August 25, 2010

Cheetahs & Zebras & Cows, Oh My!!

zebra_print_comforterLarge A couple of days ago, Vitania from Verdigris Vie tweeted that she can’t do animal prints. Well, that inspired me to write this post, because I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to convert Vitania to the wild side!!

*VERY IMPORTANT NOTE* I’m all about FAUX animal skins and animal prints. Yes, I do eat meat and yes, I do wear leather shoes. But I don’t condone using real animal skin or fur for decorating. So I’ve tried my best to find inspiration photos with FAUX animal prints. Although I think one or two real ones may have slipped in…

I can’t very well try to convince someone to use animal print in their home if I don’t have it in my own home!! This is my living room. I love how the zebra print bench and large plate on the coffee table temper the formality of the room. That’s what’s great about animal print accents here and there — they add some fun and whimsy to a room and make it feel less “serious”. By the way, there’s also a Black Lab print on the carpet in front of the sofa — that one’s real and still breathing!! ;-)



If you’re an animal print newbie like Vitania, try just one small accent in animal print. Sarah Richardson used a couple cheetah print cushions on the sectional in this office from Sarah’s House 1.


See that little bit of cheetah print poking out?!


And another cheetah print cushion at the opposite end of the sectional.


Sarah incorporated a couple of animal print cushions into this family room from Sarah’s House 2. I like the fact that the cheetah print cushion has a solid blue fabric on one side. If you get tired of the print, you can just flip the cushion over :-)


I think this is one is a real cow. Poor cow!! But see how it adds texture and pattern and a touch of funkiness to a glamourous bedroom?? It’s not in your face or over the top at all, and works well with the grey and white colour scheme.


Just like the black & white cow print in the bedroom above, the cream and brown zebra stripe cushions flow seamlessly with the colour scheme in this kitchen/seating area designed by Sarah.


New York City designer Amanda Nisbet designs wonderfully colourful rooms that are both comfortable and elegant. At first glance, the cheetah print chair stands out in this room. But take a look around and check out those amazing curtains!! They’re a stand-out in their own right :-) Which goes to show you that animal print doesn’t have to dominate a room — it can stand out but not deter from the other elements in a room.

cheetah chair amanda nisbet

I’m not sure what kind of animal print this is, but this small ottoman adds a modern touch to this elegant and traditional vignette.

spotted pouf amanda nisbet 2

One of Amanda’s bright & colourful rooms with a zebra stripe ottoman.

zebra otooman amanda nisbet

And a tan &  cream round ottoman. Isn’t the dog print on the wall above the settee adorable?!

beige zebra round ottoman amanda nisbet

Vancouver Island designer Kimberly Williams creates absolutely stunning rooms. Wouldn’t you love to be sitting on this zebra print bench right now and looking out the windows at what no doubt is an awesome view…

zebra setee kimberly williams

Tobi Fairley designed this fun girl’s bedroom. Of course, I love all the purple :-) But doesn’t the zebra print inside the canopy look great??

bed canopy tobi fairley

Turquoise lamp with a touch of cheetah :-)

cheetah cushions tobi fairley

Isn’t this tiled floor cool?!

cheetah spot tiled floor tobi fairley

And while we’re on the topic of tiles, Sara Baldwin does amazing things with tiles. Check out these animal print mosaics she created…

zebras sara baldwin

I’m 100% absolutely certain that this is NOT a real zebra skin rug!! ;-)

zebra tile mat sara baldwin

These mosaics are called Tigress.

tigress2 sara baldwin tigress1 sara baldwin

Sara collaborated with Charlotte Bunbury of Lotty B to create this amazing Leopard mosaic panel.leopard lotty 2 for web sara baldwin

Charlotte hand-paints silk kaftans, dresses, sarongs, and scarves on the island of Mustique. This was the beautiful inspiration for the Leopard panel:

lotty b leopards

Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier has the most gorgeous home that includes some zebra print here and there. You’ll probably recognize this picture from Elle Decor because I’ve posted a couple of times before. But it’s so beautiful, I’m sure it’ll help sway Vitania to the animal print side!!

monique 4

Another angle of Monique’s living room — do you see the little zebra bench tucked under the Lucite table in the back left corner of the room??

