Safari at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge

INSPIRED DESIGN: SOUTH AFRICA

DESIGN, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

Pulling myself away from the responsibilities of everyday life can be difficult, but I’ve discovered that losing myself in travel is essential to the work I love. Rich and varied cultural experiences provide a wealth of inspiration and a deeper respect for the beauty my team creates. A recent voyage to South Africa included stops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge, all of which were downright magical.

I returned home feeling focused and creatively refueled, and I’ve been meaning to share a look at the design elements that caught my eye while I was abroad. From earthy color palettes and intricate patterns to unique art pieces, there’s a little something for everyone and the voyage celebrated a style that’s been working its way into my designs for longer than I can remember. Enjoy!

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world...
Warm Welcome

In a time where light and bright is dominating social media channels, the richly hued color palettes seen throughout my trip were unbelievably refreshing. Deep earth tones serve as the foundation of so many textiles, art pieces, and accessories throughout South Africa, and my travels uncovered pieces that would make a welcome addition to any home.

Speaking of a warm welcome…don’t these rich rust and peach hues make you curious about the interior of this home?

But wait!

If warmth isn’t your thing, there are some exquisite neutrals worth admiring. From wood sculptures to intricately woven baskets, my South African travels offered up so many texture-rich beauties to choose from!


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Pattern Play

There’s a unique rhythm and sense of story running through the patterns discovered in African design. Whether it’s the markings on an ethically sourced animal hide or meaningful motifs on a ceremonial garment, the energy coming off of everything you touch is intoxicating.

I’ve been layering tribal-inspired patterns into my work for years, but this trip most definitely rekindled a passion for the bold beauty of exotic textiles!

A tribal-inspired fabric custom-selected for my client’s media room.

Bathroom vignette by Erika Ward Interiors

These richly patterned fabrics look chic in neutral hues as well!

Compelling Art

It’s so important that the story your home shares be unique to who you are and where you come from. I love art pieces that hold special meaning for my clients and always work those into their design when possible. As with any treasured installation, some of the most memorable African art pieces are those that were never intended to be art at all. Woven trays or handcrafted blankets, African relics, and tribal masks can all be repurposed to create a breathtaking display.

Bathroom vignette by Erika Ward Interiors

My great room at home


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Dynamic Approach

Beyond color stories and textural applications, the most significant reminder I brought home was to approach design (and life) with a vibrant sense of freedom. Follow your heart, live a life you love, and cherish the beauty found in unbounded design.

Street art in Soweto

Before we go, check out a few of our spaces that speak to the elements shared above and let us hear your thoughts by dropping a comment below!

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Media Room by Erika Ward Interiors

Media Room by Erika Ward Interiors

Framed cloth in media room by Erika Ward Interiors

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