The world of fashion has long influenced that of design and decoration—that certainly holds true now with the influx of animal prints seen gracing the recent runways of Gucci, Chloe and Celine just to name a few. These patterns can be a bit intimidating to bring into our spaces but with a few considerations you can keep up with the trend without turning your home into a zoo.
A well placed accessory, pillow or bench is a great way to dabble in the trend—or to be bold! Animal print has the ability to be spattered about in small doses or swept across a room in one dramatic gesture. Use tiger printed grasscloth on the walls of your foyer, or a cow hide rug printed to mimic a zebra skin in your breakfast nook (hides are naturally stain resistant and very durable). And if you’re averse to using real hides and furs, the fauxs are just as fabulous. Stark makes a wool carpet that’s woven to resemble an antelope hide—and it looks just as chic in a rustic mountain lodge as a Fifth Avenue penthouse.
Use caution when mixing animal prints. You might be surprised to know that if you have multiples, you should make sure they’re different species. For instance, a tortoise shell box in the same room as a zebra rug is fine, but save the zebra pillows for another room.
Re-colored, re-scaled an re-imagined prints are hot on the market this year—from a hot pink tiger velvet (by Brunschwig & Fils) or a tortoise shell-inspired pattern lacquered onto a simple coffee table in a bright hue. These are certainly more fashionforward if you dare to be so bold. Animal prints are classic patterns and in the words of Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew, “As far as I’m concerned, leopard is a neutral.”