Local love- Nigeria at it’s best. By Ruqoyyah O. Ositade

With over 250 ethnic tribes, picturesque hills and mountains, mangrove forests, waterfalls, rivers Niger and Benue, and even the Atlantic Ocean, there are endless and untapped inspiration and ideas in Nigeria for your home design/makeover projects. From simple accent pieces, to the more exquisite paintings and crafts, your choices are endless. Back from our 'Arabian bliss', get back on board as we explore some of the most fabulous and stunning prints, patterns, paintings, and crafts that will transform your space into your ‘luxury land’. Local and versatile fabrics such as ankara, adire(batik), aso oke, akwete and kura fabrics can be introduced into your design scheme in imaginative and unusual ways. These ubiquitous fabrics come in a range of tones, patterns, textures and best of all, you can even choose your own prints designed or hand woven to specification. Depending on your design approach, start with a base colour e.g. brown or whatever you have on ground as furniture, pick out the most elaborate of prints as shown in the images. You can use the fabrics as throw pillow covers, lamp shades, and curtains. These fabrics instantly transform the dullest of spaces, injecting energy and life into it. Try it! you’ll be transfixed beyond measures. Leather carpets, poufs and decorative hides add an extra dimension to your design. Usually made out of cow, goat or sheep skin or a combination of all, the various shades of the animal skin introduce a delicate but sleek texture into the scheme. Visit your local art and craft markets for a variety of leather works with fantastic deals. If you'd rather not go the animal way, the alternatives are these detailed and intricately hand woven raffia and cane products. Rafia, a very versatile material can also be used to produce other items and home accessories like living room furniture, laundry and storage baskets,  place mats and even baby cribs. All these items can be made to desired shapes and sizes. Check out ‘underbridge’ in Maryland, Lagos for an array of designs. With a natural landscape that captivates the senses whilst stretching into the horizon, the ever fast paced cities and towns, and the more laid back and serene villages with ‘mother earth gradients of soil’, local paintings and photography gives your attempt at design a seal of approval. Although original paintings can be quite pricey, don’t be discouraged- look for a street artist, and negotiate a good deal -they are everywhere. You can get professional photographs of your best spots, have them boarded and framed and create a focal point by grouping them and creating a larger frame. For the kids area, indulge them in a painting and drawing session. Have the finished works professionally framed just like the ones the kids produced for the United for Kids art auction. Locally handcrafted ceramics, glass works and calabashes are delicate and versatile statement pieces that will pull your scheme together and certify you as an authentic ethnic wiz. Although the ceramics are most common in the traditional red-earth tone, they can be designed in various shapes and sizes. These can be used for potted plants, centre pieces or just as a shelve display. In more traditional homes, they are used around the kitchen for cooking, eating and storing water. Locally handcrafted ceramics, glass works and calabashes are delicate and versatile statement pieces that will pull your scheme together and certify you as an authentic ethnic wiz. Although the ceramics are most common in the traditional red-earth tone, they can be designed in various shapes and sizes. These can be used for potted plants, centre pieces or just as a shelve display. In more traditional homes, they are used around the kitchen for cooking, eating and storing water. Intricate wood carvings can be used to make statement furniture pieces like a coffee table or bookcase. These select and unique pieces have such detailed carvings that are imposing and distinctive- you can be assured there aren’t many of them out there.

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