Lions in Design

Lions in Design - roomfortuesday.comGood day, design friends! Peggi here. Happy August! Summer has been especially scorching recently, so I hope you are maintaining your cool. Despite the disrespectful temperatures, I love August because it’s my birthday month! For a fun nod to Leo season, I thought we could discuss lions in design. We’ve already chatted snakes and birds, so why not the king of the jungle? Because lions symbolize courage, pride, and strength, their likeness boasts a long history of cultural and religious associations and numerous distinct forms. From subtle to bold, I found lions to suit every space and taste. Click through if you’d like to see how this stately beast might grace your home.

Lions in
via branca

Ancient Rome, Chinese temples, Trafalgar Square. Scotland, France, Sri Lanka. You won’t encounter lions native to any of these locales, yet you can find the big cats majestically wrought in marble or bronze and emblazoned on national flags and royal crests alike. For thousands of years, people have sought to invoke and embody feline ferocity.

Lions in
via house and garden uk

Since you’re probably not in the market for a 2-ton bronze lion statue, check out the collage to see some alternatives I gathered. (If you are in the market for a 2-ton bronze lion statue…jealous.)

Click right on the images to be redirected to the source, or use the numbered links below to shop my finds.

01: zoffany wallpaper // 02: vintage brass lion bookends // 03: classic lion head planter // 04: brass lion head wall hook // 05: vintage green glass lion // 06: lion floor doorstop // 07: cast iron lion towel ring // 08: lion candle snuffer // 09: vintage lion rug // 10: vintage toothpick holder // 11: wedgwood lion pin tray // 12: lion head mug // 13: gucci forks // 14: vintage brass paperweight // 15: stylized lion pillow // 16: brass lion door handles // 17: vintage lion bottle opener // 18: art deco lion print // 19: foo lion cocktail napkins // 20: vintage wedgwood card holder // 21: brass planter with lion head handles //

How’s that for a pretty pride of lions? I’m tempted to rave about every single item, but I’ll focus on just a few. First, let me confess that #13 is, in fact, a $600 pair of Gucci lion head forks. What can I say? Leos dream big. On the more realistic end of the spectrum, we have #5, a vintage Avon cologne decanter! (that I might secretly snag for myself…) I’m gaga for that green glass. Numbers 17 and 19 would raise the swank factor of any bar situation; add #10 to hold cocktail picks or matches. Finally, I adore #4! The lion’s regal countenance, plus the swish of tail for the hook? Stop. What about you? Any favorites?

Lions in Design - roomfortuesday.comIn case you’re still unsure of incorporating lions into your decor, please note that three of these images are from Sarah’s home. What’s more refined and timeless than that? These examples illustrate subtle, classic applications like brass drawer pulls and carved wooden embellishments. (Congratulating myself for grabbing that concrete planter from the Tuesday Made shop before it sold out!) Other understated possibilities include small brass figurines or a pair of foo lions. How about a special doorstop (#6) or a pretty mug (#12)? Even if you prefer quieter gestures, this motif can work for you.

Lions in Design - roomfortuesday.comIf you came for the drama though, I got you! Ha. That vintage lion rug (#9)? Presence, baby. It was made for an extravagant closet or dressing room. For some enveloping excitement, say yes to wallpaper. I actually think the Zoffany paper in the collage reads as a stately damask. For a definite dose of kaboom, try this! Of course, my favorite way to make a statement…art! I’ve been hunting for a vintage, somewhat primitive, original painting like the one in the House and Garden space above. No luck yet sadly, but I also dig this tapestry. (And what a steal!) So, are you ready to roar?

Lions in
via veranda

Unlike other design elements we’ve discussed, lions naturally lend themselves to exterior use. In fact, surely the earliest iterations were statues. Not every property wants a huge stone fountain, but maybe a modest wall spout would work. In lieu of a water feature, all manner of planters adorned with lions are readily available. You’re sure to find the perfect size and style. Fill one with some lion’s tail for a colorful and cheeky display.

Lions in
via hilderbrand interiors

Inside or outdoors. Sophisticated or cool. Classic brass, timeless chinoiserie or stylized midcentury. So many options!  What do you think? Can you envision a little leonine loveliness making its way into your home? Any fellow Leos out there? Happiest of birthday months to you! As always, I love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so pop in to the comments below! Until next time.

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  1. Peggie, enjoyed this post and had a chuckle at your “ready to roar” comment! Clever! The topic of lions always reminds me of ‘The Lion King’ because our daughter watched it a million times (not kidding). Even though she is 23 now, it is still fresh in my memory. LOL!
    I enjoyed the adult discussion on the subject and your finds were interesting. I love the brass lion head planter on Etsy. The door knocker and paper weight were my faves too! Sarah’s bench is so beautiful. What a great score. Glad you got the pottery. It’s a nice piece.
    Some day I hope to explore Europe and all its fountains and statues. Have a great Wednesday! Hope you’re having a cooler one!

