Turning to Nature for Inspiration

All those trips to the zoo you took as a child have stuck with you, and even though you’ve never made it to a safari in the Serengeti, you do have an admiration for the patterns and textures mother nature creates in all her glory. And who can blame you? The patterns and colors found in nature have for decades inspired artists, decorators and designers with the unexpected combination and eye catching textures.

Some designer, however, hear the call of the wild a little bit louder than other, and work to create amazingly animalistic pieces that bring our inner animal to the surface and go beyond just a tiger print on leather. So when inspiration fails you, open your windows, take a walk outside and take a clue from mother nature the way these designers have.

Remember that swan dress that Bjork wore to the 73rd Academy Awards back in 2001? The outlandishness of the outfit of the outfit caused a stir among the fashion savvy, but animal lovers applauded the musician’s brazen style. Kobi Levi must’ve been one of those animal lovers. His recent collection of animal inspired footwear looks like it was something dreamed up by the Icelandic songstress, or perhaps even featured in a kid’s book by Dr. Seuss. Check out his blog for more awesome shoes.

Kobi Levi Dog shoes

Animal inspired footwear isn’t for everyone. Some prefer to show their adoration of the animal kingdom through eclectic use of animal imagery inside their homes. For decades, designers have found inspiration in nature. This chair from Oly Studio is an updated version of antique bear and tiger clawed feet furniture pieces. The light color palette and modern, clean lines make it a perfect fit in more a more contemporary setting while the clawed feet add a touch of the unique.

Oly Studio Ajax Chair

Landlocked animals aren’t the only ones being called on for inspiration, which makes sense. If life began in the ocean, why can’t the idea for a unique and whimsical design. On first sight, the idea behind Jesse Shaw’s cocktail table is obvious: the six sinuous legs that hold up a simple glass round are clearly inspired by the Octopus. The modular aspect of the table allow the legs to be turned to the top or bottom depending on your preference.


Because the beauty in nature can be seen in the flora as well as the fauna, some designers are going green in a more literal sense. The Growing Chair by Swiss designer Michel Bussien urges man to ‘reunite’ with the natural world that created him by “incorporating the living matter around us” into our everyday lives. His growing chair is actually a sort of green house that you can sit on, with trees growing up and through the clear seat.



Even stylists have to answer the call of the wild on occasion, although these styles are not everyday practical, and definitely not for the faint of heart. Still, the style called major attention when artist Nagi Noda announced his latest exhibit titled “Hair Hats”. The animal shaped and inspired updos are actually hats that models just slip over their real hair, making the far out style commitment free.





Category: Design