monique 1

Here it is!! :-)

monique 2

And a couple more zebra print cushions on the chaise…

monique 3

I recently discovered Toronto interior designer Carol Reed. Her portfolio is filled with wonderful rooms, including these one with the zebra (hopefully print!) rugs.

carol reed zebra rug

carol reed zebra rug 2

Zebra stripe is probably the most common animal print…

janell isabella max chair room remix     zebra chair decor arts now

zebra rug veranda zebra stools bedroom decorpad

I saved these pictures so long ago, I can’t remember where I found them. If you know the designer or the source, please let me know so I can link to them.

zebra ottoman zebra ottoman 2

A sweet little brown & cream zebra stool looks great in this coastal-inspired living room. Proof that animal prints can work with just about any decorating style :-)

zebra bench room remix

Who’s to say zebra stripes can’t be blue?!

blue cream curtains isuwannee

What do you call a mirrored bed and lucite bench with cheetah print?? Sexy!!

cheetah print lucite bench bed tobi fairley

Even though the black & white cushions on these chairs resemble zebra print, it’s the little bit of the giraffe print rug that caught my eye in this lovely room.

carpet fireplace high heeled foot in the door

Now if these pictures haven’t convinced Vitania and all of you other animal print hold-outs to add some animal print to a room in your home, I don’t know what will!!

sig purple


Cristin @ Simplified Bee said...

I love a little bit of animal print in a space... not to be overdone! Love all the pix you gathered. Thanks!


Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy said...

I hope this made a believer out of all those non-believers out there. Animal print is amazing!

Jemsmom said...

Gorgeous!!!! Now I want to find some animal print!!! I think it would be yummy looking with fall decor! Your living room is my favorite! I love the color on the wall and the gallery of pictures. You are awesome!

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

I love animal print and I love your living room! Monique's room is so great.

Wendy said...

great post - thanks for sharing!! I love your living room - classy.

Kate said...

If I was not already mad on animal print, you would have totally sold me with all those divine interiors with just a smidge of zebbie or leopard !!

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

Awesome post! I am not an animal print fan in my own home...but I do appreciate it in other people's homes. :)
Love the pictures you chose for this.

Vitania said...

Kelly - what an amazing post ! You have done a wonderful job of helping me cross over to the wild side. My faves are your living room, Sarah Richardson, Amanda Nisbet, and Monique L'Huillier's home, of course. I love the prints that are subtle and least like a real hide.

You are so good to me..

Lauren said...

It never ceases to amaze that you can find so many pics of (what I thought was) an obscure aspect of design. Zebras. Huh. Call me converted.

Ideezine said...


Of course the true sign of a great designer is vision, caring and great snaps to set your clients at ease to dream. You've covered it because even among designers having great resources makes all the difference especially when adding some animal prints to your interior world. Great post!


Emma said...

these days i'm preferring the zebra prints over the leopard. thanks for the great roundup.

Amber Rose said...

These interiors are beautiful...I love the girls purple bedroom. I kind of wish it was my bedroom...

Lisa said...

What a fabulous post! I love animal prints - especially those that aren't real animals! I think like you Kelly - you need a little bit of animal print in your home. I am going to be on the lookout for some when I redo my living room hopefully this fall/winter.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

So many beautiful rooms! Love the blue zebra! I hope you are having a great week!...hugs...Debbie

Vanessa@decor happy said...

I had done an anti-zebra post (more the real hides) awhile back but I think I could do zebra in a lighter colour (not black and white) like the Amanda Nisbet ottoman. Still can't do leapard or cheetah though!

Creative Home Decor said...

I was never one to favor animal prints but you have made a believer out of me. Used as an understated accent they add a lot of interest to a room.

Erika at BluLabel Bungalow said...

wow, what a spread of animal prints all tastefully done might I add! I like animal print as long as I don't feel like I will be devoured by the furniture!

I remember having a client with a textured cheetah comforter in KING size. I would've had bad dreams nightly sleeping in that room! I don't know how he does it!

Staci Edwards Design said...

Animal print is the best thing to add to any space to create a little bit of wow! Love the post, I did Zebra rugs this week, funny we both had animals on the brain!

Staci Edwards Design said...

Animal print is the best thing to add to any space to create a little bit of wow! Love the post, I did Zebra rugs this week, funny we both had animals on the brain!

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