Decorating with a Snake in Mind

The title grabbed you didn't it??? 

I am not kidding, I am decorating with a snake in mind.

Yes....our family has a pet snake. I have never divulged that information before because people can be a tad squeamish when it comes to the legless reptile. I should be more specific, it isn't our family's pet, it is my blond haired, blue-eyed, tall and quiet artsy daughter that is the owner of the said reptile.

Please meet Luna, our albino corn snake.

Yes, corn snakes can be albino too. She is a gorgeous colour, kind of reminds you of Panetone Tangerine Tango, eh???

We are injecting a bit of trend in our home via our pet. A snake has to be the easiest pet on the planet. It doesn't make noise, it doesn't smell, you only feed it every few days and she loves to wrap around your arm and sit there, all friendly-like. As lovely as a snake can be {I know a few of you beg to differ}, it is really hard to incorporate it into your design scheme without it looking all bachelor pad. 

So my dilemma to incorporate a snake into our decor scheme. My daughter's room is at a bit of a standstill because I am searching for a bookcase or some sort of hip unit to house this creature. Currently it's habitat is sitting on a el cheapo endtable from Ikea. A really bad design faux pas. Was hoping it would fit into a Billy Bookcase which now comes with a deeper measurement but the Billy isn't wide enough.


Thinking maybe an Hemnes bookcase? I want something with height to balance out the striped wall. And to fill that empty space. 
Oh ya, and to cover up the ugly that comes with owning a reptile!

 I have yet to venture to Ikea, it is a dangerous place for me and my wallet. Somehow my wallet empties quickly while there. Go figure?

I had this post written up before and scheduled to post today and then yesterday I stumbled across a blog written by a mom and daughter duo, called, Powell Brower  {FYI: they live in Northern Virginia, my old stompin' grounds} where they hacked a Hemnes bookcase! It is exactly what I was thinking of doing but I like their extra added touch of the brass corner plate! I had commented and asked if they knew the inside measurement of the shelf. And then Bethany emailed me to give me the measurements - it will fit!  I think this might be the solution.

Since designing around reptiles doesn't seem to be a popular decor topic, wondering if anyone out there knows of any other ideas that don't scrimp on style?

XO Barbara


  1. Oh Barbara, this is one heck of a design dilemma! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. The bookcase looks like it will be perfect. The brass corner plates are fab!

  2. A snake...yikes. Looking forward to seeing what you do. I am sure it will be great.

  3. Ha! My girlfriend's boys had one, that is...until it escaped. Found it mind you, but mom was a bit freaked out so it went to another home! LOL
    The Hemnes bookcase is awesome and so is the smaller expedite (we turned it on its side for our daughters room). Both could house the snake and provide her with extra storage. Neither are too pricey!

  4. I grew up in a house with four snakes thanks to my brother! He now has his own place, and a bright green room completely dedicated to his I'd call that a design faux pas! Haha. I like the solution you've come up with, I think it's perfect!

  5. Reminds me of the time my boys had geckos. I kept them on a bookshelf. I know sometimes it can be difficult to decorate when you have pets like that. Looking forward to seeing exactly what you come up with.

  6. I saw this a while back for hamsters, and maybe it could help you in the design process. Instead of trying to incorporate the cage with a piece of furniture, this person turned a piece of furniture into a cage.

  7. "Loves to wrap around your arm and sit there, all friendly-like" ...... love it! I say get the Billy bookcase and replace the aquarium with a super long modern aquarium that fits an entire shelf so it looks like art within the shelf. "Think outside the aquarium"

  8. I can say anything about the snake we have a hedgehog. And it sits in a huge cage on the floor in my daughter's room. UGLY TOO!
    I agree with Tracey about the Billy bookcase and the long rectangular aquarium looking like art. Love the little brass details added at the top of the bookcase- brillant!

  9. Thanks Barbara for the mention!
    I love your blue and white reupholstered chair, and am really enjoying your blog!


  10. I love your idea of using the bookcase, I can't wait to see the finished project!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  11. Yay - thanks for the shout-out. LOVE the colors in your daughters room... wouldnt the ikea bookcase look great in that lighter turquoise (like you said)?? :)


  12. Okay, I'm not gonna lie. I HATE snakes, so I'm no help to you AT ALL. I think you are one awesome mom to have a snake in the house at all, let alone design around one... so I'll just stay tuned on this one!

  13. EEEeek! I'm not crazy about snakes, but I'm not repulsed by them either. I had a garter snake, that I caught in the backyard, when I was a kid. How about some floating shelves (reinforced) and adding some graphic paper (a black and white geometric or damask?) to the back of the tank, so it "blends" in with the decor? Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  14. You are a good mom. I would never allow a snake in my house!! Do a search for fish tanks instead and maybe you'll have better luck. I do agree that something tall to mimic the b&w striped wall would be perfect.

  15. My husband and I have a lizard (leopard gecko) who's almost 12 years old... I agree - the cage is so ugly and I've yet to find an idea on how to display it in a chic way. hah

  16. It's really cool that she has a snake! What about the locker cabinet from Ikea? It will add a bit of teen to the room, provide some display space alongside (now, which art goes with snake?!!) and offer closed storage below.

  17. For diurnal reptiles, you can get a fluorescent all in one light for the light that they need and use a undertank heating pad with a thermostat for heat--just make sure that the pad takes up no more than 1/3 of the tank space so that they can adjust their temp as needed! The benefit to this is that the fluorescent light is flat, which makes it easier to build into a shelf and the undertank heater helps keep the environment a bit more humid. A corn snake does not need UV light so you could ditch the light altogether and just install a few decorative LEDs and a small heater.

    I am running with the above expedit hamster build for my ball python--I think I am getting a 4x4 and just building an acrylic tank into it, leaving room for the heater by attaching the floor a couple of inches up the sides and cutting a hole in the rear for the cord to feed through. Since it doesn't have to be watertight, building an acrylic tank is easy peasy and I just have to fit the pieces into the shelves after I remove the dividers. Also I will leave about 6" at the top open so I can take off the lid and for ventilation. I may cut small holes in the sides by the lid for some more airflow. And I can make it a bit taller than most standard tanks come so he can have more space to climb around on his branches. Your corn snake is in a bit of a smallish tank so building an acrylic tank into 2 shelves of the Hemnes and giving her a lot of climbing branches would definitely make her a lot happier!


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