Help me decorate our guest room- Kenyan safari theme

Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:33 AM
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Help me decorate our guest room- Kenyan safari theme

In our new house we would like to dedicate one guest room to our unforgettable Kenyan safari. This room is 14'x16'. We are going to make a few enlargemnts of our safari pictures. What other things should we buy to get a real safari feeling? We don't have anything at this point, no bed (queen size), sheets, headborad, nothing. We don't think we should have a TV at this room. We never had TV anywhere on our safari. But we will have TV at the guest sitting room.

We are not going back to Kenya soon so we would have to buy everything here in the U.S. We could travel anywhere in this country to purchase items that would make this room Kenyan safari like. I need your help and ideas! Thanks
nkd is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 06:07 AM
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Depending on where you live, there might be stores that do, indeed, sell African art, artifacts (masks, drums, shields, spears), fabric, etc. I would suggest you check your yellow pages to see if any exist where you live or nearby. I've even seen artifacts sold from catelogue companies. As to fabric, many fabric stores, do have indigenous print fabrics that can be purchased by the yard in order to have custom-made bedspreads, cases, pillow shams, etc. made for you.
Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 06:19 AM
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... sorry his the "post reply" in error. For the floors, sisal works well.

Did you make any purchases while in Kenya? If so, these can be used, otherwise, the same stores will have these. But be certain you purchase artifacts that are specific to East Africa... many shops have artifacts from all of Africa, so do ask from where certain objects come from.

Living in NYC, we have street fares regularly from Spring thru Fall, and I have seen vendors selling African art and artifacts, and found their prices competititive, not much more then we paid while in Africa.

Back to fabrics - check the major department stores, as many have complete Bed-in-a-bag sets with bedskirt, comforter, cases, pillow shams - various patterns, and reasonably priced. As well you can find accessories - tissue boxes, waste basket, drinking cup, other bathroom items at department stores or someplace like Bed-Bat & Beyond.

There are a number of resources, but depending on where you live you might have to look more then if living elsewhere. And, of course, the web should be a good resource for this. Hope this gets you started.

One suggestion though - while you enjoyed Africa and would like to have something in your home to remind you of this visit - think about your guests. They might find this overwhelming, especially if print sheets have lots going on with animals - consider complimentary solid sheets/cases to the comforter. Remember, less is often better.
Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 07:03 AM
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I assume you want to decorate like the places you stayed while on your safari. My suggestion would be to look at your photos or photos other people have taken of their tents/rooms. You can also look at the websites of the camps to see how the rooms are decorated- the type of furniture, colors, accessories etc. You might also check on ebay for accessories.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Message: nkd-
We're also redo-ing our home and want to incorporate the safari theme into one or more of our rooms.

There is a catalog for home decor with some pretty neat safari style items. It's called Touch of Class. Their website is:

I really like a lot of their stuff. Hope this helps.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 12:04 PM
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I'm in L.A. area and we have all that kind of stuff, regularly, at T.J.Maxx.There are more than 15 T.J.Maxx/T.J.Maxx and More stores in my area.Also try Homegoods which is owned by T.J.Maxx. The entire store is for things for the home only and there's a whole section of ethnic items...lots of African, Southeast Asian, and Indian items...along with furniture pieces.And everything is 50% off everyday. There are T.J.Maxx stores across the U.S. I do interior design on the side of my regular profession and redid my whole place in a Southeast Asian look and got probably 85% of my items out of having to lug them all back home everytime I'm on vacation down in Southeast Asia or in Africa . And I did one area of a room in my house in African style of which those items also came out of T.J. Maxx. Just check WEEKLY as about 3-4 shipments of various items come in weekly and you never know what will pop up. Happy Travels!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Well, it's not in Kenya, but for beautiful and tasteful (IMHO) "safari" decor it's hard to beat the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. It's one of the few places I've stayed where I wanted to pack up the whole room and bring it home with me, right down to the clawfoot tub. Then again, without the sweeping crater views from every corner of the room--even the toilet--it probably wouldn't be the same...

Still, if you can dig up some photos you might be able to get some ideas. There are a few on the CC Africa website--not great, but a start:

In any event, some elements to consider that might work well without going over the top: hardwood floors (real or fake, depending on your budget), leather chairs and/or headboard, Zanzibar-style carved wooden doors, tables, etc. You don't need to go overboard with wild patterns--ivory sheets would look great, but don't forget mosquito netting draped from the ceiling (tied back behind the headboard, unless you actually have a mosquito problem!). Then you could spice it up with a carved mask or two, a colorful tapestry or a colonial-era print of appropriate places or animals. Have fun!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 02:47 PM
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Some of the best safari decor can be found in a coffee table book called:

Simply Safari
- photos by Daryl and Sharna Balfour

professional game photographers, but in traveling around Africa, decided to photograph some of the well known safari lodges - most are of Southern African properties - too many names to mention.

The book costs about $50 and is found in the - are you ready - Interior/Home Design area of any major book store. Originally published out of the UK, but in the States, they were handled by Aberville Press in NYC.
for more information, if interested.
Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:20 PM
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We had a favorite safari photo blown up to 20x26 and printed on Canavas -- framed it with a wide, dark wooden frame that is carved with a kind of overlapping leaf motif. Also, I found two dark rattan lamps -- both the bases and the shades-- for bedside tables. (I just didn't have the nerve to get lamps with giraffes or monkeys, although I've seen them. The up-scale version of Home Depot -- what's it called -- Home Expo?
They have tons of lamps and some that would fit your theme. Our furniture is a dark finish (Stickley, Metropolitan) that is more modern than Africa-bush camp, so I describe the decor as Hemingway's NYC Apt. You would be surprised how many jungle-like prints you can find at TJMaxx or Home Goods, or even Marshall's. While we brought back some baskets, we didn't buy any masks -- and I found one at TJ Maxx just this summer.

Look for dark rattan furniture pieces to mix with whatever else you have. I was looking for a chaise. A cool globe might also be neat...
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 09:44 PM
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Before I actually moved to Africa, I got all of my antique African art on Ebay. Lots of good sources. I notice the prices hae dropped considerably since I bought also.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 02:30 AM
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Sound gorgeous. But just wonder - you will be spending mega bucks, very little of which will go to the people that made the artifacts. Why not decorate your room just with your own photos and donate what you would have spent to a Kenyan charity - clean water in all villages springs to mind (water aid) or education - or if you really have the cash - a scholarship to a US university for a Kenyan student.

What do you think?
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Old Nov 29th, 2004, 03:41 PM
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I am from Kenya and will be the first one to tell you that less is more. My suggestion to have wall decor, chairs, mirrors, kikapu (african hand bags), real mahogany chairs from Kenya. Most of the stuff you see at TJ Maxx are indeed imitations. Choose wisely to get the actual Kenyan feeling. I will not do zebra or giraffe beddings. This is way too much and I honestly don't think you slept on zebra bed ensembles. I usually get stuff from home and would like to help you. Just tell me what you are looking for and I will get it for you. Email me at [email protected] if you like
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 03:58 AM
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Message, Our daughter "lucked" into pyramid shaped mosquito net at local thrift store and has it hanging over her bed to create the feeling of being back in one of the lodges in Tanzania.
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