Eames Elephant at designwithinreach

Designers find their inspiration in all facets of life, and it is no surprise that the diversity and natural artistry of the animal kingdom has drawn their eye.   Here is a menagerie of animal-inspired art and design.

In 1945 Charles and Ray Eames designed two plywood elephants because they were so fascinated by the majestic animals. The original design was too difficult to mass produce at the time, but Vitra Design Museum has produced a new plastic version (seen above under the Eames iconic name.

Original Eames Elephant via Crumbs and Bricks

This is a photograph of one of the plywood Eames Elephants the Eames brothers made,  so you can see how the two compare. The contemporary design has slightly softer lines and is made out of molded plastic, but otherwise they stayed remarkably true to the original design.  It goes to show you that fantastic design really is timeless.

Hand-Painted Antlers by Cassandra Smith

Cassandra Smith’s antlers come from naturally shed antlers (in case you were worried). The natural curves of the antlers are accentuated by metallic and jewel-toned paints. Each piece is unique and would be equally striking hanging on a wall or displayed on a shelf.

Sooty Owl Art Print

Hoot hoot. This owl print is colourful and has just the right amount of mid-century mod appeal. The barkcloth background also gives this print a bit of texture.  Some owl-themed decor can be too cutesy for my tastes, but I find this print perfectly charming.

Grazed and Confused- Twig Terrariums

Looking into this apothecary jar you can almost believe you are seeing a real Irish countryside. The addition of the miniature sheep in this terrarium adds a whimsical touch, and makes the peaceful scene come to life.


This garland of illustrated feathers is so ethereal and beautiful. I keep picturing these hanging over the bed in an all-white bedroom.  I’m a big fan of all of Kaye Blegvad’s illustrated work, the rest of which you can find here in her shop and here on her online portfolio.

ibride polar bear joe- via elle decor

Lastly, the French company ibride has transformed the hulking shape of a polar bear into a minimalist bookshelf. I love innovative bookshelf designs and this is one of the most original ones I’ve seen. If this polar bear is too menacing for your tastes they have also created shelving and tables inspired by ostriches, deer and mules.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this zoological expedition.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

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One Response to Menagerie

  1. Pingback: Design Inspirations. | thecleverbunny

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