Wildlife Decorating Ideas

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Celebrate your passion for wildlife with photographs, images and materials that represent or replicate animals without causing them harm. Enrich wildlife displays with natural materials from the environment that supports it. These materials fit seamlessly in themed settings, such as rustic, African, coastal and Southwestern.

Rugged and Rustic

  • North American wildlife indigenous to the plains, forests and mountains can be found in Lodge, Western and Northwoods decorating styles. Include a mix of natural materials on walls, floors and furniture such as wood, stone and leather. Add wrought-iron accents, wood carvings, sculptures, framed art and fabric patterns featuring images of deer, elk, moose, bison, bears, wolves, eagles or fish. Pick one to three favorites to repeat on accents and furnishings for a cohesive look. Deer and elk shed their antlers every year, which can be mounted on the wall or made into chandeliers, lamps or candleholders. Faux head mounts of deer, moose, bear and bison made from a white polyresin material add a whimsical touch to eclectic settings. Leave them white or paint them in bold colors.

African Themes

  • The exotic wildlife in Africa inspires rooms with rich, contrasting patterns and interesting organic forms. Zebra, leopard, cheetah and giraffe prints can be found on textiles such as area rugs, pillows, bedspreads, curtains, throws and upholstered furniture. Find sculpted figurines featuring the curving tusks and trunks of elephants and the long graceful lines of giraffes. Tribal African masks carved from wood, primitive clay pottery and woven raffia baskets add natural, organic texture. Use animal prints sparingly on a few select items, so they stand out as accents rather than overwhelming the space. Use faux fur rugs and throws to get the natural look of exotic fur without destroying the animal or supporting illegal poaching.

Coastal Inspiration

  • Marine wildlife fits naturally in coastal, nautical or beach-themed decorating schemes. A stroll along the beach can yield a bounty of natural and organic materials for decorating, including sand, driftwood, smooth rocks and pebbles and seashells. Make sure the shells you gather are completely empty. Find accents that feature sea creatures such as crabs, seahorses, sea turtles, fish and starfish sculpted from wood, brass, porcelain or art glass. Place these items in bookcases, on mantels, on shelves or on tables. Hang colorful framed paintings or prints of dolphins, whales or tropical fish. Salvaged materials found on the beach make interesting displays among seashells, ocean paintings and marine sculptures, such as beach glass, old fishing nets, weathered wood or vintage boat parts.

Desert Dwellers

  • Desert wildlife in the American Southwest is depicted in Native American art and Southwestern-style decor, with motifs of coyotes, lizards, desert tortoises, roadrunners, rabbits, snakes and scorpions. Desert big horn sheep, mountain lions and bobcats are hard to spot in the wild but can be found in wall art, figurines or sculptures. Many species of birds grace framed prints of desert landscapes, including Gambel’s quails, hummingbirds, golden eagles, ravens, hawks and woodpeckers. Make desert-themed displays with potted cacti, animal sculptures or figurines and Native American crafts such as pottery, baskets, rugs and blankets. Add custom, hand-painted tiles of desert wildlife to a kitchen backsplash, fireplace facade, bathroom wall, or create a tile wall mural. Hang paintings or prints of desert animals framed in rustic, reclaimed wood. Display larger sculptures and pottery pieces on wall ledges or fireplace hearths.

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