    1. Hello, Danna! I thought about Lion King, the Chronicles of Narnia and kids’ rooms; that could have been a whole separate post! Love your picks from the roundup. Aren’t the scalloped edges on that planter adorable? I, too, dream of European vacations. I think Italy might be number one on my list. Yesterday was our first day below 100 in forever. Slightly cooler temps will help us survive until our new AC is installed next week. Thanks for popping in and have a stupendous Wednesday!

  2. Ooh, so gorgeous! I adore all of these pretty choices. Something about the sleek simplicity of number 8 has my heart a flutter. Did you know that number 17 is actually a Merlion? It’s a symbol of Singapore, which was my home for three years. I might need to beat you to that bottle opener for my bar cart! The Wedgewood plate brings back memories of my dear Mum and her friends who all seemed to acquire collections of jasperware for 21sts and weddings in the 60s. My mother had a little round lidded trinket box she used for her wedding ring set. Oh so lovely. Such happy memories of lives well lived! Thank you for making my morning coffee with this post Peggi. I could quite possibly take it all!! Oh if money were no object.

    1. Hello, Rhonda! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post! I definitely love the sleek look of #8. The seller describes #17 as a Merlion, but I didn’t realize that was a real thing. So interesting that it’s the symbol of Singapore! Now I’ll have to go do some extra credit reading. Ha. What sweet memories of your mom’s treasures. I do admire the chalky classic look of Wedgwood. And I wasn’t kidding when I said I would own every single item. Creating pretty roundups to share is the next best thing. I hope your day is fab! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat.

  3. Good morning and happy Leo season indeed! You know I love a classic animal motif, and of all the options out there, lions are perhaps my favorite (for home decor). There’s something about a lion head water feature, planters like the one in Sarah’s shop, or a beautiful lion head door knocker, that add a sense of whimsy or mystery…not sure the term I’m looking for, but you get it. Right away #2 grabbed my attention. I’m picturing built in bookshelf with these bad boys! Loving #4- can you even with the tail as the hook? I may have to order these for long hallway off the entry. #9?!! 🤯🤯 I know it’s a rug, but if I had the dough to score this one it would become a wall tapestry. What I’m majorly swooning for is #15. I’ve been searching for pillows this size, and on the must have list was these exact colors, and an animal motif of some sort. I majorly dig these, and can see them perched in the swivel chairs in the front room. Let’s talk office styling…how fierce is the paper weight?! I’m loving this roundup and it’s got the wheels turning. Cheers to another Peggi post to die for, and a kickoff to your birthday month. Have you figured out where you’re headed yet? Stay cool my friend. Xo

    1. Hello, hello, friend! Glad to know you are a fellow lion lover! For me, they just exude cool, contained power and beauty. As for your picks, I’m nodding in agreement. I’m tempted to buy some bookshelves just to showcase #2; I find their faces especially handsome. I already professed my love for #4-so great for an entry! I had the same thought about using #9 as a tapestry; he is so very handsome. And omg, the colors in that pillow do seem perfect for your front room! (I see that she will provide a free swatch just to be safe.) I appreciate that the beautiful lion fabric is both front and back; plus the shop has over 2000 great reviews. Thanks for always matching my excitement level. (It’s a lot sometimes. Ha. Like I always say, Leo problems.) As for our getaway destination, I only know it’s “above the treeline and there’s a lake nearby.” He’ll reveal the address tomorrow before we leave because I’m always in charge of navigation. I’m excited for a little adventure! Have an amazing day, Lauren!

  4. I love your posts so much! You have me itching to buy some of those beautiful lions you gathered in your collage. I can’t wait to hear all about your birthday trip- hopefully you’re off to someplace wonderful and fun :) Thanks again for an amazing post… your writing is always my favorite :) Happy Friday, Peggi! xo

    1. Hello, Sarah! Thank you SO much! I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to contribute here-even a little bit. I can envision a couple of those lion items living happily in your home. As for our trip, we had the best time in the mountains. The boys were wonderful, and it was 43 degrees at night. Sigh. Currently searching Zillow for mountain locations. Ha.💜

  5. “Despite the disrespectful temps” had me (almost literally) rolling on the floor. (Since I’m stuck in isolation in our bedroom {stupid covid finally got me} it wouldn’t have been a far “fall”.) 🤣 Just had to say how much I love your posts, Peggi! That lion fountain is. To. Die. For!! 😍 Hoping you’re having a wonderful birthday month!

    1. Happy Saturday, Anne! Boo to covid!! I hope you are getting plenty of rest and are quick to recover. Thank you for your kind words. I always have such fun writing posts for you guys. Isn’t that fountain gorg? I can only dream of a garden like that! My birthday as wonderful because my people are the best! Thanks for popping in and take care!!💜