Nestled in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Africa, the island of Zanzibar sounds bewitchingly exotic – and as a source of design themes, it’s inspirational.

Famed for spices, intricate raffia-work and luscious beaches, dreaming of Zanzibar makes us think of driftwood, beachcombing finds and rich, warm shades redolent of cinnamon and nutmeg.

It’s a delicious recipe, and that’s why the Zanzibar dining furniture collection is perfect for adding a delightfully different air to any dining room.

The range is packed with rustic charm, and each piece is individual. The Zanzibar range is crafted from reclaimed teak laminated onto mindi, creating a natural surface with a waxed top that’s abundantly infused with old-world charm.

The range includes dining tables and sideboards, and I love the fact that you can mix and match chairs – including suitably tropical cane versions – with benches for a truly versatile seating arrangement.

And dreaming of Africa can take you even further in your own dining room. This range lends itself perfectly to a well-textured and warm-hued range of accessories such as the Antique Brass Lantern, which stands almost half a metre tall and provides a sweet maritime touch.

An alternative that keeps the beachcombing theme alive is the Coral Hurricane Lantern. Its coral strands, in nickel-plated aluminium, climb the sides of the glass lantern allowing the candle within to cast a delicate glow full of interesting shadows.

Getting the lighting right is particularly important in a dining room, where you need sufficient light to allow your diners to eat comfortably, but enough mood lighting to help create an atmosphere conducive to intimate conversation.

Mirrors are an excellent addition to a dining room because they help to bounce the light around subtly, helping to create atmosphere without being too bright. The Anotella Mirror would be a wonderful choice here – it maintains the driftwood theme with its twining, natural frame and would create a real focal point in the room.

The Zanzibar range, with its warm teak surfaces, looks great with stripped floors or against panelling – like our picture – in moody greens and greys.

Or you could take further inspiration from the Spice Islands (as Zanzibar’s archipelago is also known around the world) and pick a palette that reflects its perfect pale sands and blue skies – I think the Estella Rug in Horizon Natural would be an ideal fit. Made by Brink and Campman in 100 per cent wool, each rug is created by expert weavers in India, so its provenance is more than suitable.

A gorgeous alternative would be the Rope Rug, made from fine wool that’s been washed and plaited to create a treat at your feet. In the most natural of hues, free of chemicals and dyes, it’s super-soft to help create an air of luxury in your room.

 

Really, all you need after that is some grateful guests to enjoy your scrumptious Zanzibar-inspired surroundings – and of course a nice meal. Something spicy should do the trick…

All of the products are from Barker and Stonehouse (www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk) unless otherwise stated.  You can follow us at www.facebook.com/barkerandstonehouse