Design A Safari Style Bedroom

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Intimate spaces lend themselves to dramatic flourishes, and what could be nicer than drifting off to sleep in a private oasis based on one of your secret fantasies or daydreams -- an exotic safari. Easily create this stylish and exciting décor theme in your bedroom with these fun design tips.

The Bedding

Let's face it, the bed is the heart of the bedroom, and in a safari themed bedroom, the bed can look spectacular:

  • Add netting - Of course, adding mosquito netting as a gauzy, faux canopy adds loads of style. If you're working on a budget, you can get the look by mounting light colored curtain sheers on the ceiling or on the wall behind the bed and draping them suggestively. They'll act as a quasi-headboard, too. You'll have the best of both worlds for pennies.
  • Indulge yourself with a four poster bed frame- A classic four poster bed frame looks elegant in any room, but there's something about all that wood paired with earth colors and animal prints that makes it a perfect accompaniment to a safari themed room.
  • Layer your look - The more opulent the bed looks, the better. You can pile on the pillows to achieve this effect, but adding a boxy bed skirt and plenty of textiles in varying prints and textures will make your bed look soft and inviting but not the least bit frilly.

The Wall Treatments

We like neutrals, but the wall treatments don't have to be one dimensional to add a restful quality to the room.

  • Pick your paint - Try experimenting with some of the faux wall paints. A linen, lichen or rag finish in earth tones that mimics the look of natural materials will create a perfect backdrop.
  • Integrate your curtains - Drapes can be tricky in a room design that has a lot going on. If this is your first solo design effort, keep the drapes neutral by matching them to the color of the walls. If you're confident and bold by nature, try coordinating your curtains with the bedding, a rug, or a themed object like a vase or framed print.
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  • Dress the walls - While you're choosing all those sinfully soft textiles, don't forget the wall art. Collages that include textural elements, framed prints, soft sculptures and architectural elements all work. Here's a quick tip: To group accessories for display, install wall shelving over a bed or dresser. It's an easy way to create a wall grouping you can rearrange quickly later.

The Furniture and Accessories

Try these simple tips for selecting furniture and accessories to complete your bedroom’s safari theme:

  • Use baskets - Free standing baskets, wicker chests and small wicker bowls will add natural textures and a handmade look to your safari themed bedroom. Pound for pound, they're an amazing bargain. Consider using a couple of wicker furniture pieces too, like a chair or occasional table.
  • Don't forget the pottery and crafts - Beyond the colors of the African savanna and the distinctive look of the animals that live there, take time to explore the rustic appeal of the local crafts. From hand thrown pottery to carved wooden boxes and vases painted in African motifs, adding a few of these accessories to your dressers and night stands will help extend the safari theme throughout your bedroom and into an adjoining bath. Reproduction pieces are available through most major decor retailers.
  • Tribal art - A step above rustic crafts is the powerful art of Africa as exhibited in Tribal masks, drums, weapons and breathtaking handmade textiles. Whether they're wrought in wood, stone, bronze or cotton yarn, even a single authentic piece is bound to add charm to the look of your room.

The Lighting

Mood lighting is important in any room, but in a safari themed bedroom, low light or candlelight can work wonders. Pick metal and fabric materials on your lighting fixtures that fit with the safari theme.

  • Careful, lower lighting will give your earth tones depth and make those animal prints pop.
  • Look for lamps, chandeliers and sconces with canvas shades, mimicking the look of a safari jacket or bag.
  • Avoid using bright, shiny silver or brass lighting fixtures (or anywhere else in your safari bedroom theme). Dark, worn metals fit better with this style.

It's the perfect prelude to a romantic evening, so use the dimmer switch, keep the lamps on low, and add some scented candles for a night to remember.

Last Updated: December 28, 2011
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About Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is a freelance copywriter and dedicated blogger. Her popular gardening, cooking and crafting blog, The Herb Gardener, was cited by The Wall Street Journal for its fun and frugal tips. Sara has a degree in English, and you can find her health, crafting, and lifestyle pieces on sites like,, and

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