Whether you like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or not, you’ll love these awesome safari & boys room ideas

Designing for kiddos can be both a blast and a struggle. Until 2010, I was a full-time residential interior designer. Daily, clients asked my team and me to design themed rooms for their kiddos. When he was two, I had the pleasure of creating the amazing Disney Animal Kingdom, aka safari room for a loving little boy named J.T.

The day we installed, J.T. went grabbed his tools and came to help us. Today, he’s a star high school football player now. Yes, I feel old! Where has the time gone? I’m certainly glad we took it, and I could find the photos of this beautiful little boy’s bedroom.

How To Design For Kids, Especially Little Ones | Boys Rooms Ideas

When designing for kids, especially a little kid, the first thing I ask the parents is, “what is your son or daughter drawn to” or “what does he or she like to play with”? In the case of little J.T., his mom Lisa said he spent hours on the hotel room balcony when they took him to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park resort in Orlando, Florida. 

boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas

Boys Room Interior Design Inspiration Ideas

Knowing how quickly kids change their likes and how cheap the licensed products look, I hated designing themed rooms! They never last long term. The licensed product selection stinks. Plus, the real look of the spaces people are surrounded in is not the licensed products at all. It’s all about the experience.  Loving to create feel-good, functional experiences that reflect a human’s personality is my favorite.

When J.T.’s mom, Lisa, told me how much he loved sitting on their hotel room balcony at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so I knew I could recreate an experience that would feel good to him. He would immediately understand what it was, and he did. At the time, Lisa thought it was a bit sophisticated and that J.T. wouldn’t “get it.”

boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas

How To Get The Genuine Disney Animal Kingdom Look Without Any Disney Products

When J.T. walked into the room, I thought he would first notice the custom trompe l’oeil art with a plush giraffe head. He didn’t. It wasn’t even the trump l’oeil art windows that we created with linen canvas canopies.

boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas

How Kids See the Interior Design of Their Rooms & What J.T. Saw First In This Safari Room

The first thing J.T. noticed with the lantern light fixture hanging above the shutter window treatments. He said, “bird”! At that point, I think we all laughed. Kids see the same thing adults see. They see shapes, color, textures – all of those combined set a feeling. That doesn’t mean it’s a good feeling, but it’s a feeling.

Next. J.T. used the antique storage trunks at the end of the bed to get on top of the bed. That part went pretty much as planned. Then, he was able to see the art, giraffe and have the complete feeling he was back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideasboys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas

Add Plenty of Interest With Unusual Storage Solutions | Boys Room Ideas

In J.T.’s Animal Kingdom experience room, we added three antique trunks, one replaced a typical furniture chest, and we topped it with a vintage suitcase to give the feel of a real safari, and we needed the height.

Near the window seat, we added his primary toy storage baskets. They are lightweight and easy for him to lift the lids to put his toys away.

Aside from my fabric collection (coming soon on Christi Tasker Miami), F. Schumacher and Pierre Frey’s collections are always among my favorites. Each time I go to Paris, I’m in heaven when I visit Pierre Frey’s flagship studio.(Yes, I’ll post photos soon.)

I’m pretty sure the giraffe fabric below is Pierre Frey, but I could be wrong. The monogram pillow is custom embroidery wayyyyy before custom monogramming was cool. The brown faux alligator leather will soon be available in my collection along with many other colors of alligator pleather. (Insiders Rockstar Reader Tip: Be sure to follow my personal condo project on Instagram with the hashtag #MyMiamiCondo & #Miami4D and you’ll be the first to see the colors 🙂

boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas

boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas
boys room ideas, 11 Ways To Design A Sophisticated Safari Adventure Bedroom | Boys Room Ideas

J.T. appeared to be a happy camper in his new safari wonderland.  Thank you for allowing me to bring the safari to his room, Lisa! I’m grateful for the time and days spent in your home and knowing your family. I’m so happy we’ve stayed connected through the years.

Like these art ideas? If so, be sure to read my blog 15 DIY Tips For Recreating The Most Unusual Art From Art Basel Miami Beach. 

View photos and advice for creating more sophisticated boys room ideas & styles thanks to other amazing designers curated by ELLE DÉCOR and House Beautiful.

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Christi Tasker
Christi Tasker For more than 10 years, Christi Tasker was a nationally acclaimed award-winning retailer and interior designer. While she treasured and nurtured her gift boutique and interior design company, she ultimately discovered her true passion – MARKETING and BRANDING! With an eye for detail that only comes from a skilled and experienced designer, Christi learned the secrets to creating a clear, concise brand – one both unmistakable and unforgettable − that would stand out from the crowd. The interest in marketing and branding for businesses actually had its beginning in her family. As did many devoted moms, Christi shadowed her then eleven-year-old daughter, Macy, whenever she ventured online. On one particular day, Christi had an epiphany as she watched Macy scour MySpace for any news in the virtual world of “Webkinz.” Christi placed an order for those lovable furry friends, with their special codes for use with online games, and when they arrived, she shared the news on MySpace, not knowing at the time that she had crafted her first social media campaign. When the college gates went down on Facebook, Christi immediately became one of the first non-college friends of Facebook. And more than just a casual user, she quickly discovered a side of Facebook that only programmers knew about – The Facebook Developer − full of options and tools to help companies better use the web. Christi quickly recognized that marketers either needed to be formally educated about social media or needed a partner to manage their sites. She launched a social media marketing company, which today provides social media branding, strategy, monitoring and training worldwide. Before long, she realized her ability to keep up with her many social media accounts was hampered by the lack of a suitable tool to keep everything in one place. Christi decided the best way to do a job properly was to “do it yourself” and developed PuTTin’ OuT (Socially Accepted) a set of tools to moderate, manage, create, schedule, and publish content, and automatically engage people, all in a single package. In early 2009, Christi began traveling nationally as a social media expert speaker for various brands and businesses, and today is a sought-after social media keynote speaker at the foremost conferences worldwide. she also appears on NBC as a social media advisor/expert.