Sophisticated Safari Nursery

safari theme nursery with paper mache trophy animalsA child’s room designed for growth and exploration.

We’re having a baby boom at Atticmag, and our first new mom-to-be is Brandy O.  You may remember her guest post Rugs in Morocco.  I’ve known her long enough to believe there is nothing she cannot do.  Expecting her first child in July, Brandy began by painting the walls of the baby’s room with Sherwin Williams Pavilion Beige, the trim SW Irish Cream and she ordered a hand-forged Millbrook crib from Restoration Hardware.  After deciding on a “sophisticated safari” nursery (no overload of animals), she went to work creating three papier-mâché trophies.

safari theme nursery paper mache zebra trophy animalBrandy worked outside on the patio with a little help from her Eclectus parrot.  Titus is an excellent talker, he even mimics Brandy answering the phone.  He’s also a handful, and broke into a tube of paint when she wasn’t looking. “My plan was to make three papier-mâché trophy heads that would hang on the wall — a rhino, a giraffe, and a zebra — sort of like Anthropologie’s set but much larger,” she explained.  After a huge learning curve, she had made the rhino but it was 4-feet coming off the wall and heavier than she intended. An hour of plotting in a big box store — buying lumber, hardware, and brackets — she then cut 10″ from his neck, mounted him onto a board and screwed it to the wall so that it’s safe.  The giraffe is adorable with its long lashes but, as a horse lover, the zebra is my favorite.

safari theme nursery vintage opera glass binocularsA pair of vintage opera glasses from her mother’s California shop, The Green Pea Boutique, replicate binoculars.  The pith helmet (shown in the first photo) was found in a childhood neighbor’s barn.  These items were “framed” with vintage wooden picture frames.

safari theme nursery custom crib bumpers with vinyl lettering Bible verseBefore sewing the crib bumper, a favorite Bible verse was added to the fabric in vinyl lettering by a local digital designer.  Blue fabric used for the ties and cording was repeated inside the inverted pleats of the crib skirt.

safari theme nursery changing table dresserBrandy selected a greige geometric fabric for the nursery’s French-pleat curtains.  Generously sized at two and a half times the window width, they were allowed to hang from the hand-forged iron drapery rod for a few days before hemming by hand.  The fabric was also used for the flat-paneled crib skirt.  Pottery Barn’s Chelsea series lamps were topped with French stripe drum shades — a textured linen/hemp resembling European grain sacks.  A vintage dresser found at a local antique store became a changing table with the addition of the contoured pad.

safari theme nursery dresser drawers painted blue cheetahWhat I first thought was fabric turned out to be painted blue stripes and cheetah spots.  It’s a fun reveal when the drawers are opened.  The lined wicker hamper is a convenient, yet stylish, solution for laundry.

safari theme nursery with paper mache trophy animalsFor bonding moments (otherwise known as sleepless nights), Brandy chose a tufted Amity rocker recliner in custom gray fabric. She found the La-Z-Boy most comfortable and practical.  The chair can be used elsewhere once the baby becomes a toddler.

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs O on the upcoming birth of Baby B, and to Brandy for creating an amazing, one-of-a-kind nursery that will grow with their son while providing hours of imagination.

See Eclectic Gender-Neutral Nursery for our other mom-to-be’s room.

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42 Responses to Sophisticated Safari Nursery

  1. Julio Muao June 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Love the papier-mâché trophies and vintage binoculars. Very talented and creative. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Rita May June 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    That’s very creative! Love the trophy heads. I have one of a moose made from a stuffed animal.

  3. Sarah June 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Now this is an amazing project. What a fun idea!

  4. Emily@Decorchick June 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    That is gorgeous Allison!! So creative and very sophisticated. I love the antique dresser too. Beautiful!

  5. Paula June 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Wow! This is really a unique nursery with lots of stimulation for the baby!

