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Next season will see the tribal trend having a major come-back, so get ready for organic materials, rustic luxury and a dose of free-spiritedness, as if interiors have been transferred to places far away. Folklore patterns, diamond shaped Ben Ourain rugs and yes, even animal skulls will somehow creep back into our everyday lives. There has never been a better time to delve into the tribal trend. Here are 3 ways to get ahead of everyone else and key pieces to invest in (photo above: HomebyTribal).



Incorporate the trend without having to give up the valuable space that large furniture and ornamental pieces would otherwise need. Original photography can cost thousands of pounds, however, good quality prints are available on the market to suit all budgets. Remember that limited edition prints and originals are investment pieces and tend to keep, if not increase their value over time.

Invest in: German photographer Mario Gerth and London based John Kenny and Matilda Temperley spring to mind. Their photographs capture African tribes with some major bling on them and have been featured in some of the most instagrammed homes so far.

Above: Mario Gerth photographs are available to buy online. Combine them with hides on the floor for the complete tribal look. Be quick though! These are limited edition prints. When they're gone, they're gone! Photo credit above: Home by Tribal, Australian shop specialising in all things, well, tribal!

Above: John Kenny's portraits of sub-Saharan women in full tribal clothing are simply captivating and beautiful. Photo Credit above: Home by Tribal

Above: Not one to miss out on a major trend, so my home office features "African Boy" by Matilda Temperley, (available through and Abigail Ahern's online store). Top left: a papier mache zebra head by Anthropologie. Photo credit: Seasons in Colour



If you are prepared to buy handcrafted furniture, remember that you don't need to turn your home into an African Chief's home, just invest in a few key pieces and accessorise to complete the look. The cowhide trend is still going strong (check out the cowhide covered console tables of Hide & Seek London), and even better, try bidding on rare items on eBay and 1stdibs. Smaller pieces include leather stools and rattan side tables.

Get the look: 1. Carlton cube, Abigail Ahern; 2. Tribal footstool, ETSY; 3. Colorado Charlie armchair, Abigail Ahern; 4. Canyon Cowhide bench, Rocket St George

Photo credit: A design diary (left), Fenton & Fenton (right)



Ok, here, just go crazy for natural hides, weaved rugs, handmade fabrics, horns, beads and any tribal paraphernalia you can think of like JUJU hats (expensive) and masks (not so expensive, especially if not authentic). Smaller furniture can include rattan pieces, carved stools and generally pieces that look handmade. If something is not particularly straight, then it's perfect!

Clockwise: Cushions from H&M; Ben Ourain rug via Etsy; horn vase, elephant bookends and shell necklace, all by HOME by TRIBAL; Brass savannah animals, West Elm; bone inlay box and brass and sissal basket from HIDE & SEEK London

Photo credit: Myleitmotiv (left)

Photo credit: BrunoTarsia (left)

Clockwise: Leopard print leather small change holder by ZARA Home; Binga Basket from southern Africa by Home by Tribal; Plaited stool by ZARA Home; Savanna story bust by Anthropologie; Rectangular carved stool by ZARA Home; JUJU hat by Home by Tribal.

Photo credit: HOMEBYTRIBAL (left)

Paint & Paper


Given that the tribal trend features items that are handmade using materials available in nature (wood, stone, shells, wool) it is expected to work well in interiors that have a range of colours that are mostly earthy (the colours below are by Farrow & Ball). Use black to 'frame' other objects.

On the floor


Cowhides, sisal/ hemp or jute rugs, always with the colour way above or if you are feeling more colourful just add a bit of red or pink (popular colours in tribal weaved rugs). Below, a round jute rug from The Rug Seller. For something extra glamorous, try a metallic cowhide like this.




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