As someone who's always enjoyed decorating with animal print, I'm more than pleased to hear that the multiple tiger-printed items that I have on display in my living room are majorly en vogue. Animal print is majorly trending, and we're here for it.
“We actually consider an animal print as a neutral, as it blends with diverse interior styles, just as it does with fashion styles," Diane Meyer of Interior Designs Atelier shares with MyDomaine. "We’ve all seen it in the fashion industry for years. We place animal prints in our designs just as we do neutrals, next to patterns, next to colors, and next to textures."
What must you keep top of mind when decorating with animal print? We asked designers who love to use it to weigh in with their go-to tips.
Remember, Animal Print is Unexpected Yet Timeless
"Animal print, though it can be overused, is so timeless," Alex Alonso of mr. alex TATE Design says. "Different prints just add such a quirky element to any space and dial up the funkiness instantly. I love that they can be a little unexpected."
Though Alonso's clients are oftentimes a bit hesitant to work an animal print into the mix, they end up loving the result. "I guess the print finds you and not the other way around," he says.
Breegan Jane expresses similar views. "Animal prints probably aren’t the first things that come to most people’s minds, but they can be a really beautiful and unexpected moment in a space if done well," she says. "Using animal print is a fun departure from what’s expected in a home. It’s bold and adventurous—or at the very least, fun and lively."
Use Animal Print to Lighten Up a Space
Meyer enjoys introducing animal print to a formal living room. "It's a signal that it's okay to have fun in this space, to let your guests know that you have a sense of humor," she says. "For a stunning twist, use an on walls or floor. It can provide a background to an otherwise patternless room."
And there are ways to utilize it so that it isn't super loud. "We just reupholstered an ottoman in a dark navy leopard pattern on a navy background, it is so subtle that you can’t see the pattern unless you’re up close," Meyer shares.
Think About Installing Animal-Themed Wallpaper
Note that welcoming a tiger-striped sofa or throw pillow into your living room isn't the only way that you can embrace animal print in your home. You can take the trend a step further and install wallpaper with an animal motif, as Jane has done in the powder room seen here.
"Powder rooms are the ideal places to go big or go home, in my opinion," she comments. "I love using bold, bright, vibrant prints and patterns in these spaces. I see them as fun opportunities to throw caution to the wind and give guests a little surprise when using the space."
Try This Approach if You're Feeling Shy
If you're more inclined to embrace the animal print trend slowly, there are still plenty of ways that you can introduce the look into your home without making a major splash.
"If someone is shy about introducing animal prints into their home, I would recommend using them only as accent pieces that can be easily swapped out and also using them in smaller secondary spaces," Lauren Sullivan of Well x Design advises. "This will make a space feel special but not overwhelming." Zebra, Meyer says, is sort of the "gateway animal print, because it will go with just about any design."
And keep in mind that a little bit of animal print will go a long way. "With animal prints, less is more," Alonso notes. "A throw pillow here and there, an accent chair in the corner. All will introduce the element subtly but give the design a little depth. You don’t need to clad your walls in a cheetah print, but if you want to, please call me!"