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Decorating Your Home with Nature

Animal skins, fibres, or fur have been used as decorative elements in homes for millennia. This is how you can incorporate nature into your home.

While they have often been associated with a rustic or traditional aesthetic, today's interior designers are finding innovative and versatile ways to incorporate these natural materials into modern and contemporary home decor.

In this article, we'll explore the various aspects of using animal skins or animal fibres to decorate your home, from their history and sustainability to practical tips for incorporating them into your interior design.

History of animal skins in home decor

Animal Skins; A Historical Perspective:

The use of animal skins dates back to ancient times when they served as essential components of clothing, shelter, and bedding. Many indigenous cultures worldwide embraced the concept of "using everything from the animal," with animal skins being transformed into clothing, rugs, throws, bedding, and wall hangings. These practices have continued to influence the modern-day desire for sustainable and nature-inspired design.

Sustainability and Ethics:

In recent years, sustainability and ethical considerations have played a significant role in the choice to use animal skins or naturally occurring animal fibres for home décor, instead of artificial man-made products. Many of the animal skins used in contemporary interior design are by-products of the meat industry. This means that the skins are repurposed, rather than being the primary reason for the animal's demise.

Wool from sheep, alpaca, and mohair is shorn periodically to keep the animals comfortable and healthy.  New Zealand Possum Fur comes from wild animals that are hunted and gathered to save the native forests of New Zealand. When sourced ethically and responsibly, animal skins and woven fibres can align with eco-conscious values, minimizing waste and using a natural and renewable resource.

Animal Fibre Practical Uses:

  • Rugs and Floor Coverings: Animal skin rugs like cowhide, goatskin, or sheepskin are popular for their distinctive patterns and soft textures. These rugs can complement various interior styles, from traditional to modern. They add warmth, character, texture, and a touch of sumptuousness to any room.
  • Throws and Cushions: Animal skin throws and cushions can be used to enhance the comfort and visual appeal of your living spaces. They can be draped over sofas or chairs to create a cozy ambiance and introduce a touch of nature indoors. Mohair, Alpaca, Possum Fur, and Sheepskin can work very well in this regard.
  • Ottoman and Footstools: Animal skins can be made into ottomans or footstools as decorative furniture pieces, creating useful additional seating. These can serve as stunning focal points, adding texture, warmth, and a sense of natural chic to your interior.
  • Bedroom Decor: Possum fur throws and fur-covered pillows can be used to create a warm, tranquil, and inviting bedroom environment. A possum fur blanket at the foot of the bed or a luxurious Alpaca blanket can enhance the comfort, peace, and aesthetics of your sleeping space.
Decorating with Nature by Gorgeous Creatures

Tips for Decorating with Nature:

  • Mix and Match Texture: Combine animal skins with other materials like wood, metal, and a variety of textiles to create a balanced and harmonious design. Think about the way light interacts with the surface of different textures, think about light and dark colours and shadows.
  • Choose Sustainable Sources: Ensure that your animal skins are ethically sourced from reputable suppliers, and adhere to sustainability standards. High-quality tanning is important so it lasts. Most natural fibres like mohair or sheep wool come from farmed renewable sources.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Regular care is essential to keep animal skins looking their best. Vacuum or shake out dust and debris, and address spills promptly. Clean a cowhide rug with the Gorgeous Creatures Cowhide Cleaner, and wash Sheepskins with the Gorgeous Creatures Woolskin Wash. Handwash Mohair and Alpaca blankets. Dry clean Possum Fur.
  • Keep it Simple: Moderation is key. Use animal skins sparingly to avoid overwhelming your space with a strong theme. A little goes a long way. Don’t try to match natural colours, an eclectic miss-match is often more visually successful. A few carefully considered natural animal elements will make the most of, and enhance your personal interior design style.

In conclusion, decorating your home with nature-inspired décor offers a connection to history, a sustainable choice, and a touch of natural beauty. With careful consideration of sourcing and mindful design choices, you can enjoy the timeless elegance of animal skins and natural textiles at home.

Whether it's as a rug, throw, cushion, or wall hanging, these natural elements can infuse warmth and character into your home, creating a welcoming and stylish atmosphere. A homely cocoon to protect you from the outside world.

At Gorgeous Creatures our motto is “Transforming homes with extraordinary pieces of nature. Gorgeous Creatures brings the beauty of the natural world into your living space.” We are here to help you create your perfect tranquil living environment.

Visit Gorgeous Creatures while in the Hawkes Bay
8 Otatara Rd, Taradale, Napier 4112 (by appointment please call or text first)
Kirsty Mason Ph 027 222 6230 
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