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7 African Rug Designs For Creating Dynamic Living Spaces

Photo of Natasha Johnson
By Natasha Johnson
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Updated February 28, 2023.

Intricately patterned rug in shades of grey in a study

Whether we gather as a family, unite with friends, or cuddle with a loved one on movie night, the living room area is a special space where we can spend meaningful time together. In recent years, there has been a design shift in living areas. From a closed room, it has evolved to a more open floor plan, allowing a natural flow and interaction between different rooms or spaces. It can also help to delineate the different spaces, giving you an opportunity to play around and create a sense of movement in your living area. With this change in design thinking, choosing the right rug is important. The design elements of African rugs can incorporate colors that are warm, with tones that bring an earthy and neutral feel to your African-themed living room. The neutrality will help to lighten a room, creating a sense of space and comfort.

Here are 7 of our favorite African-themed rug designs that will not only help you create dynamism in your living area but also decorate an African-inspired living room for a deliciously warm ambiance and distinctive style:

1. Best Neutral Rug for Your Living Room

African rug designs are a testament to the rich history of hand-crafted artistry, and their intricate patterns have been a part of the African heritage for centuries. These rugs are rooted in ancient traditions, yet their unique designs can work in both contemporary and modern settings. African-patterned rugs can subtly infuse your room with an African feel while adding interest to a space with neutral furniture and walls. The patterned borders of these rugs can create a focal point and add a touch of cultural heritage to your living space.

» Draw on ancient artistry and African creativity with Africa Natural Rug

2. Best Round Area Rug to Decorate Your Home

Round braided rugs are an excellent choice for bringing warmth and softness into your African-themed living room. The circular shape of the rug works especially well with an L-shaped couch, adding interest and creating a dynamic feel to your space. A well-chosen round rug can make a room look more spacious, with its curves creating fluid movement for the eye. Additionally, it serves as an anchor, pulling together all the elements of the room. Use a round rug in an open-plan living room to create a focal point and add contrast and dimension to your space. Consider different sizes to match the proportions of your room. For a minimal yet striking approach, place a dark beige African-styled round rug on lighter flooring.

» Infuse your living room with a soft feel with Braids Natural Round Rug

3. Best Quality Cow Hide Rug for a Vintage Look

African-themed cowhide rugs originate from the Zulu people of southern Africa and are made of incredibly durable and almost indestructible rug material. They're perfect for a busy living room area, as they can withstand heavy foot traffic. In this space, you can position your furniture half on and half off the rug, allowing the cowhide to become the primary anchor. Alternatively, you could place only the cowhide on the floor without any obstructions, letting it shine as the centerpiece of your living room area. These vintage floor coverings can help to delineate different spaces or tie in your furniture in a visually unique way. Neutral tones that evoke the great African outdoors go well with cowhide rugs and establish an earthy atmosphere.

» Combine comfort and style with Cow Hide Mother Rug

4. Best Colorful Rug to Transform Your Room

Kilim rugs are intricately patterned African design rugs that are flat-woven textiles and are perfect for any space, particularly an African-inspired living room. The dynamic shapes, unique patterns, and textures of this textile can help to coordinate your living room while challenging the perception of space in an interesting way, bringing everything to life with rich vibrancy. You can choose to have just one intricately patterned rug under your coffee table, or layer a few to create a unique pattern that enhances the African aesthetic. For a completely different and unique approach, consider hanging your kilim on a neutral wall as a feature piece.

» Add a pop of color and vibrance with Kilim Colorful Rug

5. Best Patterned Rug to Upgrade Your Home

We love patterns! They can be the centerpiece of a room's design, and Maimana rugs are a perfect example of this. These modern rugs take their name from a city in northern Afghanistan and are ideal for an African-inspired home decor design. They feature rich geometric shapes that create dynamic rhythms and movement that aren't overwhelming to the eye. A red Maimana rug would work exceptionally well in a living room with a neutral color palette, making it the ideal focal point. You can also incorporate accessories such as pillows or lampshades that match one or two of the red shades of your rug to keep things visually appealing and interesting. Don’t be afraid to go bold!

» Inspire rhythm and well-curated minimalism in your space with Maimana Red Rug

6. Best Stylish Rug to Elevate Your Minimalist Design

While Kilim rugs are typically known for their vibrant and colorful patterns, choosing a rug in shades of grey can bring a serene gentility and tranquility to a room, making it the star of the show. A grey palette works particularly well with neutral colors and tones, creating a classic and versatile look that adds a relaxed and modern feel to your African-style living room. Warm tones can complement these grey shades and add coziness and comfort to your space. For a minimalist and soothing effect, we recommend playing with the neutral colors of your walls and furniture when selecting a Kilim rug for your modern African home decor.

» Combine classic and modern with Kilim Gray Rug

7. Best Beautiful Area Rug to Add Texture to Any Room

When choosing an African-inspired area rug for your living room, don't forget to consider texture. Nia rugs are a beautiful option with a woven, laid-back appeal that makes a bold statement in any design scheme. The versatile cut of this rug allows it to complement any living room design scheme while adding texture and warmth. When paired with earthy tones like terracotta and soft browns, reminiscent of an African sunset on the Sahara, Nia area rugs can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. You can also add a pop of green foliage as an accent color for a stunning finishing touch. African carpet designs like Nia rugs offer a unique texture and style that can transform your living room into an inviting and visually appealing space.

» Bring a laid-back vibe with Nia Natural Rug

Conclusion

African-themed rugs can add an eclectic and wonderful touch to any living space with their diverse and striking graphics. They bring a unique minimal design that is still visually impactful, creating a bold and organic look that exudes luxury and dynamism effortlessly. The key themes for an African-inspired living space are boldness and organic elements that can add a touch of cultural heritage and timeless elegance to any home decor style. African-themed rugs offer a versatile and eye-catching way to incorporate these themes into your living space, whether you prefer a minimalist or maximalist approach.

» Didn't find what you're looking for? Visit our website for more African design-inspired rugs.

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