Animal Farm

If you've been reading this blog for more than five minutes, then it's no secret that I have a special place in my heart for animals. And brass. And especially for brass animals. I do own a sparkly little guy named Brian who brings me joy whenever I spy his upturned hooves from across the room, where he patiently defends his territory from the sometimes loving, occasionally psychotic embraces of a toddler who shares mama's love for four legged creatures. That's why when I saw this, I almost lost my marbles.

The home of Lauren Santo Domingo, via A Dreamer's Den.

Holy Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne! You know how you can just muddle through life -- just get by somehow -- and on the surface things are good, but there's always this little piece of you deep down inside that senses something is missing? This is what's missing from my life. I need a hippo bar.

While I'm self diagnosing my internal weaknesses, I think this is missing, too.

Via Little Augury.

Do you see that magnificent creature, with its furtive bestial head that says, Push me! Pull me! Also, its splendiferous practicality is not to be ignored. It's a desk. The Lalannes were nothing if not captains of industry.

Via If the Lampshade Fits

Practical, yes -- but you have to admire their sense of humor. If dear old Francois were alive today, I'm sure he would have enjoyed Portlandia's cheeky advice to just put a bird on it. Birds make everything better.

Pamplemousse Design

I firmly believe the Lalannes were also responsible for the mouton movement, and here les moutons are lovingly ensconced next to a watering hole. So thoughtful of the designers. Stuffed animals have needs, too.

Peter Marino

But in all fairness, my heart belongs to the bronze pieces, because I never met a bit of bling I didn't want to take home to meet daddy. Put a Lalanne alligator chair beneath a Francis Bacon painting and you have one of my favorite pairings of all time. This picture is so good that it just blew my mind up, and if I have one axon and dendrite left to fire up the old synapses and finish this round up, then I'll be amazed...

Architectural Digest

Thank you, Claude and Francois Xavier Lalanne -- you are entirely responsible for blowing almost all of my neural circuitry, but it was worth it.

Good luck working after all that mind blowing awesomeness.

Flock Watch

I heart sheep -- and especially their silky soft skins. I know, Peta is probably coming to splash my front door with faux blood, but I really can't help myself. I have, like, 500 (ok, two) of the Ikea sheepskin rugs covering suboptimal chairs, and I loooooove my Costco sheepskin rug. I used to have a flokati rug, but I couldn't vacuum it properly without fumes of burning rubber issuing forth from my workhorse machine, and shaking the stupid thing out usually induced a seismic allergy attack, magnitude 8.0. Yuck. Happily, my sheepskin rugs are a dream to clean, and they are so, so cuddly on my feet. Yes, I love my pretty little pelts, but lately I've noticed sheepskin recalling its original form. Witness these stools from Sam Brown at Leigh Harmer:

sheep stools

These cute poofs would make a comfy landing spot for a guest when seating is limited, or perhaps as accessories in the little tot's playroom. I like the headless hybrid form and the juxtaposition of wood and fur.

Hanns-Peter Krafft's vintage design in current production at Moss moves closer to the zoological end of the animal/furniture spectrum:

moss sheep

His stool evokes the designs of amazingly brilliant husband/wife team Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne, who have spent much of their lives creating animal-themed furnishings and objets d'art. In particular, Francois' sixties-designed Moutons are enjoying a contemporary revival:


I am loving the life-sized sheep on abstracted "grass" carpet, and it helps that the chrome coffee table reminds me of a totally stylin' water trough! (Image courtesy of Topsy Turvy).

While Les Moutons are sheepishly cute and fuzzy in a stuffed animal kind of a way, a couple of newer designs may belong in the cabinet of curiosities. Check out this three-headed monster courtesy of freshome:

3 headed chair

I don't know. I love me some taxidermy, but I'm not sure I want to sit on it. On the other hand, it's kind of awesome. I'm torn.

I feel less ambiguously repulsed by this meat chair, a gruesome creation of Italian artist Simone Racheli featured at Paola Maria Deanisi Gallery.

meat chair

That's really the point, though, right? I definitely think of this one as art, designed to provoke a strong reaction, and on that level I find it to be extremely successful. And gross. And kind of mesmerizing.

I think I'd most like to have this fabulous lucite and sheepskin chair at Waazwiz, a Japanese design site:

sheep and lucite

Cozy yet cool, I need this one. No meat required.