Decorating with Animal Accessories

Vintage glazed ceramic elephant at Paris Hotel Boutique

The first time I really got inspired by decorating with animal accessories was during my stay at the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs, designed by Kelly Wearstler. This was about 3 years ago. I had heard about Kelly Wearstler and KWID, but never stayed at one of her hotels. My friend Janet and I nearly flipped when we saw it! The dramatic black & white decor with touches of lemon yellow. Each guest room balcony had a white cement whippet sitting proudly overlooking the pool. We went crazy! What a great touch! We asked to look at some of the larger suites and they had paw prints leading into the room. Another great touch.

After that stay I starting adding elements of Hollywood Regency decor to my home. I purchased Kelly's first book, Modern Glamour, and had fun reading through it and seeing how she used animals as a touch of whimsy in her decor. She says, "Animal accessories call out to me every time I go shopping." She talks about animals being the most inspiring things on the planet. Being sculptural and colorful. She says, "I also use a lot of animal forms as accessories to temper a room that may seem too forbidding or too decorative. Animals really lighten things up a little and enrich our spaces." I couldn't agree more. As soon as I returned home from Palm Springs, I was on the hunt for whippets. My friend Janet found me this one...the exact whippet in Kelly Wearsler's book. I love its special place in my living room. It dates to the 1950's/60's, glazed ceramic, made in Italy.

My whippet

Photo from Modern Glamour, Kelly Wearstler

My latest acquisition is a fabulous large black and white ceramic glazed elephant planter. It's a wonderful eye-catching piece! I was going to keep it, but I am accumulating far too many animals in my home and that includes my real dog, Vito! The elephant is available here on my web site, Check it out!

Animal accessories have been getting increasingly popular. There are many reproductions being made, but none thrill me as much as the vintage breed. The Italian ceramic pieces are so well made and more detailed than the modern reproductions. They can get costly though. If you want the look, they are definitely out there at different price points. Do you like decorating with animal accessories? What are your favorites?

Photos from Modern Glamour by Kelly Wearstler

Viceroy Palm Springs, from Modern Glamour by Kelly Wearstler


wonderful pictures! I love all the animal decor
katiedid said…
Fun post! And what a beautiful elephant!:)
Love your blog and website. I love animals in decorating...for a touch of whimsy. I have a life size great dane tucked in a corner of my family room. It used to be a store display at one time. I love it. Thanks for a great and fun read. ~ Lynn
Thank you Britt, Katie and Lynn! I appreciate your comments!
Style Court said…
I love animal accessories too, and it's a special treat to see how you've incorporated them into your interiors. Everything you mentioned about Wearstler's first book is what I responded to as well when I first read it :)

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