Skip to Content

Design Reveal: Silver Safari

Safari is a classic nursery theme that I happily get requests for over and over. Gentle giraffes and adorable elephants are images many parents (and I!) love to see in children’s rooms. Traditionally, my work consists of carefully painted images complete with meticulous shading and detail, like my classic Safari landscape mural below. I love the tried-and-true hits, but as a designer I always try to push myself and give things a fresh new spin.

When legendary NYC furniture store Bellini approached me to design some wall art for their flagship store, I jumped at the chance to try some new styles. I always start with the composition. I created a digital sketch of a gallery style look that I thought would work well in the space. I used square, rectangular and circular shaped stretched canvases. The grey ovals in the image below reflect where the safari animals would be rendered.

Each background was washed in several tones of richly pigmented paint, creating a soft textural background. I drew the images in white pencil and then applied a brilliant layer of my super secret liquid silver paint.

Carefully choosing animals that all have very different silhouettes, like the Kudu Antelope above and the peacock below, creates a lot of visual interest.

When all of the silhouettes were painted silver, they looked great, but I wanted something magical! So, we gilded each of the paintings with genuine silver leaf. Below all of the pieces wait patiently for their adhesive to dry, after which they’ll have a good “exfoliation” to remove any extra silver leaf not thoroughly attached to the painting.

A gorgeous, multi-textural metallic silhouette is revealed, combining paint and the luster of silver leaf. As a finishing touch, all of the backgrounds were peppered with a myriad of shining silver stars. We can never have enough stars to wish upon.

Before: The walls of the space were painted a clean white, and three glittering crystal globe pendants were hung from the soaring eleven foot ceilings. The space was a grand blank canvas for me to work my paint magic.

After: I painted everything below the chair rail a rich navy, which adds instant dimension. The back wall became home to a pattern of smart stripes. The stripes and blue lower wall color create great contrast for the white furniture and globe pendant lighting. The silver safari prevails as a grand focal point, while complementing and completing the rest of the design.

This tried-and-true theme feels fresh, crisp and glorious!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. avatar Lana says:

    Can you please share where the nightstand is from?

  2. avatar Lauren says:

    what are the names of the wall colors you used? Particularly the white?
    Thank you!

  3. […] Nursery (Safari Green Nursery inspired by Project Nursery) – Love this adorable nursery. It’s the perfect mix of green […]

  4. […] accent pieces. Whether you want a sleek, monochromatic look or one that uses deep color, like the Silver Safari Nursery pictured above, silver is the perfect accent to add visual […]

  5. […] We love how chic, yet whimsical this blue and green safari nursery is, and would choose the Zoo Friends personalized growth chart to soften up the look in the room’s very geometric design. (Project Nursery) […]

  6. avatar Hillary Homan says:

    Can you tell me the colors of the Navy and the bright green?

  7. avatar hayley thomas says:

    What is the name of the navy color you used?

  8. avatar Sam Simon says:

    @facebook-100004107548048:disqus thank you! I’m grateful to
    @facebook-1048240306:disqus and @bellini for the opportunity to share my craft. xoss

  9. avatar Sam Simon says:

    Dear @facebook-100002093880400:disqus thank you so much! xoss

  10. You’re so amazing, Sam! You’re just oozing with creativity!

  11. avatar Alison Mar says:

    What a wonderful room! Bellini’s made their best decision getting you :)

  12. avatar stacie says:

    Where did the rug come from???

  13. avatar Sam Simon says:

    @Lisapeck:disqus Thank you so much for your kind words! It is a pleasure! xoSS

  14. avatar Lisapeck says:

    Great work! You have real talent and am glad you’re sharing it with all of us!

  15. avatar Sam Simon says:

    Thank you Beth! xoss

  16. avatar Sam Simon says:

    I love stars, they appear in my work very frequently. I believe it’s very important to always have them around to wish upon. xoss

  17. avatar Sam Simon says:

    The Giraffe lamp is a Jonathan Adler design and available through Bellini in NYC or

  18. avatar Sam Simon says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to share my craft.

  19. avatar jcurtisvds says:

    I’m in love with this lamp, where is it from?

  20. Have to say it looks even better in person :) Love it! thanks sam

  21. I love the fresh new spin! Fabulous job – the little stars behind the animals are a wonderfully sweet touch :)

  22. avatar Beth_PN says:

    Beautiful work, Sam. It looks great!