and evolved in leaps and bounds since its humble recreation in cult classics such as Out of Africa. Today, the luxurious lodge feel is not only reserved for holiday destinations but is being recreated in homes across the globe.

If you’re looking to overhaul a section of your home- perhaps an entertainment area or communal lounge and bring a little luxury lodge feel, who better than the Darkie Designs team to tackle this project for you?

But, first thing’s first, where to start and where to draw inspiration?

This may seem like an obvious answer, but recreating a luxury lodge feel in your home doesn’t have to be about khaki and African prints alone. Instead, there’s a distinct nod towards old-school glamour and the use of mixed textiles, metals, woods, fixtures and indigenous African arts and crafts.

The use of African prints and locally made textiles are particularly important and right on trend. The diverse materials, prints and textures perfectly create a chic safari feel, no matter the room.

Add to this the use of mixed woods – dark panelling and washed out beech is also incredibly popular, while brass and soft golf fixtures are must-have features. Textiles such as wicker, canvas and macramé all have their place too, working to spin a modern feel on old-school safari camp classics

Authenticity that stands the test of time.

At Darkie Designs, this is our speciality – we offer an assortment of locally sourced and ethically produced African artworks, furniture pieces, colourful textiles and more.

We believe that incorporating the locally made crafts of African artisans works to truly capture the essence of an African lodge. At the forefront of all of our home designs, we stay true to the location by giving credit to the environment where it’s due.

We also believe in taking into account the practical side of African lodge design, depending on your location. It’s important to use materials that will stand the test of time and the harshness of the elements. This practicality is not something we sacrifice over trends or aesthetics. Instead, there are other ways and means of bringing character to a room.

Essentially, the fool-proof way of pulling off a true luxury lodge feel is to remain authentic to your environment, focusing on highlighting beautiful local features, in a modern way. At Darkie Designs this is our real passion, and we’d be delighted to collaborate on your next luxury lodge project with you!

So, your dining or entertainment area is looking a little tired and you want to give it a quick revamp before summer and all the entertaining that comes with it? We got you!

Instead of splashing wads of unnecessary cash, all you really need to do is set aside a little bit of time to look at reupholstering your chairs for hours of comfortable summer entertaining.

While the concept of reupholstering a dining room chair may be off-putting, it’s really far simpler than you think. A good tip to remember is that every piece you need to reupholster had to be put together, which means it should be relatively simple to take apart! Make sure to do a thorough inspection of the chairs you want to reupholster – look at how things have been reupholstered and jot down important dimensions.

The great thing about reupholstering? You really don’t need all that much fabric, depending on the size and amount of chairs. With this in mind, you can go all out on choosing fabrics, splashing a little extra cash on the high quality, beautiful prints you want. Believe us, it’s far more affordable than replacing an entire set of chairs!

So what are some of the best fabrics to use for comfort and longevity when reupholstering dining room or entertainment area chairs?

1. Cotton blend

This is a durable, inexpensive fabric that is resistant to wear, fading and piling but can be prone to staining and wrinkling. Best used for more formal dining room chairs.

2. Leather

Yes, it’s on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but is a fantastic option for reupholstering just a few dining room chairs i.e. 4-6 as it wears well and only gets better with age! Top tip: vinyl is a similar look and feel to leather and a little more affordable.

3. Wool

A rather unconventional type of material, but totally worth it for its durability, resistance to fading, piling, wrinkling and dirt. Top tip: acrylic is another material similar to the look and feel to wool, only a little softer and resistant to wear, wrinkling, dirt and fading.

4. Nylon and polyester

These synthetic materials are hard-wearing and durable and resistant to wrinkling, soiling and fading. They are blended with other fibres to increase their longevity and make a great option for comfortable dining room chairs used often!

Whether you’re looking to spruce up dining room chairs, bar stools or outdoor seating chairs, a quick revamp can literally do wonders for bringing back both comfort and style to a tired space.

Don’t have time to do it yourself? Get in touch with Darkie Designs – experts in reupholstering dining sets, couches, cushions and more.