  6. Rachel Asher June 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Very Creative! I love the Scripture verses on the bedding:)

  7. laxsupermom June 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Wow! Those paper-mache trophies are amazing! She did an incredible job with them, and with the entire room! Love all the little details. What a magical nursery! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Christi @ A Southern Life June 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Very nice. Love the verse inside the crib!

  9. cassie June 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    how fun is that??? my kids would love it, too!!!

  10. Dawn June 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    How cute is that nursery! I want it for me and I am 40 something. Fantastic:)

  11. Nancy's Daily Dish June 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Love it! In another home, I had decorated two of my boys room in a jungle theme.
    Love the trophy heads!


  12. Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse June 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    How dang cute and creative! What kid wouldn’t love this! Who am I kidding – I think my adult husband would move right in!!!

  13. Sarah June 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    What a great idea! Love the paper you chose to line the drawers. Perfect!

  14. Allison June 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Brandy painted the drawer interiors!

  15. laurie@heavens-walk June 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Amazing job with those heads! Wow! Cute idea!

    xoxo laurie

  16. Honey June 20, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    How very precious! Whimsical but sophisticated at the same time…great balance. I really loved the scriptures on the baby bumpers!

  17. Linda @Nina's Nest June 20, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    How gorgeous! Love that nursery! The animals things are fabulous and the opera glasses in the frame are so creative! The verse in the crib is just perfect – wow! Linda

  18. Pat@Back Porch Musings June 20, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Wonderfully fabulous nursery!

  19. tina June 20, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Love the nursery hottie! Am so happy about your “little bundle of joy”.


  20. Linda @ lulu's musings June 20, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Wow, this is not your ordinary nursery. I love it when someone thinks out of the box and pulls an idea off down to the last detail.

  21. Jordan@the2seasons June 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by. This is a cute idea for a baby’s room I love how fun and creative this room is for a baby. I am also enjoying some other post.

  22. Pam @ diy Design Fanatic June 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Cute nursery! The bumper is wonderful and the antique dresser is awesome!

  23. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish June 23, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Adorable!! Love the animal heads those are just too cool! :) Have to share on my FB Page!! :)

  24. Jill@Our Seven Dwarfs June 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    What an amazing nursery! What kid wouldn’t love looking up and seeing those animals! Thank you so much for inviting me here. You have a great blog!

    Jill of

  25. Allison June 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Thanks everyone! I’m sure Brandy enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments.

    • sandi June 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      What a lot of work making the animal heads and painting them. They are just beautiful! The pith hat looks great in the antique frame. Enjoy holding the little baby in the comfortable looking chair.
      My favorite is the scripture on the bumper pads.

  26. RHome410 June 27, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    Very unique! My oldest daughter LOVES giraffes. What a cute idea. At first I was taken aback by those large decapitated heads, but it grew on me a bit.

    That verse is one that helped get me through the trauma and upset of 3 miscarriages. I’d like to know more about the type of lettering and how it was done. Does it feel like a layer of vinyl on the fabric, or was it a vinyl stencil, or…?

  27. brandyo June 27, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Thank you, everyone, for the very kind comments! And thank you, Allison, for writing up such a fun article on the room.

    RHome, I love this verse too. I brought the panels of fabric to a local digital designer and he recommended going with the vinyl. (Some of the other transfers would have darkened the fabric around the lettering.) The vinyl is similar to what you see on the backs of sports jerseys, etc. It is soft, pliable, and washable. I picked the font out and we mapped out the verse for each panel before the designer printed it. Hope this helps!

  28. Messy Missy June 27, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    That is the funkiest nursery I have seen in a long while. What an amazing imagination the designer has!!

  29. louise schulze August 30, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Hi. I am from south africa and love the cot bumber on the Safarinursery cot. Is it possible for me to order this cot bumber with the bible scripture verses printed on it from you and have it shipped out to me in South africa.? .. without the batting inside .. of cause
    a love your website.

