You know what we’re talking about: those tacky wolf sculptures, deer heads and eagle throws that you might find at the county fair. Decorating with these items doesn’t convey your love of animals — it simply shows your lack of design style. We rounded up some classier animal-inspired home decor you’ll be proud to display.
Animal rugs. Replace any notion you have of using a bearskin rug and opt for something grander instead. CustomOrientalRug.com crafts custom hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs of New Zealand wool. It’s a digital take on an ancient trade, and the results — as evidenced by this Eye of the Butterfly — are truly amazing!
Animal portraits. “I paint classy, not tacky, animal portraits for the home,” says artist Debra Keirce. A contemporary realist, Keirce paints the “hauntingly familiar” with tremendous style “Catnipped,” shown here, is just one gorgeous example. (seasideart.com, $495)
Animal figurines. Choose culture over clutter. Just say no to ceramic dogs and opt for a hand-carved animal from I Thought of You, founded by Mandy Nagel. Every Fair Trade purchase “transforms lives in a real way by offering sustainable income opportunities for people in developing countries,” says Nagel. Carvings, like this Gaja Elephant, are made from sustainably harvested woods such as rain tree wood, crocodile wood and Indian rosewood. (ithoughtofyou.com, $56)
Animal wallpaper. Do the words “animal wallpaper” conjure up images of the zoo? It doesn’t have to. Wallpaper is back in a big way, and Brewster Home Fashions offers a fabulous array of animal-inspired wallpaper designs. Cover a wall in elegant snakeskin or impress guests with a copper safari scene from Brewster’s National Geographic Home collection. Our pick is this magical Ophelia Coral Elephant:
Animal serving tray. Delight your guests by serving drinks and snacks on the Bruno lucite zebra-print tray by Dabney Lee. It’s tastefully designed and would look adorable on an ottoman, sideboard or patio table. Don’t forget to personalize it so no one tries to swipe it! (thestationerystudio.com, $130)
Animal pillows. The BoConcept® furniture store recently shared a blog post about fun animal home decor. It featured a silver pug, hipster giraffe and these awesome Zoorigami cushions by Japanese design house Nendo. (boconcept.com, $29-$39)
Animal canvases. No black velvet panthers here. Just tasteful stretched canvases featuring beloved animals. Artists Eric & Christopher of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, capture the very best of crows, lobsters, squirrels, roosters and this precious goat. (ericandchristopher.com, $125)
Animal photographic art. Prefer something more colorful? Check out the “Finchedelic” wrapped canvas by Eclectic Design Choices’ Cathy Stein. The 16 x 20-inch masterpiece is like a window to the beautiful outdoors… it will take your breath away. (zibbet.com, $165)
Animal statues. Leave it to Ellen DeGeneres to come up with the most adorable animal statues. This sweet little copper-finish fox (or his owl, deer or hedgehog friend) is perfect for a bookshelf, hearth or garden. (QVC.com, $17)
Animal secrets. Shy about your animal obsession? Express it quietly with miniature decor. Hingeheads are teeny-weeny accents that you attach to the hinges of interior doors. Unless you point it out, no one but you has to know about this Australian Shepherd guarding your front door. (hingeheads.com, $16)
Animal lighting. Talk about a perfect accent piece. This hand-painted white leopard lamp has little gold leopard feet (and metallic accents are back in a big way)! Perfect for the living room, bedroom or office. (shopwaitingonmartha.com, $385)
Animal teapot. You’ve probably seen those classic “lizard on a vase” pieces, but what about a “lizard on a teapot?” This striking work of art is sure to stir up some conversation at your next dinner party. (artfulhome.com, $650)
Animal licenses. You need a license for you dog… how about a license of your dog? Dave Bowman of Design Turnpike creates fun, whimsical animals out of vintage license plates. If not a dog, then perhaps a panda, turtle, monkey, giraffe… (fineartamerica.com, prices vary)
Want more incredible inspiration? Check out Homezada’s Pinterest board featuring animal-inspired room decor. You’ll find everything from an octopus end table to cowhide cocktail ottoman. And not a tacky find in the bunch.