Where the Wild Things Are

Turn tame rooms into exotic spaces with animal-themed furnishings.

You can let your imagination run wild when decorating with animal motifs, but don’t overdo it. As in fashion, less is always more. “I think animal skins are better as an accent,” says Kay Green, interior decorator and owner of Kay Green Design in Orlando. “Combine them with either solid colors or other patterns that aren’t animal.” Coordinating patterns and textures is essential when creating earthy, exotic motifs, so designers have emerged with modern twists on staple prints. “They’re doing a lot of animal prints in softer colors and unnatural colors, like blue-green and blue-gray,” says Angela Neel, interior decorator and owner of Angela Neel Interiors in Winter Park. Neel recommends using the colored faux furs and animal prints to spice up your home décor without disrupting your color scheme. Here are a few home furnishings and accessories that can add some animal magnetism to any room of your house:

1. Ayi Rug
$299.95, Z Gallerie, Millenia Crossing

2.  Animal Print Capiz Spheres
$ 6 each, Pier 1 Imports, 7 area locations

3. Wooden Owl Frame
$18, Urban Outfitters, The Mall at Millenia

4. Grayson Chair
$899, Crate & Barrel, The Mall at Millenia

5. Papier-Mâché Animal Sculptures
$14–$129, west elm, The Mall at Millenia

6. Eight-Arms Hook
$48, Anthropologie, The Mall at Millenia

7. Zebra Dinnerware
$5–$6 each, Pier 1 Imports, 7 area locations

8. Giraffe Glass Mosaic Vase
$39.95, Pier 1 Imports

9. Deep Etched Zebra Glassware
$5.18–$8 each, Pier 1 Imports

10. Zahir Storage Bench
 $299.95, Pier 1 Imports


The Do’s and Don’ts of Animal Prints

Marilyn Russell, president and principal designer at Design Magnifique  Inc. in Orlando, offers the following suggestions:

1. Don’t go overboard. If you’re a bit wary of incorporating animal prints into your home, be sure to stick to only one member of the animal kingdom.
2. Start small.  Ease yourself into decorating with animal prints by using them as small accents throughout the house, like trying it on a pillow or a picture frame.  
3. Don’t let Mother Nature dictate your color scheme. Never base the room’s color scheme on the colors in your desired print. Contrast makes more of an impact.
4. Separate the pack.  A few animal figurines or photographs spread throughout your home makes a statement and adds a touch of whimsy to any room. Grouping them all together takes away their individual impact.
5. Go big, if you can handle it. Making a print the focal point of the room can spice up any neutral decorating scheme. Throw caution to the wind with an animal print rug or ottoman.
6. Faux FUR throws are the way to go. They’re a soft, luxurious and cruelty-free way to add an animalistic edge to any room. Not only that, but they’re portable too! Move them from room to room to give your home a fresh feel with minimal effort.



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