  30. Allison August 30, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Thank you, Louise. I’m sorry but the crib bumper was sewn by the baby’s mother. Did you see BrandyO’s post above describing how the verse was put onto the bumper?

    “I brought the panels of fabric to a local digital designer and he recommended going with the vinyl. (Some of the other transfers would have darkened the fabric around the lettering.) The vinyl is similar to what you see on the backs of sports jerseys, etc. It is soft, pliable, and washable. I picked the font out and we mapped out the verse for each panel before the designer printed it. Hope this helps!”

    Maybe you can find local source to do this for you.


  31. Darcy from The I.Design Box September 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    So cute! Love love the giraffe. I like the color palette too. It will grow with the baby.

    Do you have any information on how the forms were created for the paper mache busts? What material was used? Thinking of trying a similar project in the future so any how-to info. you have would be great!

    Thanks! :-)

  32. Allison September 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    I’ll contact Brandy and give her your info.

  33. Lizette Mcphillips February 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Allison, I fell in love with the safari nursery and we would like to know how to purchase the head mounts for our little son’s room?.. Look forward to hearing from you!



    • Allison February 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      Liz, I’m so glad you like them. I’m sure Brandy will be flattered, but she doesn’t make them for resale. Anthropologie has four smaller versions and West Elm has another version as well. Also search for more customized animal heads.

  34. Jennye Lynne November 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Hey there! I am in love with this nursery and can’t stop thinking about it. I would love to talk to you about the wall mounts.
    Was wondering if you could talk to me about creating these or if I could purchase some. So excited to talk to you. I emailed attic mag to see how to talk to you :)
    This nursery is amazing!

    • Allison November 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi, I’m so glad you like the nursery. Brandy did a wonderful job! She doesn’t make them to sell, but you can find similar (but smaller) versions online, as paper mache animal heads are popular – Dwell Studio and Anthropologie have some cute ones. I believe Restoration Hardware Baby & Child still have some also, and you could paint those. Thanks for stopping by Atticmag.

  35. Brandyo December 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Hi Jennye–sorry for the delay in responding to you! Thank you for your kind words! I’m not sure how much help I can be to you but I will try to answer questions you might have. I did not use any forms/molds for the heads; I shaped them out of balled-up newspaper, a little bit of tape, and wire coat hangers (for the ears). I then covered them in strips of paper that was dipped in a recipe of water, flour, glue, and salt. It’s fairly forgiving–if you don’t like what you did, you can add more newspaper or use scissors to trim/cut out. You just need to jump in and experiment. Good luck!

  36. Blake W. February 4, 2014 at 11:41 pm #


    I just saw this website and noticed it has been over a year and a half since anyone posted. We are having our first son in July and we love the mounts. If your son is older now, would you reconsider selling the mounts or making similar ones for $500 each plus shipping? Please let us know! We would love to incorporate them into our first nursery.

    Very best regards,

    Blake W.


  1. Eclectic Gender Neutral Nursery | Atticmag | Kitchens, Bathrooms, Interior Design - March 14, 2014

    […] having a baby boom at Atticmag, and it all started a few weeks ago with the Sophisticated Safari Nursery our pal Brandy created for little Blake.  This nursery is near and dear to my heart, as it belongs […]

  2. Chic and fun safari nursery - June 8, 2014

    […] If you decide to approach a similar project make you appreciate the dimensions right because the trophy heads might end up bigger of heavier than expected and then you would have to start all over again. The idea of making papier-mâché decorations is actually quite clever. The items will integrate nicely in the nursery and you can basically create anything you want. You just need imagination, creativity and lots and lots of patience. Also, it would be nice to have some help from friends.{found on atticmag} […]

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    […] Be sure not to miss the framed cardboard taxidermy in my grandson’s Eclectic Gender-Neutral Nursery, and the exotic papier-mâché trophies crafted by our friend Brandy for her son’s Sophisticated Safari Nursery. […]

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