Jonah’s nursery is complete! It felt only fitting to do a cute safari themed nursery for our little wild man. 🙂 Ironically, he’s the world’s chillest baby so far – but his heart is fierce like a lion, so it fits. 😉 It’s a more neutral safari nursery with earth-toned accents, so my hope is that it’s equal parts fun and versatile as he grows. While my goal was for it to be a more neutral safari nursery, I also wanted to keep it FUN and realistic for a baby/toddler. I love gorgeous, neutral Pinterest-perfect nurseries as much as the next girl, but I’ve always found myself left wondering…but where are the toys?! Where’s the FUN? There’s a reason so many books and toys for little kids feature bright primary colors and fun, colorful designs, so I wanted to find a way to make the space feel “aesethetic” without sacrificing the kid-friendly fun.
We’ve got a little photo walk-through below, a video of the layout on Instagram, my design thought process, notes on a few special pieces, and all furniture and safari nursery decor links below in case you’re also in nesting mode!
This was such a special room to put together in our home. We had kept this bedroom blank forever knowing what it would hopefully be one day, but in doing so, it had turned into a hot mess express. It was a space that we’d literally throw sh*t it on the fly, so much so that it embarassingly but lovingly became known as the “shame room.” It was that room whose door was perpetually shut – it would’ve earned itself an “enter at your own risk” sign from Hot Topic if not for the fact that I would’ve sold my left arm before allowing it to see the light of day – or house guests. *shudders*
When it came time to finally turn it into something, our first step was clearing out. Once we were sold on a safari themed nursery, we took to painting an accent wall. We aren’t the handiest DIY-ers on the block, so we kept it reasonably simple with paint and went with a pretty sage green that felt peaceful, neutral, and a bit earthy, hopefully versatile enough that it could grow with him a bit.
One of the first pieces I had picked out was Jonah’s crib. I wanted something that felt a bit more “masculine,” but I didn’t want a totally solid black crib to feel too harsh or dark, especially in a smaller room. I loveloveloved the look of the acrylic crib bars on what we went with – it softened up the black in such a chic way, and it’s cool that we can see little man through the bars now. 🙂 His dresser is actually the “matching” one in the set; the wood gives it a more grounded, natural feel, which I wanted to keep going as a theme throughout the space.
Fun fact: I’m normally a pretty easy, fast shopper. I don’t overthink crazily, I typically know what I’m looking for and how to shop/search for it, and I’ve always been in the mindset of trying something and just returning if it doesn’t work out – everything is figureoutable and nothing is unchangeable.
But when it came to a mobile, it took me SO MUCH SEARCHING to find the perfect one. Your girl had *criteria*. Namely, it had to a.) play classical music, and b.) have cute animals that, as much as possible, faced downward for baby to see their faces and not just their feet. SO MANY MOBILES look “aesthetic” from a pretty, Pinterest design perspective, but they’re not necessarily the most visually interesting or engaging for the baby! We had really liked Olivia’s mobile – it just would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb in Jonah’s safari themed nursery. After having no less than 8 different tabs open with options, I found this one and added to cart.
Hot tip: you’ll probably want alternative hanging options for this one. The white plastic crib bar that it came with didn’t work on our crib since it had nothing to hook onto. Then, I bought a separate wooden crib bar to try in the slats; while it fit in the slats, it couldn’t keep the mobile high enough where it wouldn’t hit baby in the face. (Because it has an accompanying music box, we had to get creative to elevate it enough so that it wasn’t dangerous!). So, we landed on hanging it from the ceiling; we just screwed a J hook in and used clear hanging wire to find the perfect height.
The big round mirror over Jonah’s dresser/changing table was the most FANTASTIC Burlington find. It was probably HALF the price of what that size mirror is at other retailers. I always recommend popping in off-price retailers like Burlington, TJMaxx, Marshall’s, Ross, etc when doing rooms since you can end up finding *that perfect piece* that just totally completes a space – for a fraction of the price!
As a super special nod to his big sis, I essentially chose the safari themed nursery around these sweet safari animal prints with affirmations. The exact ones with the affirmations are currently out of stock, but this is the listing to bookmark!
After visiting Taylor in STL, I knew exactly what chair I wanted in the nursery: this one. It is, hands down, the most COMFORTABLE chair I tried. My favorite thing about it (and what became my non-negotiable) is that it’s a glider AND recliner. It swivels, rocks, AND reclines, so you can truly get as comfy as can be. Beyond being my nursery chair, it was my personal reading chair before Jonah was even born.
While Olivia’s room had ample wall space for floating bookshelves, Jonah’s nursery’s walls were a bit more limited. To maximize space, I went with this little sling organizer from Amazon – I like that it’s easily accessible for littles and shows the fronts of books while still having bin space at the bottom for random toys.
With the little wall space he does have, I wanted to use that to keep a few more “keepsake-y” items, gifts, and personalized pieces.
On the top is this small shop Scripture piece and the custom name sign from his birth announcement. I got these two little stuffies – a giraffe + an elephant – for the shelf for now but for snuggles eventually, and this little Amazon frame for his first ultrasound picture (which I HIGHLY recommend as a baby shower gift or for a girlfriend who just shared that she’s pregnant!). Then on the bottom I have a 5×7 canvas with his inked footprints from the day he was born (shoutout to Nurse Crystal for making that happen!) and a guardian angel piece from a dear family friend who had it blessed in Rome around when he was born.
On the floor beneath those shelves, I got a little play mat and stuffies from TJMaxx – just a few soft, easy things for tummy time or quick propping.
Styled nursery closets always made me giggle, and yet, here we are. 😉 Really, I’ve just always been a fan of practicality over all else, and real closets have real storage space and real things inside that aren’t always straight out of a Pinterest page, you know?
I used these wooden size dividers to assign each rod its own size (hence why some are more full than others!).
Note we also have Lovevery boxes and a Tonie box ready to go for little man, because they are ESSENTIALS in my parenting book – ha! 😉
Circling back to the door – I ordered this custom piece for the wall right when you first walk in. After we had decided on his name, I read the book of Jonah in the Bible just to see what the Lord might call out as significant for our own Jonah man (he wasn’t specifically named after Jonah in the Bible – ha!). This verse immediately stood out and felt like the perfect testament to God’s faithfulness + goodness. Shoutout to the small shop where I ordered it from – their customer service was so fabulous. They were fast with proofs and just so kind and helpful, which I appreciate always!
Also in that corner is this acrylic end table, which I wanted to house a little lamp for late night changes, feeds, check-in’s, etc. Mimi had the *brilliant* idea from when we were babies to use a colored light bulb to avoid turning on harsh or bright lights unnecessarily; we have a blue light bulb in this little $12 table lamp and it’s PERFECT. Just enough light to see what you’re doing without waking the baby (or yourself) up any more than required! We also keep a hand sanitizer pump there as an easy visual reminder upon entering/leaving the room, and keep his baby monitor on the bottom shelf so that it’s always easily accessible and located. (This is the BEST baby monitor on planet Earth, truly – we had it for 4.5+ years for Liv before upgrading to this one to be able to link up two cameras for each kid’s room, and it’s clutch!)
And that’s a wrap on our safari themed nursery tour!
I linked anything + everything I could here in case you’re also on the hunt for some wild safari nursery decor or other neutral safari nursery inspo!