Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Feed Your Wild Side

Decorating with animal prints

Swatches from Ralph Lauren Fabrics and Stroheim

photographs by Olga Adler

Animal prints are a so versatile and eye catching. They can make any space feel exotic and chic. They can be incorporated into so many aspects of your design: wall coverings, upholstery, window coverings, pillows or floor coverings. It is important to coordinate both the pattern and textures of the animal prints you decide upon for your space. It is also vital that you consider the scale of the print with regard to your space as a whole.

Like with any pronounced pattern, when it comes to animal print, a little goes a long way. Be especially careful when incorporating multiple types of animal print in the same room. It’s not out of the question, but it does require careful consideration and a well- trained eye.

Animal prints mix great with all kinds of wood, metal, glass and with textured materials such as sisal, grass cloth, silk, wool, velvet and mohair. Throw a zebra hide over a sisal rug, trim your drapery with an animal print tape, or go all out with a wall-to-wall cheetah carpet. You can also upholster one bench or a chair in a dramatic print and add couple of throw pillows in the same fabric to a sofa to create consistency through repetition.

If you’re looking for a big impact you might consider using animal print paper for your powder room walls or ceiling. Line your staircase with a leopard print runner. Small spaces are the ideal location for wild decorative statements.

A trend I really like is animal prints in non-animal colors: blue cheetah, yellow and white giraffe or red and taupe zebra. They are so much fun and a playful interpretation of the original pattern.

A trend I recently spotted in Europe was an extensive use of animal hides in spaces we hardly ever seen them in: hide rugs on bathroom floors and in outdoor rooms. I even saw beach chairs covered in cow hides!

Whether you opt for cheetah, leopard, tiger or giraffe, in natural colors or not, on the floor, wall or on furniture, animal prints are sure to create a splash in your home!


Olga AdlerOlga Adler is a fashion-loving and world-traveling interior designer. Known for her fondness for simple forms, love of color and unique accessories, she has won acclaim for her refreshing approach to classic design. She is the author of “Distinctive Interiors of Fairfield County” and recipient of 2010 Fairfield County “40 UNDER 40” award.

To contact Olga visit her website: www.olgaadlerinteriors.com or call 203-438-4743