Safari Style Bathroom Design Ideas

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If you have always dreamed of going on an African safari, having a room in your home decorated in this theme is the next best thing. You might not ever make it to Kenya or Botswana, but you can capture a little bit of the safari spirit, and create an exciting, interesting decorating style. The bathroom is a good spot for a safari theme, as the small size of the room makes it easy to decorate.

Depending on your preferences, you can make the look as bold or as subtle as you like. A safari-inspired decorating scheme doesn’t have to be overwhelming.


You can create a safari theme with two different color themes. If your taste runs towards earth tones and subtle colors, then you will be happiest with colors such as:

  • Tan
  • Khaki
  • Dusty green
  • Taupe
  • Burnt orange
  • Gold
  • Brown

If you are looking for a crisper, more sophisticated style, then look to black and white to create your safari theme. Zebras will be your inspiration for this look.

Walls, Floors and Windows

Paint your walls to reflect your chosen color scheme. If you are using earth tones, walls in gold, tan or khaki green will provide a soothing background to the bolder accessories you will be using. Painting one wall in a shade slightly darker than the rest will give your bathroom a dash of interest and style.

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If you are creating a zebra-inspired bathroom, white walls with black trim will provide your base. If you are particularly bold, paint one or more walls with zebra-patterned stripes.

Bathroom floors should be a hard material, such as tile, linoleum or wood. Any of these choices will work with a safari look. Keep the floor color neutral, without going too dark.

A small rug will give bare feet a soft, warm spot to stand, as well as enliven the look of the bathroom. Choose a rug with an animal print to set the feel of your bathroom right upon entering. Look for:

  • Zebra
  • Giraffe
  • Tiger
  • Leopard

An animal print rug doesn’t have to be loud or cheesy. Choosing a rug with subtle colors will keep the style from screaming tacky. Look for a zebra or tiger rug with wider, gently curved lines, or a giraffe or leopard rug with large, soft-edged spots.

A safari theme is a nature-based look, so reflect that with natural materials on your windows. Bamboo roll-up blinds will maintain privacy while staying true to the nature scheme.


  • In the bathroom, towels are your main accessory, and good quality towels are worth a little splurge. Thick, luxurious towels are pampering when getting out of the shower or tub, so choose the best your budget allows.
  • You can go all-out with animal print towels for the earth tone bath, or keep it quiet with solid color towels in safari-themed colors. If you are decorating with a black-and-white zebra style, patterned zebra towels will really add spice to your bathroom.
  • Hang your towels on towel racks made from wood, or a brushed or antiqued metal finish. Choose a toilet paper holder to match.
  • If your bathroom has a shower curtain, balance the pattern with the towels and rug you have chosen. All three in an animal print will be overwhelming, and cross the line into tacky. Keep just one or two of those elements in animal print, with the others being a solid color.
  • If you pick a solid-color shower curtain, look for interesting texture in the fabric. A waffle-weave or heavy fabric will hold its own against the animal prints in the rest of the room. Use a plastic liner to keep the shower curtain from soaking through.
  • Hang one or two pictures or photos on your walls. Look for images of African animals, landscapes, designs or people. Wooden frames will set off the pictures and play up the natural feel.
  • Choose your bathroom trash container, toothbrush holder, soap dish and tissue cover with safari in mind. Since these are small items, feel free to play up the animal pattern, knowing you won’t overwhelm the room. If you don’t want animal prints, look for safari colors, wicker or wood items, or burnished finish metal.
  • A small potted plant or two will add a welcome touch of greenery and nature to your bathroom. If there is no window, choose plants that can tolerate low light, such as Chinese evergreen, ferns or spider plant.
  • Candles are always a nice touch in a bathroom. Choose thick, pillar candles with a holder of a natural material like wood or stone.

Even if you never get to go on that safari you dream of, you can imagine you are there every morning when you step into your bathroom. Create the atmosphere of an African wildlife preserve with the colors, patterns and textures of safari animals, and bring a touch of the wild into your home.

Last Updated: December 29, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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