This Serene Home Blends European and West African Designs

rooted in design west african and european home

The Spruce / Illustration by Amy Sheehan / Photo by Mani Tagba

Nestled by the water and surrounded by dense verdant trees sits Mani Tagba’s Munich home. The content creator behind Afro Bohemian Living, Tagba regularly shares photos of her picturesque space — adorned in earth tones, soothing linen drapes, and glowy lanterns — with thousands of followers. 

Her unique style meshes the two sides of her background: European and African. Born and brought up in Germany, Tagba was surrounded by airy and streamlined interiors, though she became fascinated with African design when she moved into her current home. Now, the space combines Scandinavian-esque minimalism with traditional West African decor — as stark white walls are punctuated by warrior portraits and handwoven baskets. Ahead, Tagba shares more about her favorite DIYs, love of the sun, and patient design approach.

Serene Bedroom

Mani Tagba

How did you first discover your home? What about it appealed to you?

I wasn't really looking for a new place, but I visited friends who live next to my now home and they told me that the house was going to be renovated and would soon be available to rent. I intentionally called the owner and to my surprise, he came over on the same day to show me the house and garden. The next day, he called and told me that if I wanted the place, I could have it. The rest is history.

Munich Dining Area

Mani Tagba

Does your home fit in with your neighborhood's vibe or does it stand out?

I live next to a forest and lake on a quiet little street that leads into the trees. I love being surrounded by nature — it keeps me in balance. There are only other houses around me and they all fit in perfectly. The lake is the central point of the village. And a fun fact: from the view above, the lake has the shape of a heart.

How would you describe your style and approach to decorating your space? 

It's a mix of my African and European heritage. My space should feel like home — for me, my family, and my friends. Like the surrounding area that I live in, I want it to help us slow down, be present, and nurture us. To accomplish that, I like to use a lot of earth tones and natural fabrics, as well as have a lot of natural lighting.

Munich Entryway

Mani Tagba

Who or what are your biggest design inspirations?

Many things: nature, my heritage, traveling, vintage sites, flea markets, and more.

What elements from your West African heritage do you incorporate into your home?

I love to incorporate African patterns, fabrics, colors, and artwork in my home. My home should reflect all sides of my heritage, though: German, Togolese, and Ghanaian.

Munich Daybed

Mani Tagba

Any other cultures you take design notes from?

I think every culture has something I like, but mostly I take inspiration from cultures that live closer to or are more harmonious with nature and are sunnier. I love Mexican and Indonesian styles, for example. When I am in these places, I want to take as much as I can with me and want to style my place like that, but sometimes those designs only work out with the local culture. I think one day I will live in a warmer place, though!

What were the greatest finds in your home? Can you share a story behind any of them?

My little African stools that I found on Ebay are really special. The seller bought them when he lived in Africa, back in the ‘80s. But his family wanted to get rid of them. So, I like it when I can give items like that a new home — like, "come to me; here, you are valued."

Munich Bedroom

Mani Tagba

Do you have a favorite design feature or room? If so, where is it in the house and what makes it unique?

I love my self-made TV hide artwork. I found this beautiful second-hand black and white fabric that shows the profile of a Massai Warrior. I framed it and it now covers our television. It looks so beautiful. 

Munuch Garden

Mani Tagba

Where in your home do you spend the most time, and what are you usually doing there?

I’m often lounging on my DIY daybed in the living room. It’s over four meters [or 13 feet] long. I love to soak the sun up, read, meditate, or just watch the birds and clouds from my big window.