My animal decor obsession sort of snuck up on me. I didn't realize I was animal crazy until I started to take a look around at all the vintage crap I kept buying, and when I did, I realized that I literally had a zoo in my house. My husband Greg calls it "Dr. Doolittle Decorating" and truth time: I love the hell out of it. I mean, not as much as I love The Kardashians...but still a lot. There's just something about animal decor that adds crazy layers of interest and texture to almost any space.
I use animal decor in every room of my house (yep, even the bathroom. Hello snow leopard needlepoint above the toilet). #hardcore
But just in case this zookeeper shit doesn't come quite as naturally for you, I've wrangled up all of my best design tips to help you inject your space with some animal decor on fleek.
Here we go:
Animal heads, antlers and horns (both real and faux) are one of my fave go to decor items. Depending on their size, you can try using them as a centerpiece type piece hanging by themselves on a wall or over a door, or you can mix them in with other artwork and decorative pieces (like the pic above).
If you want to go for a real one, you can often find these in thrift stores.
I sometimes like to zhush these pieces up by adding some tassels or pom poms to hang off the horns or antlers. Real heads can be quite heavy, so try to avoid hanging them over a bed unless they are completely anchored to a wall, and I mean anchored HARD. Here's some scoop on how you can actually clean and hang these suckers.
- Faux Ram Head Sculpture, Target, $158
- Large Faux Longhorn, Amazon, $79
- Cardboard Elephant Bust, Wayfair, $33.99
Animal hides (either real or faux), are a great way to add an instant dose of a chic to your space. Their odd size makes them a fab choice for unusual spaces or an odd corner of a room.
You can use them alone (as in the pic above) or try layering them on top of another rug. If you do go for the layered look, make sure you choose a simple, solid rug to put below it (sisal or jute rugs work great).
You can even find these rugs in traditional rectangular shapes and sizes, as they just use pieces of hide or faux hide to create patterns.
And surprisingly, these genuine hide rugs are fairly easy to spot clean with warm water and gentle soap. Here's some more info: Top 5 Ways to Organically Clean a Cowhide Rug.
- Loloi Faux Cow Hide Rug, Wayfair, $159
- Black dyed Cow Hide Rug, eCowhide, $298
- Scalloped Hide Rug, Serena & Lily, $495
You can really let your animal freak flag fly with some vignettes on your bookcase. Here we see art, figurines and bookends. These vignettes, or shelfies, can be created with any variety of animal-y decor items.
Since I'm completely animal obsessed, I love to collect animalia any time I go to a thrift store, or a flea market. I collect animal needlepoints, large leather animals (including a panther, a giraffe, and a giant toucan), as well as various brass and wood figurines.
Try combining your animal pieces with books, framed photos and other small items to create your own vignettes. There's no right or wrong way to do these, so just keep moving things around until you hit on a configuration you like.
I broke down exactly how you can create your own "shelfies" here on HGTV.com: Shelfies are the New Selfies.
- Gold Rhino Sculpture, Z Gallerie, $39.95
- Alligator Bookends, Z Gallerie, $49.95
- Giraffe Banana Plant Basket, Overstock, $23.99
You don't necessarily need to use rugs as rugs (sidenote: how many sentences on this site start with "you don't necessarily need to use x for x"...I'm such a rebel). Anyhoo. I love a little sheepskin over a stool or the arm of a chair or couch. These also look fab on a dining room chair or outdoors on a bench. They can even add a chic touch to a kid's room.
If you want to add a Boho vibe to your space, sheepskins are a great place to start. As for how to clean these suckers, I'm hooking you up right hurr: How to Clean Sheepskin Rugs.
- Small Sheepskin Rug, Ikea, $29.99
- Natural New Zealand Sheepskin Rug, World Market, $79.99
- Gray Sheepskin Rug, Pottery Barn, $99
I'm not sure what the hell's wrong with me, but I literally *never* get tired of leopard pillows. I kinda love all animal print pillows, but leopard ones, in particular, slay me.
Pillows are a great way to dip your toes into the pool of Dr. Doolittle decorating, as they're super easy to mix in with your current decor. Also, throw pillows don't need to stay on the couch. They can look fab on a bed or piled on top of a bench. If you're unsure how to mix them up, stick with one color palette and just go for different fabrics and textures. And definitely think beyond leopard: there is faux fur, cow hide, leather, suede, sheepskin and everything in between.
If you're looking for some cuckoo for cocoa puffs crazy, over-the-top pillow inspiration, you gotta check out my girl Jen's Instagram feed: @Fleamarketfab