African furniture | Decor/ Design | Travel

Swahili style furniture

September 12, 2017

Imagine lounging on a beautiful porch in a handsome plantation chair facing a beach, warm breeze bringing the sweet smell of frangipani blooms and bright bougainvillea around you. I could go on and on but you get the picture. The furniture I’m talking about today fits perfectly into this setting……

Swahili traditions and Culture dates back many centuries and over time, foreign influences had a significant impact on what is seen in arts and crafts of present day Swahili people.  The main influences being Arab, Indian, Portuguese.

The Swahili coast, where this style developed, is an area encompassing Zanzibar (Tanzania) archipelago, Kenyan coast, and northern Mozambique. The name Swahili is derived from Arabic word Sawāhil meaning “coasts.”

This happy mingling of cultures has evolved into a distinct style of furniture with beautiful carving, metal embossing and tile work infused coveted pieces. Swahili style of furniture has now achieved heritage status and for preservation “UNESCO” has included Lamu Island (Kenya ) and Zanzibar Island (Tanzania) in the world heritage sites. UNESCO is also sponsoring Mombasa (Kenya) old town rehabilitation, so that Swahili style is preserved for future generations.

So, all you Bohemians at heart, if the scent of tropical flowers and warm spices with white sandy beaches is what you like your décor to reflect then this furniture style is definitely for you…….

The images I’m sharing here are from our trip to Diani beach (Baobab Resort) on the coast of Kenya .


Swahili style/ Lamu style day bed…perfect for lounging with a favourite book and tea


fine workmanship and detailing


Lounge area

These handsome plantation chairs invite you to lounge for hours and have long conversations with family and friends.

A game of cards anyone?


Handmade mudcloth displayed with traditional brass and copper plates


African masks….yes please!


Perfect African setting

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Have a great week ahead!