There are many different types of outdoor décor you can use to enhance the look of your space. However, when it comes to beauty, elegance, and power all rolled into one, a guardian lion statue is the only option. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to get started with them.
Humans have made statues of the lion since ancient times. The king of the beasts symbolizes strength, bravery, ferociousness, but also has been used to portray the monarchy and extreme wealth. So it’s no wonder we find representations of this creature so captivating.
The Ideal Classic Protector
In the past guardian lion statues could only be afforded by the extremely wealthy. They were often carved from stone or cast from metal and left unpainted. They depicted incredibly impressive male lions with full flowing manes and rippling muscles.
These stately yet intimidating beasts were placed on both sides of the entrance ways of mansions and manors where they stood guard and made an impact on anyone who saw or passed between them.
Luckily nowadays you don’t have to be a lord, lady, or business baron to be able to afford and enjoy the benefits of a regal guardian lion statue. Although in owning one or a pair, you will certainly feel like you are. Most statues are made in the same style as you’d see in a European or English estate in the past.
Many are influenced from famous Italian statues in particular. You’ll see this in both in their realistic appearance but also in their names, such as the “Lion of Florence Statue,” for example.
Chinese Guardian Lions
Another option in terms of style is a Chinese guardian lion statue. These are also sometimes called, Chinese fu dog statues, or lion dog statues. They were originally used in pairs to guard ancient temples and palaces. But also in front of houses as a show of wealth for well-to do families.
While they originated in China they can be found throughout many Asian countries. Unlike European or English, inspired lions which are highly realistic, Asian lion statues are generally more artistic in their representation.
Another difference is that while both statues in a pair will usually have manes, they actually represent the female and male. The female lion symbolizes the yin and male the yang. The female often is made to have a cub under her left paw while the male has a ball under his right which is a representation of the cycle of life.
According to Chinese belief, the female is believed to protect those who live in the building it’s guarding, and the male protects the structure itself.
When deciding on a statue one of the most important things you’ll need to consider what material works best for your budget, space and preferences.
Resin: By far the most common choice and the least expensive is plastic resin. A resin guardian lion statue can be made to look just like metal, concrete, or even hand-carved stone. Resin options are often highly detailed yet cost a fraction of the price of the materials they mimic.
In fact from a few feet away, it can often be hard to tell the difference. They are also lighter in weight and durable enough to be used outdoors. Because they are lightweight some smaller resin statues may need to be weighed down. This can often be done by simply adding some sand inside the base.
Concrete: Concrete guardian lion statues are extra tough and very heavy duty. While weight will vary depending on their size, they do typically weigh several hundred pounds each.
Concrete options can have a lot of detail and look like stone, particularly when they are weathered. Some statues actually use cast stone concrete to allow them to simulate the appearance of carved stone even more closely.
Stone: Just like in the past some of the most visually striking and also expensive statues today are made from natural stone. These are often hand carved from stones like marble, travertine, and granite. Their warm look and exquisite details make stone the most copied material choice and one that is guaranteed to make a serious statement.
Metal: Metal statues are a timeless favorite particularly those made from bronze. A bronze guardian lion statue set or an individual lion will without a doubt cost more than other materials.
However it will also be sure to make a stunning focal point that grabs attention and adds to the look of your home. Many metal statues will even come with a patina, to give them that aged and weathered look as well.
Guardian lion statues are made to serve as imposing and extravagant protectors by placing one on each side of entryways. This makes them a natural choice for outdoor entrances of all types. By placing them on either side of a driveway, they are the first thing visitors see when viewing your home.
This can make for a dramatic look that’s up close and personal. The same goes for gate entrances and the front of walkways and paths leading to your house. One of the most popular choices of all is on either side of your front door which gives the effect of framing it.
Stairs and porches are also locations that work well. Both single and pairs of statues are often used in gardens beds. And don’t overlook using them to flank the sides of pools, patios or garages.
Outdoor and indoor fireplaces are also highly popular areas. In the home placing a pair at the base of a large stairwell is always an option too. And many people like to use very small guardian lion statues as bookends on their shelves for an added touch of class.
