Aut hero

Nature’s palette is warming up as the temperature goes down. And its earthy autumnal tones are perfect for this year’s natural tribal trend.

A - Soundslike HOME Jute & Paper Rope BasketBC - Amalfi Tuscon Vase A - GlobeWest Samba Baskets (Set of 3) A - Casa Uno Bubble Hammered Candle Holders (Set of 2)
From L to R: Soundslike HOME Jute & Paper Rope Basket, Amalfi Tuscon Vase, GlobeWest Samba Baskets (Set of 3), and Casa Uno Bubble Hammered Candle Holders (Set of 2), available online at Zanui.

Autumn is hot chocolates and over-sized jumpers and watching movie marathons from under your faux fur throw. It’s lazy evenings spent in the company of a heavy red and some dark, dark chocolate and your fave novel (we vote Great Gatsby). It’s baking hearty lasagnes and eating too much with friends then talking into the wee ones, bellies sated.

Autumn is the lull before the storm (you know, winter – that bitter tempest that only inspires hibernation). It’s not too freezing to exist just yet and the skies and trees are painted in the most gorgeous russet and burnt orange hues. Deliriously beautiful.

BCL - j.ell Gabriel re
The j.elliot HOME collection of cushions, rugs, and throws, featuring the Gabriel reversible cushion, Chevron Jute Rug, Louis Cushion, and Marielle Cushion, available online at Zanui.

We’re drawing some of that loveliness indoors in soft layers and coarser textures in our décor. We’re going the way of the Boy Scout and getting prepped for the colder temperatures. This season is about getting cosy with your peeps. And the tribal trend follows the same principle but on a larger scale. It’s about embracing the international community and its rich + diverse cultures to create a global tribe if you will.

So we thought we’d combine the two. The tribal trend realised in the rich hues and raw textures of autumn. What better way to celebrate the turn in seasons?

A - Linen House Tahoma Quilt Cover Set
Linen House Aspen Quilt Cover Set and Tahoma Quilt Cover Set (on chair), available online at Zanui.


We’ve been preaching bohemian and natural tribal looks for much of 2016. As our Homewares Buyer Stina puts it, “This year it’s about going back to basics using a lot of natural materials with raw textures and finishes. Handmade products, up-cycling and neutral colour palettes are all big trends.”

A - Amalfi Zig Zag Carry Baskets (Set of 6)A - Casa Uno Laredo Dining ChairA - Satara Round Rosebud Basket (Set of 3)A - Casa Uno Laredo Round Side Table
From L to R: Amalfi Zig Zag Carry Baskets (Set of 6), Casa Uno Laredo Dining Chair, Satara Round Rosebud Basket (Set of 3) and Casa Uno Laredo Round Side Table, available online at Zanui.

But interestingly this look has history – it dates back to the free spirit of the swinging 60s and 70s. Our Woodstock-loving, weed-smoking, Joni-Mitchell-worshipping forbears fell in love with the American-Indian inspired aesthetic way back when. And the look crept into our interiors.

A - Amigos de Hoy Double Strap TubA - Barber Osgerby for Royal Doulton
From L to R: Amigos de Hoy Double Strap Tub and the Barber Osgerby homewares collection for Royal Doulton , available online at Zanui.

This trend reached its peak in the 80s and then faded out. But in recent years it’s experienced a revival on the international catwalks, and interiors have followed on couture’s coat tails. Today it still maintains its essence of being anti-establishment whilst also achieving a certain retro cred.

A - Linen House Ghana Quilt Cover Set
Linen House Ghana Quilt Cover Set, available online at Zanui.

So what’s the attraction to this style? Its fine craftsmanship and artisan designs are the easy answer. Beautiful things that are crafted with purpose will always have meaning. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s more.

As LA-based fashion designer Cynthia Vincent put it to the Los Angeles Times, ”When life is chaotic, there is a desire for deeper understanding. At the end of the day, it’s clothing, but there is more to it. Does globalisation mean more than being connected electronically? I hope so. I like the idea of a mash-up of tribes.”

This applies equally to interiors. And we don’t know about you, but the idea of a tribal mash-up appeals to our humanist philosophy.

A - TribalA - Linen House Faux Fur 3
From L to R: the Natural Tribal Trend as styled by Zanui, featuring LS Collections Ketak Round Bowl (Set of 3), Rapee Nomadic Throw, and Casa Uno Cylinder Rattan Ceiling Light, and Linen House Faux Fur Throw, available online at Zanui.

