This season, embrace the wild...

This season, embrace the wild...

Often, we notice animal heads or rugs made of animal hide as decor pieces in homes; they boast of jungle encounters and tell tales of the past generation. Displaying animal decor is a sign of love for animals, but it does not mean one has to hunt real animals. If you're an animal lover, don't shy away from displaying animal decor in your home as it reflects your passion for animals.      

Now, if you're not sure about the animal-inspired decor ideas and if they will blend in well in your home, worry not, take it one step at a time. Gradually, you will be able to get creative and feel comfortable in your space.  

To begin with, simply throw in a cowhide rug on the floor and pair it with metallic accents. Or, place a metallic animal figurine on a nightstand to add some animal feel. Animal prints can draw a lot of attention when used in the living room, study or bedroom.    

Living den  

Make your guests feel like royalty by getting a seat upholstered in tiger-print fabric. Or, incorporate these prints into a royal chair, where you can sink in for a good read. Use a lot of spots and stripes to incorporate the jungle feel. Experiment with furniture and get your stool legs done in the shape of an elephant or horse feet.

Such items will not only look classy but can be treasured heirloom pieces. Furniture designer Arushi Thapliyal says, "Consider a side table decked up in shades of black and grey, making it a versatile element that camouflages into a variety of colour schemes. Place it in the centre and make a bold statement. Tuck it away to the side and it adds visual interest to an otherwise empty corner."

Versatile & bold

Animal prints are the easiest to incorporate. You can use them on cushion covers, upholstery, table runners and table mats. Animal designs printed on cushion covers is an 'in' thing these days and one can actually choose from a variety of designs of birds, dogs, bunnies and tuskers.

Mohini Shastri says, "I love the black and white stripes of the zebra and have a zebra-print rug in my study. It actually adds flair to the study room and sets the tone for reading and writing. The directional lines inspire focus."  

But if you're spoiled for a choice of prints, then simply pair a striking animal print with neutral background tones. There are many options in the market from a tiger rug to a cowhide ottoman to zebra prints. You can have them around black or white settings to create an animal appeal. You may want to use certain colours to make way for certain animal print decor items or animal print upholstered furniture. Deep oranges, tans, browns and deep greens set a perfect jungle theme for you to embellish with knick-knacks and fittings.

Cosy rugs  

While real hide rugs are not a home accessory anymore, you can use synthetic and machine-made rugs for your space. Look for tiger-striped or leopard-spotted rugs and see how beautifully they gel, or even better, camouflage with the surroundings.  

Keep in mind that faux hides can be difficult to clean at home, so it's best that they are placed in a low-traffic area and it can steal the show.  It's about experimenting and introducing newer elements with time. Gradually, you would develop a decor that speaks your mind. For those still hesitant of prints, animal patterns don't have to be in-your-face to make an impact. "For a client who was hesitant in using animal prints, but really liked the concept, I suggested cheetah print chairs with raised spots. We kept the fabric a subtle yellow to not make a bold statement and yet make for an elegant seating," shares Arushi.

Break the monotony

If you're someone who goes for the simple black or white decor, animal decor will be easier to incorporate into your space. Get some spotty cheetah or jaguar prints or jungle prints to refresh simple tones. A dash of the print can also climb up the wall or stairway through photo frames, wallpapers or ceiling colours. One can use animal prints liberally on duvets, upholstery, rugs, bed sheets or bathroom tiles. "My family loves animals and we have a background of military forefathers. Bringing the huntsman's chivalry and our love for animals together, I have incorporated animal patterns as and where I could," says Navleen Mehta.

Make it stand out

Go bold in using stripes, polka dots and animal prints. The trick is to keep the print small enough to avoid any visual disturbance. If you're uncomfortable with mixing and matching, purchase pieces one at a time and grow the room as you see fit. There are no set rules for home decor, you're the king or queen of your home, so design it the way you like it best.

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