How To Design A Safari Style Dining Room

AAA Print

Bring the wild excitement of an African safari to your dining experience with a safari themed dining room.

Creating An Atmosphere With Light

Warm, subdued lighting helps recreate the feel of an unspoiled African landscape in your dining area. These lighting options work well with the safari theme:

  • Iron candelabras: Grace your table with a spare but elegant black iron candelabra and tall white candles.
  • Safari chandeliers: Provide soft overhead lighting with wrought iron and other metal chandeliers. Popular safari chandelier options include pineapple and snake designs with flame shaped or shaded bulbs.
  • Hurricane lamps: Recall a simpler era with historic glass and metal hurricane lamps for your buffet or sideboard.
  • Iron wall sconces: Add a bit of gentle accent lighting with some low wattage wall sconces.
  • Animal print lampshades: Zebra, leopard or tiger skin patterns on the lampshades of your pole or table dining room lamps enhance safari design.

Safari Dining Room Fabrics

Including traditional regional materials and textures lends an authentic African feel to your safari design. Here are a few ways to bring the savannah to your dining room using fabric:

  • Choose natural materials such as cotton, leather or woven wool for tablecloths, cloth napkins, wall hangings and upholstery.
  • Faux animal skin prints offer a realistic safari look as well, while preserving many remarkable, endangered species to be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren.
  • Experiment with bold, tribal prints in geometric abstract designs or symbolic patterns depicting African dancers, local animals or local plant life.
Ready for Planting Finished Product

Safari Color Scheme

Safari design features the deep, warm hues of the African savanna. Build your safari themed dining room around shades including:

  • Darkest reds
  • Rich browns
  • Muted tans
  • Saturated blacks
  • Deep greens
  • Subdued golden tones.

If you like, supplement the classic safari color scheme with the unique majesty of the African sunset or seashore by adding touches of blues and purples.

Your Safari Table And Other Dining Room Furniture

A dining room set is the central focus of any dining room and establishes the tone for this space. To be sure yours fits with the safari theme, try these materials for your dining table, chairs, sideboard, china cabinet and other dining furniture:

  • Dark natural wood: If you have light wooden pieces, consider refinishing them with a dark stain.
  • Bamboo: This durable, natural grass resembles wood and is easy to finish and stain.
  • Rattan: Earthy, woven rattan brings exotic old-world charm to your safari design.

To beautify and protect your dining table, dress it up in a tablecloth with an animal skin print or a colorful tribal pattern. Wooden bowls and serving spoons, and African patterned dishes maintain continuity in your design, as do chairs with leather or animal skin patterned upholstery.

Safari Dining Room Floors

Floors in a graceful, African home are elegant, open and cool underfoot. To recreate this feel for your dining room, consider these flooring options:

  • Terra cotta: These attractive, rustic terra cotta tiles are also very affordable.
  • Natural wood: Dark finished wood floors in planks or parquet bring rich warmth to your dining room.
  • Bamboo: Sustainable, natural bamboo looks very much like hardwood flooring.
  • Area rugs: Even if your existing floor doesn't quite fit with the safari theme, the right area rugs help tie your theme together. Try a faux animal skin rug or a natural woven rug in earthy colors under your dining room table.

Accessories To Enhance The Safari Theme

Accessories are the little touches that complete your dining room's safari themed design. Here are some great choices to bring the savannah home:

  • Animal or tribal print curtains: Match or complement the African fabrics of your tablecloth and cloth napkins.
  • Leather trunks: Display one in a corner and use it to store special occasion dishes or silverware.
  • Hand-carved masks: Hang these works of art on dining room walls or display them on your sideboard or buffet.
  • Drums: Showcase a large drum against a wall or in a corner, or mount a smaller drum on your wall.
  • Spears: Authentic, handmade spears can be propped against or mounted on walls.
  • Wooden bowls: In addition to serving food, display these on your sideboard or in your china cabinet.
  • Bamboo vases: Some tropical flowers or plants in a bamboo vase are just right for your table centerpiece.
  • Animal sculpture: Decorate the edges of your floors with large dramatic sculptures of elephants, tigers, monkeys, giraffes or other creatures native to Africa. Or display smaller versions on your dining room shelves.
  • African wall art: Hang some original African tapestries or framed paintings depicting African animals or local plants.
  • Woven baskets: Use hand woven baskets as planters, or just display them alone.

With safari design elements, you'll have a one of a kind dining room that transports your friends and family to the natural beauty of the African savanna.

Last Updated: December 28, 2011
AAA Print

About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

Note: The information provided on this site may be provided by third parties. The owners and operators of this site do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of the content on this site. Such content is not and shall not be deemed tax, legal, financial, or other advice, and we encourage you to confirm the accuracy of the content. Use is at your own risk, and use of this site shall be deemed acceptance of the above.