Beasts on show

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

THE trend for fea­tur­ing crea­tures – great and small – is gath­er­ing pace, with dogs lead­ing the pack, closely fol­lowed by owls and with foxes, squir­rels and rab­bits bring­ing up the rear. Want some­thing re­ally wild?

De­sign­ers have also given lions, ele­phants, tigers, ze­bra and even wolves free­dom to roam on wall­pa­pers, fab­rics and ac­ces­sories.

“Hav­ing played a sup­port­ing role in a se­ries of mi­cro-trends ear­lier this year, an­i­mal mo­tifs have evolved into a trend of their own,” says Katie Wat­son, in­te­rior de­signer at fur­ni­ture group, Fish­pools. “From the do­mes­tic to the ex­otic, an­i­mal prints are prov­ing a popular choice, ap­pear­ing on ev­ery­thing from fab­rics to fur­ni­ture.

“Sa­fari-style prints, such as leopard or ze­bra, are one of our favourite vari­a­tions on the theme. The trend works best in pat­terned cush­ions, rugs or smaller pieces of uphol­stered fur­ni­ture.”

Of course, cel­e­brat­ing an­i­mals in in­te­ri­ors isn’t re­ally new. It’s been a tra­di­tion since the days of stately homes and hunt­ing tro­phies, but the emer­gence of faux taxi­dermy has made it ac­cept­able and hugely fash­ion­able, points out Claire Hornby, cre­ative stylist at Barker and Stone­house.

“One of the bold­est state­ments is the re-emer­gence of the fash­ion for mounted an­i­mal heads,” she says. “Mod­ern tech­niques mean an­i­mal heads can be re­al­is­ti­cally crafted in card­board, metal, acrylic and wood. Th­ese can be true-to-life, or funky if they’re in bright colours or pat­terns.”

An­i­mals, in all shapes and sizes, which have fea­tured in fash­ion col­lec­tions dur­ing the past few sea­sons, could be re­garded as the decor equiv­a­lent of com­fort food; what’s not to like about beau­ti­ful beasts?

And pet images ap­peal to our nur­tur­ing instincts and de­sire for pro­tec­tive sanc­tu­ar­ies.

With so much creature chic on of­fer, it’s all too easy to have the pat­ter of paws through­out your in­te­rior, but, Hornby ad­vises against overindulging an­i­mal instincts.

“You don’t want to turn your home into the equiv­a­lent of a visual sa­fari park or, worse, some­thing re­sem­bling a grown-up nurs­ery.

lit­tle goes a long way with this

Alook, so bal­ance bold an­i­mal prints with plenty of neu­tral space,” she says.

“This will pre­vent them over­whelm­ing a room, but still al­low them to make a state­ment.” So ap­proach care­fully. An­i­mals on home­ware won’t bite, but this style can be highly ad­dic­tive. Sim­ply pick one or two, and rest as­sured – no an­i­mals have been harmed in the mak­ing of th­ese items!

Pho­tos: PA Photo/Hand­out

Above, dig­i­tal print cush­ion cov­ers, £55, Gra­ham and Green; right, dog prints, £55 each; ty­pog­ra­phy cush­ions, £55; Ella sofa, £1,595, Gra­ham and Green (all avail­able from Septem­ber)

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