If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to upgrade a particular room in your home, have you taken a look at your lighting fixtures?

Whether you’re just looking to makeover an area of your home or perhaps dressing up your home to sell, it may be time to re-look your fixtures and consider these lighting trends which are set to have lasting design power.

We are totally ‘lit’ by some of the latest lighting trends which have taken the interior design world by storm! Consider upgrading a room in your home with any of these:

1. The soft gold finish

With the recent boom in new neutrals and soft colours, such as lavender, peachy-orange, tea rose and mint, there has been a massive push towards the incorporation of soft metallics to match. This is where the most recent trend of the soft gold finish has taken centre stage in the world of lighting fixtures.

Think half-dome like fixtures suspended from the roof, tall standing lamps in soft gold, table lamps and even angular statement chandeliers crafted from a soft gold metal. Soft gold is exceptionally versatile and blends well with almost any home style, from minimalist and modern to a cosy farmhouse, the soft gold fixture is an utterly modern lighting addition.

Décor - light fixture

2. Refined retro

If you hadn’t already noticed, retro has made a comeback, but in a more refined manner. The retro/ industrial trend has always been about a rustic finish, neutral colours and the use of metal. In today’s design world, ‘upgraded industrial’ is a significant trend which has translated to lighting – also known as modern retro. This trend still features the signature metal, rustic style, yet lighting is being crafted with sleeker metals, varied tones and more creative designs. In other words, some of these retro fixtures look almost like works of art.

A fine example of a modern retro lighting fixture is the 1950’s inspired Sputnik Chandelier, but bring it into a modern sphere by choosing an aged brass or warm bronze metal.

3. Vintage bulbs

Also playing along the lines of the retro, industrial feel is the emergence of vintage-inspired bulbs used as lighting fixtures. You may have seen this trend strewn throughout restaurants and hipster-type coffee shops already, but it can easily be translated into your home in a more refined, long-lasting style

Opting for what is known as the Edison-inspired vintage lightbulb is the perfect fixture to modernise both kitchens and living areas. The rounded, cone-like shape of these bulbs are both homey, modern and right on-trend!

4. Alabaster wall mounts

These unique, wall-mounted light shades are fast making their mark in the interior design world due to the beautifully soft, muted light they produce and their simple yet unique designs.

An ode to the 60’s and 70’s inspired wall-mounted lights, these alabaster shades are a modernised upgrade with a soft metallic finishing. With a variety of individual designs to choose from it’s easy to fashion a distinctive twist on bedroom or bathroom lighting.

Lighting - basket lights5. Rattan inspired

Finally, the round/oval shaped lampshade has gone full circle and most certainly cemented itself as a lighting trend for 2018 – perfect for dining or outdoor entertainment areas. Most especially popular is the rattan or woven inspired lampshade, great for bringing in a relaxed and Indonesian inspired feel to your space.

Statement lighting, as the name implies, is the perfect opportunity to add a little flare, glamour or opulence to any kind of room. Long gone are the days where chandeliers are merely reserved for large entranceways, now even a guest bathroom can sport a modernised or antiquated version of the chandelier! But what’s most important when selecting a statement piece of lighting is longevity- can you imagine a particular fixture in one place for a few years to come?

Gone are the days of dreary beige and the seemingly endless array of off-white hues used as colour neutrals to decorate your home. While neutral colours are an essential part of your decorative flair around your home, the prevailing and future trend for 2019 is to inject a touch of colour into new neutrals.

While neutral colours should always strive to be pale and toned down, the core colours of new neutrals have moved away from a lacklustre beige to the likes of tea rose, lavender, mint, pale peach, lemony yellow and the tones of avocado.

There are those who will simply refer to these as pastel colours, but they are far from it. Instead, new neutrals are being dubbed ’restorative colours’ and are considered the perfect element in creating a soothing space that is both comforting and chic.

Also described as gently colourful shades, new neutrals create the perfect backdrop for layering and mixing with different textures in your rugs, blankets, cushions, baskets, curtains and even crockery.

