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Where the wild things are; Gabrielle Fagan discovers why now is the time to truly go wild in your home.

IT ALL began so simply, with the love of a pet, so no-one is more surprised than designer Ben de Lisi that his dog cushion is a "bow-wow" success.

The bright red cushion with an appliqud image of a cute French bulldog has been a total sell-out in Debenhams, and there's now a waiting list for customers who want to get their paws on the pounds 18 item.

It's even attracting high bids on sites such as eBay and Steve Lightfoot, home director at Debenhams, says: "We've been amazed by this. It's literally been the fastest selling cushion in the store's history.

"There seems to be a real trend for celebrating pets and we are now sourcing a range of cat cushions to cater for lovers of all things feline."

A slightly bemused Ben de Lisi says: "All the cushion was meant to be was a tribute to my sweet little dog, Ella."

The dog lover, who has three French bulldogs -Luce, Noya and Teya -took a break from designing red carpet gowns to create his homeware range for Debenhams. He explains the inspiration: "As well as making me smile, using Ella's image is meant to conjure a feeling of heart and home which we need in these uncertain times."

The trend for animal fashion has been seen on clothes with pet graphics on T-shirts, so it was inevitable that pets - and creatures great and small - have made the transfer into interiors.

We've checked out some trouble-free furry friends and wildlife that you could give a home to.

JOIN THE KENNEL CLUB You won't leave anyone in any doubt about your canine affections if you paper your walls with the truly fab, Best of Show dog wallpaper, pounds 89 a roll by Osborne & Little, available from John Lewis.

It's been a runaway success since it launched last autumn, with a tactile flock design of breeds including greyhounds, Labradors and poodles.

The paper comes in white/black, bronze/black and fuchsia/graphite colour combinations, and the first two colourways are also available as a fabric.

If you can't source the Ben de Lisi cushion, but still want to snuggle up with a dog, the whimsical, Happy Hot Dog pair of cushions, pounds 35 each, could be a substitute.

The two cushions put together make up a whole dachshund dog, and there's a matching Hot Dog clock for pounds 54.99.

They're both from Hunkydory Home which also caters for cat lovers.

It has a Black Cat Pendulum Clock with swinging tail, pounds 49.99, a white cat clock pounds 44.99, and white cushions decorated with black cats for pounds 35 each.

ZOO TIME As our enthusiasm for foreign travel increases, we want to reflect global style in our rooms and, of course, that often includes exotic wildlife.

Annie Deakin, editor at interiors online company mydeco.com, says: "Inspiration this season is straight out of Africa, with designers such as DKNY and Prada going wild for animal prints "Now you can journey into the wild from the comfort of your home with the latest animal styles in decoration.

"Animal designs are great fun and show that you not only have an up-to-the-minute sense of style, but also have a switched-on sense of humour."

Pick up on the chic safari theme with a quirky Ibride Ostrichshaped console table, pounds 260, available in black or glossy red, from mydeco.com Elephants never fall out of favour and Andrew Martin's Jumbo cushion, pounds 34, Butterfly Red Candyr in gold and black, is a classic and has returned for another interiors season due to demand.

An Andrew Martin red candle embossed with an elephant, pounds 10, complements the cushion.

Both are available from John Lewis.

Continue the Africa theme with a copper-look elephant ornament, pounds 12, from Next, or an elephantshaped wooden photo frame, pounds 12.50, from the Natural Collection.

More quirky but wonderfully effective is an Elephant candle-holder from Design My World, pounds 14.95.

from It features two elephants and a tree, and, when the candle is lit, it throws the silhouette of the image on to a wall to eyecatching effect.

HUNTING, SHOOTING & FISHING A style reminiscent of hunting lodges and country mansions with walls decorated with hunting spoils - stags heads - is finding favour this autumn.

If you don't want to embrace the whole decor approach, with leather, suede, and flagstone floors, content yourself by bagging a few hunting "trophies".

