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Becky Harris – April 15, 2016
The slippery New Zealand sea creature has the internet abuzz, but an octopus as a conversation starter is nothing new to designers.
By now you may have read about Inky the Octopus, a crafty creature who probably could have escaped from Alcatraz with ease. In honor of Inky’s jailbreak from New Zealand’s National Aquarium — he climbed out of his tank and slid across the floor into a small drain hole leading to the sea — we’re taking a look at how these incredible creatures star in home design.
At first I considered myself qualified to write this based on the very large octopus on my shower curtain, in the bathroom I refer to as The Squid and the Whale Room. However, typing that made me realize I don’t know the difference between squids and octopuses. So I watched some YouTube videos, refreshed myself on wherephylum is in the biological classification system and studied photos of round versus torpedo-shaped heads. But apologies in advance for any squids that have slipped, Inky-like, through the cracks.
This is the same shower curtain I have, but this bathroom is much more photogenic than mine. I really love the photo styling here. It’s kind of like someone left evidence around for a game of Clue, and the answer is “Inky in the bathroom with the rope.” In the real mystery of Inky, The Washington Post reports that suction cup prints on the floor helped the aquarium staff solve the mystery of where he went.
Nautical Octopus shower curtain: Thomas Paul
After Inky escaped from his tank, he slithered across the floor and into a drain that leads to the waters of Hawke’s Bay, off New Zealand’s North Island. So it’s only appropriate to include this photo of an octopus shower drain. Shower drains are an often-missed design opportunity— why not have some fun with one?
Floor tile: Walker Zanger; drain:Designer Drains
Likewise, this eight-legged tile mosaic adds some life to this shower floor. It almost looks like this guy is getting ready to see where the drain will take him.
Decorative artist Anita Roll created this mural in a child’s room. The idea of a giant sea monster on the wall might sound terrifying, but Roll’s execution — in orange with the big surprised eyes — makes the creature absolutely lovable.
A bright orange mosaic octopus is a major star in this Antoni Gaudí-inspired submarine bathroom. It’s just one of the artistic rooms in Jaina Bee’s one-of-a-kind San Francisco home.
This elegant silver octopus gets to sit atop the fancy towels. The styling makes it looks as if the towels are so fluffy they’ll bounce right out of there without their tentacled protector.
Here’s a more menacing rendering of the sea creature, a popular one we’ve seen used in every type of room. It adds some tension to the comfortable calm neutrals in this bedroom.
Lord Bodner Octopus Print: Foundry
There’s a wild story about how this creature had an encounter with deep-sea divers in the Irish Sea in 1812 that sounds like a tall tale but makes for a great read.
Lord Bodner Octopus Print: Foundry
There’s no sign of Moby Dick in this Nantucket bathroom. Riptide Finishes created the wonderful custom stencil work that adorns the walls.
A unique octopus chandelier by local artist Adam Wallacavage is an unexpected stunner in a Philadelphia rowhouse.
It’s so good it deserves two photos, so you can see how it looks from below.
I’m sure Inky’s aquarium pals must miss him, but I’ll think of him whenever I come across an octopus robe hook, shower curtain, drain, chandelier, print, pillow, bean bag chair, mobile or hamper.
Does your fascination with Inky’s ilk predate his quiet escape? Please share your octopus art in the Comments!