In my 2D design class in art school, my teacher filled a bowl with scraps of paper on which were written different natural objects or animals. From that object, we had to create a repeat pattern in three different color schemes. I randomly picked sea anemone from the bowl, and, to really date myself, I walked promptly to the library to look up sea anemone in the encyclopedia. Yes, you heard me, this was BGE (Before the Google Era).
It was really that lesson that taught me how pattern and design are organically derived from nature. I kinda want that assignment again—maybe with another sea creature—to see what I'd do with it twelve years later. (Okay fine, fifteen years.)
At first glance, this wallpaper by Paperboy appears to be an abstract pattern, but after a few seconds, you realize you're looking at shadow puppets. How sweet for a kids room?
Dan Funderburgh takes a sort of different approach and weaves city icons into his more traditional floral patterns. This wallpaper is appropriately called Central Park (notice the rats).
Turner Peacock wallpaper works in a little bit of British sports iconography and a little bit of the animal world. Both are totally genius. The green paper is called Tennis (they also have a Cricket design) , and the neutral one, Ibis. Found via Design Sponge.
If you're in the market for a sea anemone-inspired wallpaper, just holler. I'm your girl.