Fake stags or deer heads look fab as an ornament or even as wall hooks.

Marks & Spencer's metal antlers in silver cost pounds 25.

Mount a collection of a deer head pounds 75, stag head pounds 115, and a gazelle head pounds 95, all in aluminium, from Graham & Green's collection. The store also has handsome stag bookends, pounds 55.

Capture the look with Pedlars oil cloth tablecloth, from pounds 42. Choose from a deer, rabbit, horse or robin decoration.

Put a fox among the chickens - or, rather, the homeware, with New House Textiles' charming homeware collection, Red Fox, which features the creature on tablecloths, which are pounds 45 each, as well as trays and chopping boards.

BARKER & Stonehouse: 01642 230 988/ www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk Debenhams: 08445 616161/ www.debenhams.com Design My World: 0844 884 2340/ www.designmyworld.net Ezstyle: 08456 520 525/ www.ezstyle.co.uk Graham & Green: 0845 130 6622/ www.grahamandgreen.co.uk House Couturier: 020 7341 9255/ www.housecouturier.eu Hunkydory Home: 0191 645 4004/www.hunkydoryhome.co.uk John Lewis: 0845 6049 049/ www.johnlewis.com Marks & Spencer: 0845 302 1234/ www.marksandspencer.com The Natural Collection: 0845 3677 001/ www.naturalcollection.com New House Textiles: www.newhousetextiles.co.uk Next: 0844 844 8000/ www.next.co.uk Pedlars: 01330 850 400/ www.pedlars.co.uk Red Candy: 0121 4496123/ www.redcandy.co.uk White Rabbit England: 01625 419 622/www.whiterabbitengland.com Countryside charm IT SEEMS there's a growing interest in and concern about rural life, with BBC1 show Countryfile recently reporting record ratings.

And nature, echoed in colours and images in homeware, is one of the strongest trends in interiors this year.

Annie Deakin, editor at interiors online company, mydeco.com, said: "Keep that summer feeling all year round with beautiful bird motifs. Birds are big at the moment, with everything from candles and wall paper to duvet covers and vases, all dedicated to our feathered friends."

A stunning nature-themed paper from House Couturier could be perfect for a feature wall.

This company specialises in distinctive homeware, and doesn't disappoint with Loui Loui's Antik Les Oiseau, featuring gold birds flying around pink blooms on a blue background.

At pounds 196 a roll, though, the price might make you go a bit green.

For those looking for a contemporary interpretation, Birds on Branches wallpaper, which features black birds on a dark grey background, is pounds 49.95 a roll.

A white and black Loverbirds cushion, pounds 59.95, complements the design. Both available from mydeco.com Or simply use a "Birds on the wire" wall sticker designed by Ferm Living. Stickers start from pounds 34, from Ezstyle.

Accessorise with a brilliant Butterfly Clock, pounds 110 in red or stainless steel. The separate butterfly appears to be flying away from the clock face. Available from Red Candy. And add a splash of colour with a Red Admiral Butterfly Cushion, pounds 75, from Barker & Stonehouse.

Don't forget the kids, who'll love a bone china White Rabbit light, pounds 59, from White Rabbit England. It'll be so much easier to look after than the real thing!

CAPTION(S):

White Rabbit light, pounds 59, from White Rabbit England Black Cat Pendulum Clock, pounds 49.99, from Hunkydory Home k, pounds 110, from Butterfly Clock Red Candyr Loui Loui''s Antik Les Oiseaux wallpaper, pounds 196 per roll, from House Couturier Birds on Branches wallpaper, pounds 49.95 per roll, from www.mydeco.com Fashion designer Ben de Lisi, left, started a trend after designing a cushion based on his pet dog, above. Right, deer oil cloth tablecloth, from Pedlars; and, below, metal antlers, pounds 25, from Marks & Spencer Happy Hot Dog Cushions, pounds 35, from Hunkydory Home
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2009
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