Animal Print Allure

Take a walk on the wild side by incorporating animal prints into your home décor. To ensure your design is tasteful instead of tacky, a good rule of thumb is to use only one type of animal print on one item in your room. Here’s a breakdown of three of the most popular prints:

Black, White and Style All Over: Zebra prints add zing to any space, and the easiest (and most popular) way to incorporate zebra is with a rug. To keep it from being the sole presence in the room, combine it with various colors and textures, as seen here in this design by Elizabeth Gordon.

Another fabulous look that is sure to turn heads is adding zebra print to your stairs.

Camila from High-Heeled Foot in the Door created a similar style using wall decals (which can easily be peeled off when ready for a new look).  Or, go literal with wall décor with a mounted faux zebra head (psst … faux taxidermy is another trend!) or wallpaper starring the chic creature.

Zebra Cowhide Rug by West Elm
Zebra Pillar Candles by Z Gallerie
Oly Faux Zebra Oliver Ottoman from The Picket Fence
Round Leather Wrapped Table Lamp by Ralph Lauren Home
Zebras Wallpaper by Scalamandre
Mounted Zebra by Evolution

Seeing Spots: Playing with leopard or cheetah prints can quickly become dangerous, a la Playboy Mansion circa 1989, so it’s better to be safe and slowly work this trend into your home. Start with one piece, such as a pillow, rug or ottoman and build on it. Leopard print has a very Old Hollywood Glamour appeal, and pairs well with jewel tones and mirrored furniture.

Even if you prefer subtle style, you can mix it with a variety of patterns, textures and colors and it almost becomes a neutral, as seen in this design by Emily Johnston of EJ Interiors (don’t spot the spots? The print is on the chaise lounge – see how subtle it can be?!).

Spot 101: The technical difference between leopard and cheetah prints is cheetahs’ are dark, one-color spots while leopards have two-tone (and considered rosette-like) spots, but both styles have the same effect. Jaguar prints are also sometimes seen in décor (though less than other cats) and their markings also include rosetted dots but with spots in the center as well as a darker, thicker outline.

Cheetah Fabric by Ballard Designs
Leopard Flannel Bedding by Garnet Hill
Suzanne Kasler Jaguar Rug from Zinc Door
Leopard Decorative Pillow from Target
Leopard Melamine Plate by Stationery Studio

Gaga for Giraffe: A longtime favorite for nurseries, giraffe print is slowly growing up and making its way into the rest of the home.

Lazy Susan Nested Faux Giraffe Boxes from Candelabra
Giraffe Appetizer Plates from Animal Print Essentials
Michael Kors Narobi Cotton Sheets from Safari Bedding
Giraffe Print Ottoman from Walmart
Giraffe Print Pillow Cover from The Foundary
Giraffe Fabric from Brunschwig & Fils by Kravet

Animal Rebellion: Of course, what’s design without breaking a few rules? Joe Nye effortlessly styles this Los Angeles condo with both leopard and zebra prints. The neutral color walls (Benjamin Moore’s Shenandoah Taupe) help anchor the design.

For an unexpected nod to the safari style, grab your favorite animal print in an unnatural hue such as green, blue or yellow, which allows you to add print to a room no matter the color palette.

Sunflower Zebra Print Chair by Horchow
Green Zebra Porcelain Tray by Furbish Studio
Blue Leopard Print Fabric by Duralee
Giraffe Reese/White Fabric from Premier Fabrics
Drum Pendant in Giraffe in Tangerine Orange by Alluminare


Photo credits: EJ Interiors; Joe Nye design by Jonn Coolidge