They’re easy to care for, don’t need feeding or taking for a walk, don’t shed their hair and are very fashionable. Our search for practical and decorative animal figures and designs at Ambiente turned into a real home safari!
Animal design classics
Carved elephants and giraffes, rugs, cushions and other animal and ethno-look textiles: this style was previously the domain of fans of colonial design and souvenir-loving travellers. Yet today ever more modern interiors include animal designs; even design purists feel the love like you wouldn’t believe. After all, some animal-inspired interior items have long been design classics, such as the charming dogs and families of ducks by Hans Bølling, or the legendary 1960 owl design by Paul Anker Hansen, made from fine natural wood and presented at Ambiente by Danish exhibitor Architectmade. The iconic Designer Zoo by Kay Bojesen also originates from Denmark. Here in Frankfurt he exhibited his classic monkeys and zebras alongside bright parrots and penguins. The Scandinavians certainly know how to go wild with animal design.
Pets are so funny
If you want to have fun with gifts, furnishings and interior decor, look no further than the humorous designs at Ambiente. We had to smile at the speakers shaped like bulldogs with sunglasses, pug candles, mini-whale chopstick holders – and many more, practical household gadgets and interior accessories. We imagine washing up would be much more fun with this elephant cutlery holder from Peleg-Design. Donkey Products has also helped bring a touch of humour into the workplace, with colourful crocodile rulers and hunting trophy memo magnets. For cyclists who love animals, there are saddle covers in amusing animal patterns. There’s also Kikkerland Design with a comical array of imaginative household aids, accessories and gifts – obviously including their best-selling Queen Elizabeth. Because Her Majesty is known for her love of corgis, the solar-powered waving Queen also has a corgi companion: Elroy, the Royal Corgi.
It’s a dog’s life
Whether purebred or mongrel, big or small – if there’s one animal we encountered time and again while trend spotting, it was the dog. As last season, owls, hares, foxes and other woodland creatures found favour with interior connoisseurs. But dogs are still man’s best friend, and seem to be currying favour with designers too. Dachshund draught excluders, pointer pillows, dogs made of china, wood, plastic – the dog certainly had its day at Ambiente. Breeds with a flat nose and big eyes seemed to inspire the designers. This time the coolest bulldog was French, from Jarre Technologies: the Aerobull wears sunglasses and functions as a speaker for a sound system. This clever dog makes music and doesn’t bark.
Our love of animals is not a new trend. After all, animal prints on rugs and textiles, china or stoneware and animal figures for display are all timeless classics that have never gone out of fashion and are now experiencing a renaissance. That’s one reason why fine, naturalistic creations like silver caskets topped with a crocodile and prints that look like traditional engravings and etchings graced the stands at Ambiente – alongside the more colourful, funny and off-the-wall elements. Our highlight was the marvellous giraffe-shaped sculptural porcelain vases and dinner services from Chinese exhibitor Franz Design. What did we learn from our exciting safari? Such biodiversity in design means everyone can find their favourite animal and have fun decorating, furnishing, styling and gifting.