Last week, we toured the childhood safari theme bedroom I turned into a sophisticated space for guests. Today, I’ll show you the other half, with more British Colonial style, safari decor.
If you recall, I wandered into the room last week as a respite from mask making. When I went back to figure out why the sewing machine was jamming for the umpteenth time, the bobbin casing fell apart in my hand. Argh!
Unfortunately, that meant I had to venture out to the store where I usually pick up mask materials — contact free. This visit necessitated going inside.
But, the good news is that the new bobbin casing eliminated most of the problems I’ve had using my old sewing machine. More importantly, I was able to finally finish up a batch of masks and mail them off to aunts, uncles and cousins over age 60.
So, put on a virtual pith helmet as we return to the guest bedroom and continue our exploration of its layout and safari decor.
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Out of Africa
In, Safari Theme Transitions to Guest Bedroom, we got about halfway around, ending at the corner bookcase. Resting on top of books and photo albums on the top shelf is an authentic pith helmet.
It was originally bought for my son to play make believe and was perched on the corner of his antique headboard.
He’d sit on his bed — surrounded by stuffed animals — underneath the mosquito net hanging from the ceiling.
Here he is dressed in safari attire for a zoo theme birthday party. All the kids received one of the plastic pith helmets to wear.
D is hugging one of his very favorite stuffed animals — and he had enough to populate a zoo! This is one of several I have stored in animal print pillow cases in the closet — gorilla, elephant and teddy bear.
The shaggy gorilla was named Koko, after a famous real-life ape. Hanabiko “Koko” was a female western lowland gorilla known for having learned many hand signs from a modified version of American Sign Language. Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo and lived most of her life in Woodside, California, at The Gorilla Foundation preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Tiered, Open Display Space
Now, the pith helmet sits on top of books and slip cases containing my son’s childhood comic books.
Holding them in place, is a heavy iron rhinoceros bookend.
Scattered across the other shelves are more safari decor items; including picture frames and an elephant night light. It provides a soft, warm amber-color glow. There’s also a canned light in the corner (on the floor) to provide more dramatic uplighting.
Other books and safari decor accents are displayed on the lower shelves.
Notice the piece of fabric hanging down in the picture? The African print is part of the window valance. Hold that thought, and I’ll return to the window treatments in a minute.
One of my favorite safari decor pieces is a pair of palm bookends with tree-hugging monkeys.
Further down, are elephant motif desk accessories. There’s no space in the current layout for a desk in the guest room. When my sons are home, they can set up in the adjacent office where there’s also a TV. Originally, it was the smallest of four bedrooms, and used as the nursery.
On the very bottom shelf is a vintage-look, mini travel case. I use it to store loose odds and ends you might find in a desk drawer — tape, stapler, etc.
Simple treatments top both windows in the guest bedroom.
African print fabric is draped around rope-wrapped curtain rods. Mom and I made the valances out of an extra sheet that matched my son’s original bedding. The Ralph Lauren set included a comforter, shams and bedskirt, with bright blue accents that tied-in with the room’s then carpeting.
Primitive style zebra and giraffe brackets hold the rods in place. Although they and the rods were a splurge, making the valances out of a clearance-priced, king-size sheet were a real deal.
Safari Decor Storage
Stacked under one window are two animal print, lidded boxes and a faux ocean trunk. I store some of my youngest son’s collectibles inside; including trading cards and mini action figures.
To the right is a zebra print wastebasket. On the right is an oscillating tower fan. Since the only air vent is by the bedroom door, the fan helps circulate air to make the room more comfortable when it’s warm.
It’s All in the Family
Next to the fan is a chest of drawers I refinished thirty years ago. Originally, the five-drawer chest was in my husband’s family nursery. His mom gave it him to start out, after graduating from college and moving into an apartment.
Not the highest quality of wood, I patched, sanded and refinished the top and drawer fronts. The rest I painted flat black, with the same the paint used on my antique spindle headboard. They made a nice set. And, something each from our childhood bedrooms. Don’t you love the big, flat drawer pulls? They’re original.
Today, it seems appropriate that I use the drawers for family keepsake storage. There’s everything from varsity letters and cheerleader pom-poms, to diplomas and awards, to programs, cards, and other momentos.
