Our Fore-Fathers Were Their Own Interior Decorators

It would amaze you to know that while most of us tout interior designs to be something of the contemporary world of real estate, the idea of decorating rooms had always been in existence.
Yes! Our fore-fathers were their own interior designers.
In Ghana, our fore-fathers used various elements of nature to beautify their spaces:

  1. They Used the Skin of Animals as Door Mats and Chair Coverings:

This was very common in the Northern parts of Ghana where the rearing of cattle and sheep is common. Houses in ancient Ghanaian societies often used the skin of animals such as sheep to create door mats at the entrance of rooms. They also used the skin of animals as chair coverings.
Chairs that had such coverings were the special seats for very important guests and the head of the family. Such ancient decorations were very common in the homes of influential people such as kings, king-makers and members of the royal family.

  1. Decorated Stools with Adinkra Symbols Were Used as Seats

In place of luxurious sofas, our fore-fathers used beautifully-crafted chairs made with Adinkra symbols (illustrated Ghanaian symbols with meanings). These stools were often used during story-telling around a bonfire or used to receive guests. They were also used by African mothers in kitchen when preparing meals. Children sat on these chairs to eat.

  1. They Had Beautifully-Woven Baskets Serving as Kitchen Cabinets
    The indigenous societies also used woven baskets as storage for cooking pots, fish, fruits, etc.
    These woven baskets not only provided storage in the kitchen but were the beauty spots of ancient kitchens.
  1. Colourful African Prints Were Used as Bed Coverings and Curtains

Colourful prints were used as bed coverings and as curtain. These created bright colours in
bedrooms and were usually hand-sewn by African mothers.

  1. Aesthetically-carved clay pots, pots and jars

Clay pots, jars and cups were nicely arranged on tables to beautify kitchens and rooms. Very
big pots served as storage for water, while the pots were used for cooking.

  1. There was always an element in the house that represented the main trade of the homeowner:
    Typically, you would find a musket hanged in a hunter’s bedroom, a well-arranged set of
    cutlasses, hoes and baskets in a farmer’s house. You are also likely to find a fishing net, a hook and a line in a fisherman’s house.


Makafui Abena Kuffo is a student of Msc. Real Estate of Henley Business School, University of Reading with specialization in Real Estate Securities, Real Estate Portfolio Management and Housing Markets and Policy. She also co-founds the Saasepedia group. She is passionate about educating society

Published by Saasepedia

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