How to Put an Elephant in Your Room

Sounds like the title of a kids’ book, doesn’t it? But elephants are actually considered to be a symbol of strength, power, and mindfulness in many cultures; it’s revered for its wisdom and patience. In feng shui, the elephant brings about energies of good luck, friendship, protection, and love.

So how to incorporate the elephant in your home without looking like a page out of Babar? Thanks to the positive associations of these gentle giants, elephant decor is relatively easy to find and install, wherever your tastes and style may lean. They don’t need to be oversized and gaudy; sometimes they blend so well with the decor that you’d never notice they’re there.

A brief guide to elephant positions and what each symbolizes according to the principles of feng shui (via about.com):

  • An elephant with its trunk up (most commonly found) symbolizes the showering of good luck
  • Two elephants with intertwined trunks symbolize friendship and love
  • An elephant with its trunk down is used as a fertility cure; in this position, the elephant is accumulating energy and pushing through obstacles
  • A pair of elephants is a symbol of protection, often placed at the entrance of Asian buildings. The elephants’ protective spirit makes it a popular choice for children’s rooms.
  • An elephant in one’s office or study exudes wisdom and knowledge.

Your pachyderm can double as a modern-art display or focal sculpture:

Living Room by Kanner Architects – CLOSED
Dining Room by GSQUARED architects
Living Room by CCS ARCHITECTURE
Entry by TruLinea Architects Inc.
Family Room by Moceri Homes
Bathroom by Inspired Interiors

(That’s the shower curtain reflected in the mirror! Who wouldn’t smile at that?)

Because of their protective symbolism, elephants often make an appearance in children’s rooms:

Nursery by Portico Design Group
Nursery by Dwell by Cheryl Interiors
Nursery by Anita Roll Murals

Some have even taken to mounting elephant “heads” on walls, taxidermied-moose-style:

Photo credit: Jennifer Young
Nursery by E.V.M. BESPOKE DESIGN

The easiest way to get some elephants into your home is with figurines or other assorted accessories; it’s less obtrusive and more decorative, but beware: it can border on kitschy. Even your tub faucet can get in on the fun!

Barclay Tub Rim-Mounted Faucet with Handheld Shower and Elephant Spout
Bedroom by Saddletree Homes
Family Room by David Howell Design
Hickory Hardware Safari Hand-Painted Gray Elephant Pull
Bathroom by REFINED LLC

Elephants are especially significant in Asian cultures, and are, naturally, practically ubiquitous in many Asian-styled homes:

Entry by China Furniture and Arts
Bathroom by China Furniture and Arts
Kitchen by Start To Finish Drafting & Design

Happy National Elephant Appreciation Day (yes, it really is), everyone!

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