Artwork & Lighting
On top of the chest is a gorgeous decorative plate depicting a camel. I love it, and think of the plate as artwork.
It was another piece of safari decor found while remodeling the Monkey Decor Adds Impact to Small Powder Room. And no, you would never have found it there when it was a children’s bedroom! We didn’t nickname my son “wild thing” just because he loved the book lol!
But, I did add the classic safari deco lamp when my son was still in high school.
It reflects his lifelong love of elephants. When he moves from a condo into a house, I’ll have to part with it.
Next to the chest is a chair covered in a zebra print fabric. My mom made the African-inspired print fleece. I through it on the chair during the cooler months. It’s a comfy place to check messages and emails.
Believe it or not, the live palm tree in the corner is about thirty years old! It goes through phases when I have to hack the new growth back, to periods I weigh putting it out in the compost pile. Summering out on the porch, under the pergola, seems to rejuvenate it every year.
Originally, the palm tree sat in a larger wicker basket which I painted with leopard spots. But, the years took their toil and I replaced it with a weather-resistant planter.
Round the Corner
The wall across from the bed and bench is dominated by a large mule chest. Of the nine drawers, six store my out-of-season clothing and purses. Others holds extra bed linens, duvet cover, and blanket. Two large drawers on top are left empty for guests, or my son when he’s home on a visit.
Hanging above the mule chest is another limited edition print by Charles Frace; like the panther hanging over the bed. This one depicts a lynx. Unfortunately, the light coming from the windows creates glare that make it difficult to photograph — I tried several angles and times of day.
I’ve had both collectible prints since before marrying Mr. Buzz. Maybe my son inherited some of his love of wild animals from my DNA? Even the Diaper Cake, Elephant Topper that I’ve made as a gift several times has a safari or zoo theme.
This fun, faux animal skin, leather case sits under the framed print. It holds foreign coins and currency, swim team medals, a rosary, and an odd assortment of stuff that belongs to my youngest son.
On either side of the case are more favorite family photos of my son with family members. Wooden, animal print frames add to the safari decor.
Accumulating loose change is a leopard spotted “piggy” bank. I raid him for quarters from time to time!
Some of my favorite safari decor pieces in the guestroom are the lamps. I especially love the pair of tall camel lamps with beaded-edge shades on top of the mule chest.
That brings us back to the bedroom entry, where a four-foot tall vase is filled with faux grasses, fronds and feathers.
At the vase’s base sits an African drum. Both my sons were percussionists and drummers in their high school marching band.
And, ever the “queen of theme,” even the porcelain plates for light switches and electrical outlets are part of the guest room safari decor.
Hope you enjoyed the tour? Are you interested in seeing the other bedrooms, office and bathrooms too? Next week I plan to share how to make a memorable graduation decoration to celebrate their achievements.
Moving to Yellow
Well, I finally finished sewing the last batch of masks late last weekend and mailed them off to family members. See New Normal: Stay Home & Wear a Homemade Mask.
When I went to the post office, all the customers were wearing masks and trying their best to social distance. But, there was a long line, as only one postal worker was staffing the four desks. Since it was pouring down rain, it became impossible to space six feet apart.
Although plexiglass panels were up and hand sanitizer was provided, no one seemed to monitoring or relieving the crowded conditions inside. More disturbing, was that none of the postal workers I could see were wearing a mask or gloves. So, I asked.
Yes, they were provided with both. But, according to the postal worker, as a federal employee, it’s voluntary to wear them. Yet here in Pennsylvania, we are required to wear masks, and stores must control occupancy at 25 – 50% capacity to allow for social distancing. I was first surprised, then disturbed, then angry. I asked the postal worker how she’d feel if none of the customers wore masks. She brushed me off.
So, I feel safer in a grocery store than I do in a U.S. postal office. This Friday our county moves from red to yellow. That opens things up a bit, but not much. It won’t change things much for my retired husband and I. We still can’t get haircuts, go to the gym, etc. Although my husband is now doing able to do online tutoring throughout the week to help disadvantaged students in city schools. And, come Monday he will start back with Habitat for Humanity.
Stay safe and healthy out there! Let’s say our prayers that we can keep this horrible virus in check.
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