Ozzy's Bright Safari

Ozzy's Bright Safari

Sarah Rainwater
Oct 9, 2009

Name: Ozzy
Age: 18 months
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Ozzy's Mom, Greer, never expected his nursery to become her favorite room in their house. In fact, she never expected to live in the house at all. She bought it to renovate and flip, but ended up moving in, starting a family, and creating a bright and colorful nursery complete with wonderful wall-sized animals that she designed and painted herself just 2 weeks before Ozzy was born.

Greer wanted Ozzy's first room to be as memorable as the nursery she grew up in: "I remember my nursery vividly. It was black and white and yellow and orange and 1975 and scary. But awesome." She recently sold the house and said a sad goodbye to Ozzy's room and all of the memories they had there, but we're sure this fun and sophisticated space will be remembered (if only through photographs) for a long, long time.

Ohdeedoh Survey:

Inspiration: My husband and I both really liked Inke Heiland's vintage wallpaper animal silhouettes, but couldn't agree on which animals or patterns to use. Plus, I suspected that too many of them might overwhelm the room (if not the child) and secretly wished that I had invented them — all that, and the strong desire to do everything by hand in the nursery is what made it most tough to use them. So, instead, I decided to use similarly simple silhouettes, only white on a bold wall color. This way, I felt like I could also use all of the color and pattern I wanted elsewhere, like in the windows, sheets, lamp, etc.

Favorite Element: In addition to the walls, I'm totally into the lamp.

Biggest Challenge: At 38 weeks pregnant, which is when I finally got around to doing the painting, most anything is challenging. The stenciling process, however, was particularly (stupidly) rough. Not being much of a free-hander, I sketched the animals on paper, just a few inches tall, scanned them, cleaned them up and plotted them in pieces on a large format printer. Then I tiled them together, cut them out, hung them on the wall, traced them and got to painting with brushes of several sizes. Twice. Since the first coat wasn't sufficiently opaque. The parts where I could stand weren't awful. The sitting stuff and the ladder stuff sucked big. Smarter thinking would've been having vinyl decals made. Then we could have taken them with us, too.

Proudest DIY: Ceiling-height prehensile toes, one set big, one set small, with a foam brush at 5'3" and 180 pounds

Biggest Indulgence: My husband, indulging my stubbornness and allowing me to get on a ladder

Best advice: Use vinyl, start at 25 weeks pregnant

The screenprinted letters are the work of our old neighbor, Derek Schusterbauer.
Ozzy's rocker is Monte, and I agree with all the other people on Ohdeedoh, well worth its price tag. Especially considering that at 18 months, Ozzy still wakes up several times a night. That rocker knows us well.

To see more of Greer's Toned Down Before & After, check out her house tour on Apartment Therapy Boston.

(Thanks, Ozzy, Greer, and Sam!)

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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