The Elephant in the Room: 24 Ways to Use Elephants in Your Decor
We've got decorating ideas by the trunkful.
A sacred animal in some cultures, the elephant is said to symbolize good luck, wisdom, fertility and protection of the home. With that in mind, it’s no wonder why elephant motifs are so popular in home decor. In feng shui — the ancient Chinese art of placement — the position of the elephant’s trunk is significant: a trunk pointed upward represents a showering of good fortune, a trunk pointed downward accumulates energy, and intertwined trunks signify love and friendship.
Whether you want to bring some positive energy to your home or you just like to admire this majestic animal, we’ve got 24 decorating ideas you’ll go wild for. In honor of National Elephant Appreciation Day (September 22), browse photos of elephants in designer rooms, plus find elephant-inspired goods you can buy for your own home.
Living Room Entertaining: Sushi Party
Entertain your guests in true Japanese fashion by hosting a sushi party at your coffee table while seated on the floor. If you go the take-out route, remove the food from containers and boxes, then plate all of the sushi on ceramic dinnerware. Skip floral arrangements in favor of potted grasses.
Rustic White Photography, LLC
Design by Brian Patrick Flynn
Kid's Room Reading Nook With Blue Chair
Soft grays and baby blues are a soothing setting for this nursery's reading nook. The bold graphic prints—dragonflies on the walls, chevron stripes for the rug—keep the style fresh and contemporary.
R. Brad Knipstein Photography
Design by Jennifer Jones
Blue and White Ceramic Lamp With Stacked Elephants
A trio of elephants stand on each other's backs to create this whimsical ceramic table lamp, a perfect fit for a kid's room or nursery.
Kari McIntosh Dawdy
Design by Kari McIntosh Dawdy
White Changing Table and Custom Elephant Shelf
To add more storage for this small nursery, the designers made an elephant cutout from plywood and added shelves to complement the room's animal theme.
Laurie Perez Photography
Design by Nina Magon
Repurposed Drawers Pulls Used For Hangers
Vern Yip hung a pair of elephant-head drawer pulls that he found on a trip to Bali as hooks for next-day clothes and special-occasion outfits. Any large pull with a solid ring will work for hangers. Pullsdirect.com has a good selection, from just $2.
Tropical Side Table
Design by Jeanine Hays
Elephant Parade Shades
Girl's White Bedroom With Globally Inspired Fabrics and Accessories
All-white walls and furniture provide a chic backdrop for the brightly colored and globally inspired fabrics and accessories in this girl's bedroom. The elephant print of the roman shades and the bright pink pillow strike the right balance between youthfulness and maturity to create a look that will suit the room's occupant as she grows.
Design by Sarah Wittenbraker
Glam in Gold
White Tabletop Vignette With Stacked Books and Gold Elephant
"When I think luxe, I think just a hint of shimmer or sparkle. It's the 'less is more' rule and making those little moments pop! Like wearing a little black dress, but the real element that makes it special is the jewelry. Bits of metallic accessories throughout can elevate any space." -Tyler Wisler, Tyler Wisler Home
Design by Tyler Wisler
Grace, 8, a voracious reader, props her current favorites on five floating shelves, transforming the book covers into a changeable, colorful art display. Mekea spray-painted the curlicue wicker headboard a pretty coral and paired it with a Serena & Lily elephant-patterned bedspread. An overdyed wool rug from One Kings Lane works with the room.
Contemporary Hallway With Artsy Shelf Display, Antique Double Doors and Black Stone Flooring
Black stone flooring leads into the living room and creates a bold contrast to the bright, white walls in the room. Antique double doors bring a beautiful rough texture to the room. Built in shelves in varying heights showcase an artistic display of framed photos and figurines adding personal style to the decor.
Design by Gin Braverman
Girl's Bedroom Brimming with Whimsy
This girl's room blends styles, patterns and colors in fun and whimsical ways. An allover pattern of elephants dressed in pink adorns a single accent wall, bringing attention to the bed. White walls, furniture and bedding allow the pink accessories to pop. A traditional rug continues the pink and coral palette.
Design by Amy Lutz
Salt and Pepper Shakers