March 3, 2009

Black with white stripes or white with black stripes?


sig for post

“I’m ten years old. My life is half over and I don’t even know if I’m black with white stripes or white with black stripes!”

~ Marty the Zebra, Madagascar ~

Poor Marty, suffering a serious zebra identity crisis… is he black or is he white? Does he belong in a kid’s playful bedroom or an adult’s glamourous living room? Is he cool and hip or oh-so-passé? Is he hot or is he cold? (no, wait, that’s Katy Perry).

To answer these all-important questions…

1. Is a zebra black or white? Well, it really depends on the zebra—their stripes come in patterns that are unique to each individual, just like our fingerprints. Some are more black, and some are more white. And fake zebras can come in any colour—even multi-coloured!!

zebra print

multi colored zebra

Zebras can also be brown & cream or black & tan and shaped like a chair:

BrownZebraChairzebra chair two

Or like a bench:

bench after 1

2. Where does a zebra belong? Well, preferably roaming the plains of Africa. But if you want a zebra in your house—preferably the fake kind—you can put it anywhere you want! It looks fab in this funky turquoise, black, and white bedroom designed by Angelica Grace Designs for her daughter:

angelica grace designs

What is it about black & white zebra print with turquoise that’s so hot?! From Design by Cathleen:

design by cathleen

A bunny hanging out with a zebra in a kid’s room:

zebra window bench

These lovely vignettes were designed by Porchlight Interiors:

porchlight interiors 2

porchlight interiors

You can put zebra on your stairs:

zebra stairs livingetc

You could light your zebra on fire if you really wanted to (FAKE zebras only!! Please don’t light REAL zebras on fire!!)

zebra candle bay

And finally, my absolute most favourite room everMonique Lhuillier’s gorgeous living room. It was featured on the cover of the January/February 2008 issue of Elle Decor. I keep this issue at the top of a stack of magazines on the bottom shelf of my coffee table. I put it on top of the table to take this picture, so you can see some of the similarities between Monique’s living room and my living room…

Elle decor inspiration


I LOVE absolutely EVERYTHING about Monique’s room. The gorgeous gray sofa and chairs… the organic wood side table… the geometric carpet… the mirrored coffee table… the touch of purple… and the zebra prints!!

zebra elle decor 2 monique l

The use of zebra print in Monique’s home is just perfect—there’s not too much of it, just enough to have impact… proof that zebra print can be glam!!

zebra ell decor bench

zebra elle decor cushions

zebra painting close 3. Is zebra hip & cool or oh-so-passé? Well, that’s really up to you to decide!! Do you like what you see in these pictures? Or are you rolling your eyes at the thought of zebra? For me, I go with what I love, regardless of whether or not it’s the trendy thing to do. And I love the touches of zebra print in my house. I even have a zebra painting too, which I bought about 6 or 7 years ago. I had no particular reason for buying it. There was just something about the look on the zebra’s face that appealed to me…

And as for Marty… let’s call him black with white stripes AND white with black stripes :-)

My personal little disclaimer… As much as I love zebra print, I don’t use real zebra (or animal of any kind) in my decorating. It’s faux all the way!! That’s just my own personal thing. Of course, everyone is free to decorate their homes using whatever materials they want :-)


Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

What a fun lead in to the beautiful zebra chairs.
I say go with whatever inspires you instead of following trends.

Unknown said...

Love it!

janet said...

totally agree, use what you love. For a long time i had the hankering to use a bit of zebra, the reason for my stool makeover. I also feel that most animal prints can fit any style of decor.
Great post

Lisa (aka) French said...

I love zebra and think it has a place in every home;) French

Cass @ That Old House said...

Very witty post! I like zebra prints -- when I had black and white spaniels, I used zebra fabric for their beds!

thanks for your suggestions about our sunroom. We used the Traffic Master vinyl floors in our last house, in the family room, and it was fantastic. Not sure it's right for this spot; I'm not sure WHAT will work! I'd love to put wood, but the house already has so many different wood floors, I hesitate to add another.

Many thanks! Great blog...

Angie Seaman said...

Oh thank you so very much for featuring my photo of my daughters room on your blog. How fun! I can't thank you enough. I'm honored to be on the pages of your awesome blog. And as a lover of all things zebra...I think this post ROCKED! Great write up regarding where to place zebra prints and how to decorate with the suddle but oh so poignant touches that zebra dominates with.
Thanks again. Blessings, Angie Seaman
Angelica Grace Designs

Things That Inspire said...

I will state for the record that I do not subscribe to the design rule 'every room needs a bit of animal print'. I do not have any animal print in any room of my home.

But - I enjoyed this post, and remember a staircase in a home I saw many years ago at a cocktail party. The staircase had a beautiful zebra print (in earth tones), and it was magnificent.

Great post, and thank you for your supportive comments on my blog! I am linking to you right now.

~CC Catherine said...

I absolutely love all the black and whites., and animal prints are some of my favorites! I really enjoyed this post! I really enjoyed this post! ~CC Catherine

Maria Killam said...

I was in a design showroom last year and picked up that Elle Decor magazine and accidentally walked out with it! I loved the cover of it so much, then I brought that fabric to my next clients house to sell her those 'toss cushions' and she didn't like them. I still love that cover too though!
I have to look for it again, it's around here somewhere in my piles.

Fifi Flowers said...

Black on white or white on black... LOVE it! I would say that zebra can never be out of style... I mean afterall... do you think one zebra says to another zebra am I hip or out of style... LOLOLOLOLOL

Bonnie said...

Hi Kelly,
I just had to stop by and say your Zebra post is fabulous! Those photos are amazing! But of course a giraffes gotta love his pal the zebra! Your room looks fabulous! Thank you for showing us the zebra print in very sophisticated ways.
I also really wanted to thank you for the kind comment on my new blog and your helpful advice on how to make my page look better. Im trying to tweek the way too big picture that was in my header and am playing around with the fonts and colors. Im still learning the how to's of blogging. I also just read Maria's article 10 Things Ive Learned About Blogging on her blog Color Me Happy which is also very informative. Thank you again for your help and sharing your beautiful and inspiring interior design.
Bonnie :)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Heee! I loved the post. And WHAT a great room Monique has!


Velvet and Linen said...

Great post.
I like zebra in small doses. It is a gift to be able
to pull off an animal print (Joni at Cote de Texas does it very well in her home). I have yet to take on the challenge!


High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Wonderful post. It helped give me my zebra fix. I do enjoy a little bit of animal print in a room and zebra is normally my go-to print. I loved all these images that you put together.

Anonymous said...

Where did Moniques geometric carpet come from?? Where can I buy a less expensive bound carpet that gives this large geometric look. Please don't think I'm cheap. I'm merely frugal.

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