Interiors to Make You Smile

Recently I was looking at wallpaper for a client and became engrossed in the number of animal motifs that feature in the collections of the big interiors companies – and these designs are not aimed at children. The designs I’m talking about were edgy, whimsical but definitely not ‘for the nursery.’ And this got me to thinking, as a pattern an animal motif crosses a lot of boundaries. It is equally at home with spots, checks and stripes – and even florals and patterns harmonise well when co-ordinated with them. A cushion that has an animal on it – and I include fish, birds and reptiles in this group – becomes the instant focus of the scheme. It adds a general sense of drama – but in a playful way – and let’s be honest in a family home, anyone who takes themselves too seriously is going to be crying over split paint before they can say ‘I didn’t really like that rug anyway!’

http://www.johnlewis.com

http://www.johnlewis.com

 

So animals as a theme for a family interior? Why not? The style of the animal motif gives you the perfect starting point for the scheme. If the design is onto a linen them it lends itself to a rustic or country styling and leads you to the tweed and plaids that create such a welcoming and cosy feel. If the design is embroidered and textural, it will have a more retro appearance and you can pair it with vintage finds or chunky industrial pieces to soften the look.

http://www.farrow-ball.com/new-wallpapers/content/fcp-content

http://www.farrow-ball.com/new-wallpapers/content/fcp-content

That’s the thing about an animal motif, it creates a balance to a scheme. As a device for hiding flaws – and no home is perfect – the animal motif on your wallpaper, fabric or accessories will instantly attract attention and that chunky sofa or awkward corner cupboard will no longer be the ‘white elephant’ in the room. There are some things you just can’t hide – so don’t try – deflect attention from them instead. As a parent you know this is a canny way to handle children, why not translate that same skill to your home?

http://www.osborneandlittle.com

http://www.osborneandlittle.com

The designers have really pulled their punches with animal motifs. This is a genre of pattern that allows you to add other pattern to a scheme. In this case more is more! And because the animal motif takes centre stage it gives you the scale of the other patterns; you will instantly be able to see what needs to be larger or smaller to get the look to work together. This gives you a confidence with your styling that isn’t often so easily achieved with other pattern and in a family home your interior works hard, so you need to feel relaxed with what you’re putting together.

http://www.conranshop.co.uk

http://www.conranshop.co.uk

Because animals have a universal appeal, your children will adore the look too and this is a fantastic way to help them understand that our furniture and walls are just as precious as their special toys. Having a respect for their possessions is hard to instil in this age of mass production, passing trends and gadgets, but knowing that the furniture and home they live in has the same value to mummy and daddy as their toys do to them is a good place to start.

Interiors dog cushion

About Diane Harvey-White

Having retrained as an interior designer when my children were small, I enjoy helping my clients get the best out of their homes. I also write an interiors blog to inspire new homeowners to get creative, www.puttingthelovein.wordpress.com

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