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I grew up in a suburb of Memphis, Tenn., — not necessarily in the country, but nowhere near the city. And both of my parents were born and raised in Kentucky out near bales of hay and chickens. The decor of my house growing up could best be defined as A Product of The Eighties, meaning tons of teal and pink and decorative borders everywhere. And my mom liked to hang baskets and farm equipment from the ceiling in the kitchen:


I’m sorry you had to be exposed to that photograph. If it makes you feel any better, I had to LIVE IN that photograph. You’ll be happy to know I’ve discovered hair product since then. And no longer hike my shorts up to my armpits.

One of my mother’s favorite things to add to a shelf or tabletop was a ceramic rooster. Or maybe a pig made out of solid iron. Even now her kitchen and living room are teeming with them, and to poke fun I will occasionally pretend that one has jumped off the mantel and is strangling me. She won’t admit to finding this funny. She also won’t admit how many times she has flashed an inappropriate hand gesture my way.

Sometimes her animal-themed decor will branch out beyond farm animals, but only rarely. As in the case of this brown bear toilet paper holder:


The tone of this may have you thinking that I don’t like decorating with anything animal-related. And that is not at all what I’m saying. I happen to think farm animals ring a bit country, and if that is your taste, then you go right ahead and break out your favorite cross stitch of bow-tie wearing chickens. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a festive farm animal dressed like a tap dancer.

I’m kidding, country designers! Sort of.

I have personally tried to mix it up a bit, and in just about every corner of my house you’ll see some sort of animal figurine or print of an exotic bird. In fact, I think designers have really stepped it up in recent years in terms of animal-themed decor to the point that you could fill a room with everything “animal” and not look like someone’s crazy Aunt Maureen who got a little carried away in the gift shop at the Miami airport.

I did a little looking around and collected examples of things I’d use if redesigning a room in my own home. Some of it is eclectic, some a bit whimsical, some really elegant. Some of it is even traditional. But sorry, Mom, the ceramic rooster didn’t make the cut.

See the slide show here.
See a list of individual items here.


Design Inspiration

69 Responses

  1. miomi says:

    heather im not sure you have found your voice yet as an HGTV blogger…i think it must be hard to drop the irreverence, but i almost feel as if you are walking on eggshells with your sentences. relax! your regular writing is great and there is not reason you should be holding back!!

  2. Martha says:

    I think it's hysterical that you put the word mom in quotes. Say what you like about Heather (I happen to think she's fantastic) but there is no question about whether she is a mom.

    Here's a tip: When you put a word in quotes it's an indication that there is something questionable/ironic/unusual about your use of the word. Don't use quotation that you don't understand.

    Also, move along and leave Heather alone.

  3. Art Marcin says:

    Oh, I think Android will be offered by many companies for quite a while, because it’s the cheapest option and the only thing they can offer that is anything like iOS. (Ignoring Windows Phone, as so many will.) But as you say, the profits are important. Apple plays a long game, and huge profits + R&D + design focus + hardware/software integration + economies of scale means that Android is doomed to play “me, too!” for the foreseeable future, regardless of their market share.

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