Don’t be tame; take a walk on the wild side…

If short winter days and rough winter weather have left you feeling gloomy, invite the vibrancy of the Savannah into your home and embrace the animal print trend. As a byword for luxury and exoticism, animal prints will never go out of fashion and have long been a favourite on the catwalk, and they are now a hot interior trend too.

However, like anything truly wild, animal prints are not for the faint hearted. Use too much print or too many varieties and the result can look gaudy, but equally, being too timid can leave a room looking a little sad and half hearted. This trend is tricky to master but well worth the effort. It’s a case of small dose, big impression. Animal prints must be approached firmly and with poise – just like the wild beasts whose pelts they imitate.

A good tip is to pair an animal print focal point with calm neutrals to prevent overkill. In order for this to work the focal point must be brave and conspicuous, so that it makes a definite statement and contrasts clearly against the neutral background. And So to Bed have mastered this look perfectly in their latest photo-shoot for the Josephine Bed upholstered in Zebra print fabric. Surrounded by calm neutrals, the striking bed immediately attracts the eye, governing but not overpowering the scheme.

By combining animal print with bright, jewel colours, you can meld two of this season’s top trends to great effect – try Dian Von Furstenberg’s Climbing Leopard rug for The Rug Company. The bright emerald and amethyst gemstone hues compliment the leopard skin perfectly.

Climbing Leopard rug, The Rug Company

For a truly original choice of animal skins, look to the briny depths. Shagreen – the polished skin of the stingray – reached the height of fashion in the 1920’s and has been a mark of elegance and finesse.  Silk specialists James Hare have been inspired by this extraordinary substance to create a new range of Shagreen Silk fabrics for the home in a range of beautiful colours and with the exquisite Shagreen texture.

Shagreen Silk Collection, James Hare

Although animal prints occur naturally in a fairly muted palette, they can also work in a kaleidoscope of different colours in the home. This image from Homes & Gardens magazine shows how chic a coloured animal print can be, especially as a small accent in a carefully constructed scheme. Here, polychrome and neutral coloured leopard prints have been juxtaposed, to great effect.

A cowhide rug is a subtle, earthy addition to an interior scheme, but morally, those of an animal-friendly nature may be loath to sacrifice a cow at the altar of fashion. This digital cowhide rug designed by Young & Battaglia and available on Mineheart online store may be the answer. Washable, hypoallergenic, and printed in miniscule detail on a rubber backed fabric, this rug is strikingly realistic and comes in an elongated version to fit longer spaces perfectly. Stunning and kind to cows.

Digital Cowhide Rug, Young & Battaglia

So animal print is not the simplest of trends to master, but handled carefully, it can act as a great focal point in a scheme. Don’t be scared – take a walk on the wild side.

Comment

  1. Julia says: December 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Love it!

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