How to Decorate your Home with Animal Motifs

Decorating with animal motifs is all the rage - not just in children's rooms, but all around the house. In this article, we'll explain what it is, and how to get the look.
How to Decorate your Home with Animal Motifs

Last update: 12 November, 2018

Decorating with animal motifs is such a popular decor trend at the moment. This type of decoration isn’t exactly new – it first emerged many years ago, when trophy hunting first became popular.

You probably all remember those stereotypical cabins decorated with animal skins and stuffed animals and even stag heads on the wall.

This is where this decorating style first began. But nowadays, you don’t need to have a gun to decorate your home with animal motifs.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss this type of decoration and its most common characteristics, as well as the different variations you can find on the market. 

Decorating with animal motifs – what is it?

This type of decoration involves using animal figures, illustrations, photos, and other elements to decorate rooms in your house.

It doesn’t mean turning your house into a zoo – it simply involves using small animal inspired elements to decorate your home, and represent the natural world.

Normally, it is associated with decorating children’s bedrooms, but nowadays, it’s fashionable to decorate all different kinds of rooms with animal motifs.

Nowadays, many designers have created a range of decorations using animal motifs that both adults and children love.  

The world of marketing, media, and graphic design, among others, have embraced this trend in recent years, which is one of the reasons it has become so popular.

Decorating with animal motifs is organic, natural, and brings a piece of the outside world into our homes, creating a warm and welcoming environment.

As well as making our homes chic and stylish, some of the decorative items you find on the market are real works of art.

One of the decorative styles that use animal motifs most often is the Nordic style, but you can also see them incorporated into the tropical style.

Decorating with animals motifs – types

There are several variations when it comes to decorating with animal motifs, so there really is something for everyone.

Woodland animals

This variant mainly uses the following animals in its designs:

  • Deer
  • Bears
  • Squirrels
  • Foxes

The color pallet for this type of motif is usually darker, with lots of forest greens, browns, and even reds.

All these colors look great combined with lighter, more neutral colors.

Woodland animal motifs usually display darker colors which look great with light and neutral tones.

Exotic animals

Exotic animals are characteristic of one of the most popular trends of the last few summers: the tropical trend.

The animal motifs most commonly used in this type of decoration are:

  • Flamingos 
  • Toucans
  • Parrots
  • Parakeets
  • Monkeys

In this variation, the color pallet is brighter and more intense, using predominantly blue, fuchsia, and green.

Exotic animal motifs are usually combined with the tropical decor style.

Under the sea…

This trend involves the use of marine animals like:

  • Whales
  • Fish
  • Star fish

With this theme, you won’t be surprised to learn that the color pallet is full of blues, whites, and other colors such as yellow.

Marine life animal motifs use bright and beautiful colors.

Animals from the African Savannah

Thanks to its warm tones, this is probably one of the most popular variations of decorating with animal motifs. Earth tones and beiges are the stars of the show. 

The animals we usually see are:

  • Elephants
  • Zebras
  • Lions
  • Rhinoceroses
  • Leopards
African Savannah animal motifs will look great in your living room.

Animal motifs: decorative elements

One of the questions you might be asking yourself is: how do I actually decorate with animal motifs?

The answer is: it’s actually really simple to pull off. It all depends on the level of intensity you want – animal decor can range from the smallest details to the largest, boldest elements.

The good thing about decorating with animal motifs is that there is a whole range of decorations to choose from.

Some examples include:

  • Animal shaped lamps and candelabras: this lighting option will help you to create ambient light in some little corner of your living room or children’s room.
  • Origamianimal origami is right on trend. But, don’t panic! If you’re not great at arts and crafts, you can buy them premade from online stores.
  • Painted wallpaper: this will take center stage in any room. Wall paper is perfect for children’s rooms, offices, and why not even out it in your living room.
  • Murals, vinyls, illustrations: if you love graphic design, this is the one for you. This is a subtle and elegant way to integrate this type of decor into your home.
  • Bust wall hangings: don’t worry, you don’t need to go out hunting. Nowadays, there are a lot of great options, like paper, plush and sculpted wall busts. They are real works of art that can look amazing in living rooms.


You don't need to hunt to have a great stag head animal motif on your wall.


As we’ve seen, decorating with animal motifs opens up a range of possibilities. There are designs for all tastes.

Plus, this type of decoration looks great combined with Nordic and even classical styles. There is a huge variety of materials to use, from wood to paper and even copper and other metals.

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