Each week Mansion Global tackles an interior design topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at how to tastefully decorate a home with animal prints.
For the minimalists among us, designing a home with animal print can certainly seem like taking a walk on the wild side. Yet, “animal prints are almost a neutral that can be used in any interior,” said Phillip Thomas, founder and principal of Phillip Thomas Inc. in New York City. Done in earthy tones of black, brown, or beige, cheetahs, zebras and leopards can be chic and further the overall feel of the room.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) January 3, 2018
“Animal prints add dimension and bring so much personality to an interior,” said Richmond, Virginia-based interior designer Natalie Reddell. “They have an exotic and traveled feel that’s also a bit playful, making them a great tool for layering.”
Whether your style is tame or unrestrained, follow these tips from design pros to pattern your space with ease.
It’s a textural thing
“Animal print throws and pillows can add a layer of texture and pattern to a room. Often they mix very well with other bold patterns, like stripes, for an unexpected effect. The addition can really enliven an otherwise neutral palette.
"Animal print rugs and ottomans are also wonderful ways to add a touch of warmth and glamour to a space. The pattern can hide wear and tear.
"As long as the tones of the animal print are complementary to the tones of the other fabrics in the space, the animal print will successfully work.”
— Phillip Thomas, founder and principal of Phillip Thomas Inc. in New York City
Experiment with style and color
“For me, animal print is a neutral, so I think it’s hard to make a mistake. I like that it works with menswear fabrics and masculine tartans as well as with feminine florals. Because there are so many different styles of animal print, I often select it toward the end of a design scheme to fill in any holes. If I’ve selected a large-scale floral and a wide-striped rug, I might select a small-scale leopard or cheetah print for balance. Likewise, if I am using mostly solids on fabrics and walls, I might add a cowhide rug or large-scale zebra stripe on a chair.
"It is so helpful to see things in person, especially if adding animal print is outside of your comfort zone. Buy a few different options to try in your space. If you’re ordering fabric or wallpaper samples, consider a safe option and a bold option. For so many of my clients, the selections that scare them the most end up being their favorites.
"I have used animal print on just about everything. I love it as a runner on a staircase because it makes the staircase a real design statement and it hides spills and wear. I occasionally use cowhide rugs; I love that they lay so thin and flat and they wear incredibly well, too.
— Natalie Reddell, Richmond, Virginia-based interior designer
"Long gone are the days of animal print being cheetah skin for everything.
"Also, one animal print item is the key to success, as you want it to be an accent that is part of the story told in a space, not the entire focus of the room. I rarely say this with color and texture, but with animal print, less is more.
"If you’re going for minimal, my advice is to use accent décor—pillows, a cashmere throw, a rug, etcetera. This way you can spice up your space but also allow room to change your décor without having to completely rework your vision.
"If you’re going for eclectic, step up the vibe with color. For some, a grey python throw pillow on a bed with many pillows is a huge step, which is great. For others, purple python can be a total game changer.”
— Taylor Spellman, designer and host of Bravo’s “Yours Mine or Ours”
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: email@example.com