Don’t Forget Feng Shui
If you are using Chinese guardian lion statues you may want to take a tip from the principles of feng shui. According to them in order to be able to reap all the spiritual benefits of your lions you’ll need to position them correctly. And that means when facing your home, the male lion should be on the right and the female on the left.
There are many different size statues to choose from. The size you pick will come down to what you like but should also be based on the size of the space you are working with. These statues make a big presentation and attract a lot of attention especially since you will most likely be adding two of them.
In general, the bigger the space, the bigger the lion. So for example for a spacious entranceway or driveway in an open space you’ll want to consider a large lion statue. Although while it’s alright to go a bit bigger than you would with other types of statues, you don’t want to go overboard in smaller spaces and risk making it look gaudy with something enormous.
Likewise you also don’t want to go so little that your statues are overshadowed by the size of your home or space. Because the interior of a home is much less open than outdoors, even a small lion statue can look pretty big. So let the amount of space you are working with help to guide your decision.
And of course remember to always look at the dimensions carefully when purchasing, as photos of statues can be deceiving when it comes to how big or small they really are.
Positions And More
Statues come with lions in a handful of various positions so it’s definitely worth taking a look at the different options to see what you like first. A standing lion statue can add some height to a space and give the appearance of being on guard.
A sitting statue on the other hand typically will portray more of a relaxed feel while still adding height as well. Or you may prefer the look of a reclining lion statue. This might be lying down but still in an alert pose or even sleeping. Although no one in their right mind would want to wake a sleeping lion, let alone two!
Similar to many famous and historic sculptures, there are also options which feature lions with a single or both paws on a sphere. A lion statue with shield is another way to go which in the past would have most likely displayed a coat of arms. Expression can be important too, you might prefer a roaring beast or one that has a more peaceful demeanor.
Vital Tips For Purchasing
When shopping for statues you’ll want to keep in mind that this is not the time to mix and match. These statues are supposed to be uniform and create a sense of balance on either side of where they are placed. If they are different sizes, colors, or styles it can actually take away from the look you are trying to achieve.
The easiest way to go is to purchase a pair. If you do buy them individually be sure to stick with the same manufacturer and model for both. It’s also very important to decide which way you’d like your lions to face. Typically this means looking straight ahead or inwards.
Lions that are looking straight ahead can be placed on either the left or right without a problem. When you want them to look inwards you’ll need to make sure that you are purchasing two lions that are mirror images of each other.
So one will be looking left and placed on the right, and the other will be looking right and placed on the left. You may want to be careful not to purchase two lions that have their heads turned in the same direction. This is can easily happen, and many people find that it doesn’t look cohesive to them. But of course it’s a matter of preference.
These statues are generally used in two’s since that’s what they were originally designed for. However you may prefer the look of a single statue or simply don’t have the space for more than that. Either way a single lion guardian statue can make for a regal piece of décor on its own.
Add Height And Impact
A trick you can use to make statues look bigger is to place them higher up. Many manufacturers offer pedestals to set them on that also match their color and style.
Some statues may come standing, sitting, or lying on pedestal already that’s a part of the sculpture itself. Another option you can use to add some height is to place statues on pillars if you have them, stairs, or any other flat raised surfaces.
Accent Your Guardians For Maximum Effect
There quite a few options that you can use to accent your guardian lions and make them stand out even more. There are many lion-themed pieces of décor and furniture. For example a door knocker with a lion’s face can help add an extra but significant touch to doorways. But there are also garden benches and water features that are feature decorative lion motifs as well.
If you’d like to add to your collection, or start one there are many other types of lions too. Many of these are hand-painted so that they have realistic markings and colors.
You may want to create a pride with a female lion statue and some cubs. There are also options that depict lions from religious stories such as in the Bible (the lion and the lamb) and those from mythology like winged lions. And remember if you find one you like, you can always use it as a guardian. Or for that matter two of them!
There you have it, you now know everything you’ll need to choose the perfect guardian lion statue for your specific space. Your home is your castle and that castle needs protectors.
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