Some of the most popular new neutral colours include:

Lavender-Lilac: this muted, softer tone of purple has become increasingly popular as a new neutral and is perfectly combined with stonewares such as marble and granite.

Tea rose and primrose pink: while you may have seen millennial pink everywhere in recent years, tea rose is a softer, lighter and brighter version of this colour. Combine perfectly with textures such as velvet, metallics such as gold and lush greenery.

Peachy orange: this colour is a throwback to the 70’s indeed, but is far more muted and without a hint of reminiscent tackiness! Peachy orange is the perfect mixture of both pink and orange and is a call to incorporate more earthy tones throughout a room. Combine this new neutral with bold, tropical prints, raw and rustic hardware, soft lighting and a luscious woollen carpet.

Lemon yellow: while some may be wary of painting an entire room yellow, this softer, brighter version is perfect for creating a genuinely calm, inviting space. Combine with light wood finishes in oak or dark mahogany for a beautiful contrast. Use stripes and geometric patterns in your cushions, blankets or curtains to bring in some character.

Avocado-celadon:  the dark emerald green trend has turned into a much lighter, softer hue, suggestive of the inside of an avocado –a soft, buttery and muted mint colour. This new neutral is perfectly combined with elements such as light wood and marble as well as dark metallics and touches of gold.

Sure, neutral colours are make or break for creating atmosphere in any particular room. Wall colour can serve to create a soothing salve or balmy backdrop for your bedroom, lounge or kitchen, but do you really need to be restricted by a minimalistic palette? Not anymore!

Fabric by Ardmore Design

Many may agree that there’s a fine line between bringing too much and just the right amount of safari style decor to one’s home. A little too much leopard print boarders on the wild and ‘tacky’ side, while pops of African-inspired prints can really bring in the old-world, colonial charm you’re aiming for.

Striking the right balance between earthy tones, bright colours, patterns, prints and furniture style and their different materials can elevate your home to the safari-inspired standards you’re looking for.

But, where to begin?

1. Choosing your colour palette

If you’ve spent time in the African bush, this is where to draw inspiration from in terms of your colour palette. Earthy tones inspired by nature are your best place to start and a fitting base to build upon with safari-inspired décor.

Opt for solid, neutral colours such as ivory, raffia or tawny browns for your walls and large items of furniture. To bring in bursts of colour, go for shades of green such as khaki, burnt orange, rust and umber to mirror the characteristics of the African savannah. Choose an accent wall or key items of furniture to bring these colours to your room.

2. Incorporating prints and designs

This is where a room can easily become overwhelmed when it comes to emulating an African-inspired style. In this instance, ‘less is more’ always applies when it comes to incorporating prints and designs throughout your home. Showing a little restraint with regards to using bold prints such as leopard print, zebra print or crocodile skin prints is paramount in ensuring your room doesn’t cross the boarders of vulgarity.

African-inspired prints have come a long way in today’s world of design. Home owners are spoilt for choice with bright and colourful floral, leaf, insect, bird and locally designed patterns. Incorporate these beautiful mix and match patterns across your throw cushions, throw blankets, carpets, rugs, curtains or a statement accent chair.

3. Adding African-inspired art and furniture

This is where your creativity can make a true appearance with the addition of quirky, funky, locally-made trinkets and items of furniture throughout your home. Beautiful wall-mounts of African animals, masks or pieces inspired by nature are a great way to tie your safari-inspired room together.

Opt for colour and traditional safari materials in items of furniture i.e. wicker, straw, canvas and natural woods. Geometric and tribal designs are ideal for adding a visual spin on your décor, these may be in the form of canvas paintings or hanging wall art. Don’t forget about pops of natural greenery – large banana leaf, hanging aloes, palm leaves and fig tree leaves make for a beautiful, natural feel to your overall African-inspired theme.

Adding a safari style spin to your home décor is not as difficult or as complicated as it may seem. It’s just important to remember the basics: neutral background colours complemented with pure bursts of colour, pattern and texture, finished with unique African trinkets and natural greenery. If you can incorporate these basics, you’re well on your way to mastering safari style décor.