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If you like animals in all their forms, we have a treat for you: animals are a home decor trend for 2013. From figurines to bookends, from wallpapers to prints, animals are everywhere. Animals add warmth and an organic feel to your decor. And, let’s be honest: they’re always cute! Home decor trends 2013: you’re making us gaga about animals! So how many ways can you use animals in your home decor? Let me count them!

Tasteful animal prints

When I say “animal prints”, I don’t mean an entire room in cheetah print. Change your mind about the cheesiness of animal prints–they can actually be used quite tastefully. The trick: don’t overdo it.

Animal prints do better when they’re an accent rather than the main pattern. Think cushions, or chair upholstery, or a lampshade. Get some animal print towels for an exotic touch in your bathroom, or add animal print jars in your kitchen. There are many ways to add cheetah, tiger or zebra prints in your home… without turning it into a zoo.

Fashionable figures

Animal figures are super hot right now. This home decor trend has hit pretty hard: visit any decor store and you’ll find all kinds of animals to add to your home.

White lacquer and brass are two current and fashionable materials for figures. These two neutral colors will fit with any type of decor. White lacquer has a nice classy and fashionable finish to it, while brass has a heirloom, distinguished feel.

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Figures are perfect to fill up empty spots on shelves, mantles and window sills. Use them between stacks of books to break the monotony or add one to your home office desk for inspiration. Adorn your bedside tables with them or enliven your crafts room.

Figures range from realist to more abstract; choose them to fit your personal style and preferences. More elaborate figures do better in minimalist decors; if you are more colorful, go for a simpler design for balance.

Forget about the cheap, cheesy figures you get at the dollar store: these days, you can get stylish, high-quality figures that will enhance every room of your home.

Practical animals

Animal accessories now come in many practical shapes: I’ve seen animal-shaped bowls (perfect for keeping fresh fruit or a stack of dishcloths in the kitchen), flowerpots, lamps, boxes, bookends, butter dishes, candle holders, side tables, chairs, even staple removers and smoke detectors! Basically, any little practical tidbit around the house possibly comes in animal shape.  Among all the home decor trends 2013, I think this one is my favourite.

Again, the trick is to keep it light–and lighthearted. For major pieces like tables or lamps, keep to one in the room (or two if they’re a set). Any more and people will wonder if they’ve wandered into a private menagerie.

Keep it simple and tasteful: many of these designs tend to go on the minimalist side. White lacker, brass and wood are amazing materials to work with because of their neutral colors and practical look.

Animal art

One last element of using animal in home decor is in art. There’s a lot of animal-inspired art (especially cats and dogs) that will suit any type of decor. Aside from the classic (almost cliche) Tournée du Chat Noir poster, you can find many original pieces featuring your favorite members of the animal kingdom.

From very abstract animal paintings to more figurative art, you can easily find something that will make your love of animals pop.

I especially like Japanese-style prints, which are bot subtle and beautiful. Their simple, fluid lines and subdued colors are easy to match with any type of decor, but they go especially well with minimalist, zen-inspired rooms. Cats are a popular subject of traditional Japanese printing, as well as birds and other woodland animals.

Indigenous animal art

If you’re a little more adventurous, I urge you to look into modern Pacific Northwest indigenous art. The bold lines and strong colors make for a great statement piece. With its rich and complex animal symbolism, you’ll bring the spirit of the animal world in your home.

What’s your favorite way to bring more animals in your house? Did you make any interesting finds lately? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.