Today the tribal trend pushes the perimeters of American-Indian to indulge in objets d’art and décor that’s Moroccan, Mediterranean, Marrakech and more… It’s a rich and textured meeting of international design and cultural performance.

3BCL - HYMMJ Triangle Votive Vase
From L to R: the Natural Tribal Trend as styled by Zanui, featuring Amalfi Tuscon Vase, Have You Met Miss Jones vases, and LS Collections Terracotta Tribal Jar, available online at Zanui.


So you’ve decided to nurture your inner nomad. Define your look with textured natural materials mixed with some fine faux pieces. Faux leather and faux fur achieve the look and they have animal and budget-friendly benefits.

Interstil Luxor range of furniture, available online at Zanui.

Seek out rough-hewn + intricately crafted pieces that speak to you. Search for detail – each new décor accent or furniture piece should add nuance to your overall aesthetic. Opting for an organic palette will help draw this look together.

A - Rapee Nation CushionA - Rapee Chacha Cushion
The Rapee cushion collection featuring Nation Cushion, Missy CushionArizona Cushion, and Chacha Cushion, available online at Zanui.

Take your inspiration from the earthy hues of autumn: rich chocolate browns, rust-reds, mustards, eggshell, charcoal and cream colours.

Interstil Riva range of furniture, available online at Zanui.


Set the scene with your larger furniture pieces – your sofas, dining tables, your bed frames – opt for solid woods, jute, sisal and neutral coloured fabrics.

“Natural stone, timber, leather, concrete and rattan are some of the materials that work perfectly with this look,” Stina explains.

1BCL - Cush & Co Moroccan Leather Pouffe
Cush & Co Moroccan Faux Leather Pouf, available online at Zanui.

A textured jute, sisal or animal hide rug introduces rustic sophistication to your home. Look for a coarser weave for raw appeal.

2BC - Barber & OsbA - Linen House Tanner Quilt Cover Set
From L to R: Barber & Ogersby homewares for Royal Doulton and Linen House Tanner Quilt Cover Set, available online at Zanui.

Not in a position to push the boat out for those big-ticket items? “Choose a few hero pieces that represent the trend you’re going for,” Stina says, “and always keep it simple by using a neutral colour palette as the base and then building your look from there.”

A - Linen House Faux FurA - Linen House Faux Fur 2
The Linen House winter collection of faux fur throw rugs and cushions, available online at Zanui.


There are all kinds of homewares products you can use to complement a tribal style. Textured cushions and throws with tassels or pom poms, wall hangings, Moroccan leather poufs and shaggy rugs to name a few…

Cushions fashioned from animal hide or fabric/leather fusions also work well.

A - Linen House Tahoma Quilt Cover Set 2
Linen House Tahoma Quilt Cover Set, available online at Zanui.


The Navajo American-Indian tribe, one of the inspirations for this trend, are renowned for their fine geometric Pendleton blankets, rugs and handicrafts. Contemporary pieces crafted in a similar vein create statement looks in your interiors.

A - Veeraa Mosquero FlatweaveA - Veeraa Oscuro Flat WeaveA - Veeraa Tulum Flat Weave
From L to R: Veeraa Mosquero Flat Weave Modern Rug, Veeraa Oscuro Flat Weave Jute and Cotton Rug and Veeraa Tulum Flat Weave Wool Rug, available online at Zanui.

Introduce chevrons, ikats, and other ethnic and tribal-inspired designs for added drama in your design-scape.

“Decor pieces and vases in earthy tones, as well as prints and patterns with a tribal vibe, are other must-haves to complete this look,” Stina says.

A - Soundslike HOME Tropica Driftwood StoolGp - Casa Uno Ceramic Urn VaseA - Casa Uno Cylinder Rattan Ceiling Light BC - HYMMJ Frida Vase
From L to R: Soundslike HOME Tropica Driftwood Stool, Casa Uno Ceramic Urn Vase, Casa Uno Cylinder Rattan Ceiling Light, and Have You Met Miss Jones Frida Vase, available online at Zanui.

Nouveau grunge, boho-chic or nomadic charm… The choice is yours. Borrow a little radicalism from this trend’s roots and decorate chez vous to please yourself. After all, “Happiness is the best facelift,” as the sainted Joni Mitchell once sang. 😀

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.