A “Bit of Quirk”: Animals in Decor

Our all-time favorite design book is “The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate & Live Well” by Deborah Needleman.  In the chapter titled “A Bit of Quirk” she says that “[s]tyle ought to be loose and easygoing; capacious and expansive!  A little something unexpected makes us comfortable.  Quirkiness and its side-kick, charm, represent the lighthearted humanity of your home.”  One of the ways she counsels bringing in quirk is by including animals in your decor.  No, not animal prints–that’s in the chapter titled “Glamifications”–we’re talking about funny little figurines, paintings, or functional objects in animal shapes, like andiron dogs.

Once we started looking at rooms through the animal decor lens, we realized that a quirky critter is almost always present in the spaces we love the most!

This incredible space in Spain perhaps has more than just a bit of quirk, but the overall effect is elegant.  There are lots of interesting places for the eyes to land, but none quite so guileless as the dachshund pillow.

Here’s another view of the same amazing space which is more overt in its animal decor, but no less fun.  This is a home we would love to visit!

The contrast of pale blue and black is unquestionably chic, but what we’re wondering about is what that crow is doing on the desk – we’re intrigued.

The mix of materials in this room is spot on, and that art?  Meow.

Animals abound in this sleek space – even the little stool looks like it might up and gallop away at any moment.

We think the print on the sofa textiles is part of what makes this space so inviting – and the animals standing sentry on the windowsill look like they agree.

Red House West || Animal DecorThis New York apartment is eclectic and inviting, but it’s the faux taxidermied goat that gives the room a sense of humor and shows the occupant’s “lighthearted humanity”.

This felted namda brings something joyful and fun into this simple space:

What about you? Does this “bit of quirk” have a place in your home? It certainly does in ours!
Come back on Wednesday for a full reveal of the Chamber of Secrets!

4 responses on “A “Bit of Quirk”: Animals in Decor

  1. Nina

    That’s my favorite design book, too! I often revisit the section on “mollifiers” when something or other of my husband’s idea of good design makes my head hurt. 🙂

    We have much “quirk” in our house. I commissioned an artist friend to do somewhat pop-ified portraits of our dogs and there are fish, frogs, turtles and birds (so. many. birds.) here and there.

    One of my favorite bits of quirk is a painting of “Petey the panther” which my sister gave me as a gift recently. The original piece was a wild, art-deco(ish) painting (on glass, I seem to recall)of a panther emerging from some jungle growth which used to hang over the couch in my childhood home. It probably dated from the 30s or 40s, I’m guessing; we kids named him Petey. When my parents redid the living room in all its mid-century glory, Petey went to live out his days in my grandmother’s house. I don’t know whatever became of him. But at least he still exists in a couple of black & white photographs, and its from those that my sister recreated him on a small scale oil on canvas. It hangs in my den/office/guest room and is one of those things that just instantly made our new house feel like home, evoking my childhood, my parents and grandparents, and, of course, my sister. And it is pretty damn quirky, too, I must say! (My husband probably considers it in the mollifier category…)

    I love the room above with the tiger painting. Maybe the homeowners think of him as Tony?

    Sorry – – I’m blabby today!

  2. Jenny Depa-Karl

    Absolutely! I love animal quirk! Most of my quirk consists of sheep and goats, a few barnyard chickens and horses. I sense a barnyard theme here!! I have a rather large pink flamingo my daughter made with bits of pink tissue paper in pre-school (she’s 20 now) that I ~ r e a l l y ~ need to frame and display too!!!

    Thank you for a wonderful post/more design inspiration!

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