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BRIANA: Leopards and zebras and Dalmatians?! Oh my! They’re all over the runways (and my nails), but do you want animal prints in your home? Sharpen your claws and let me hear you roar!

leopard throw

LILI: When I was in college, my roommate and I re-covered a wingback armchair in leopard print velour. It was the best thing that ever happened to that chair, or that apartment.

lili leopard chair

Lili on her leopard throne. "This is what the 90s looked like."

GRANT: We live in a Kardashian world — and the three sisters agree that animal print is in — and that we should be draped in it (on our bodies and in our home). If it was only Kim pushing the look, I’d question the trend. But with Kourtney and Khloe on board too, we should probably just embrace it.
kardashians in animal print

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: I may be one of the few interior designers who is NOT a huge fan of animal prints. If I do use them, I stick with a cowhide area rug; the graphic contrast and organic shape are what I’m drawn to. My least favorite is probably leopard. However, when used in high-end spaces by mega designers like Kelly Wearstler and Miles Redd, they can be tasteful. Instead, I use a lot of vinyl animal texture such as emu and/or crocodile. The subtle texture is both organic and graphic, and when used as wallcovering, tons of depth is added to a room. I am also 36 years old and watch Married to Jonas, iCarly and Wizards of Waverly Place, so there’s always that to consider.

SUSANNA SALK: Absolutely yes for animal prints inside, as long as it’s faux (at least chez moi). I take my cues from the iconic C.Z. Guest, using her leopard pattern sisal carpet in so many of her hallways. Not only did it look uniquely elegant, but the pattern hid the constant traffic of guests, children and dogs! It inspired me to do the same.

leopard rug

To me, there’s nothing more chic than leopard pillows. Here are mine in my entry hall:

leopard pillows

MARIANNE: I will wear animal prints, especially accessories (my favorite flats are leopard printed). But in my house? Not so much. I don’t mind the cowhide rug as much but it’s getting dangerously close to being played out.

ABBI: I can get behind an accent piece, but you have to be very careful not to get into Snooki & JWoww territory. It’s like camouflage; when they pause in their apartment, it’s hard to tell where they end and the animal print wallpaper begins!

snooki animal prints

I love the Kardashians though, so if they say it’s in, I might have to reconsider my entire stance on this issue.

FARIMA: I love animal print in fashion, but it’s a little too much in interior design for my taste – even in small doses.

TYLER WISLER: Animal prints are not something that I work with a lot, but if the print is subtle or abstracted, I tend not to feel as Jungle Book about it. Accentuating the textures that animals provide — whether it’s the smooth movement of a gorgeous hide with hair like what I did for the Housing Works “Design on a Dime” Charity Event earlier this year, or just a deliciously soft sheepskin thrown over a silk rug — is more my aesthetic.

tyler wisler animal hides

LIZ: I’m all about a zebra-print cardigan, but I’ll leave the animal print decor for 90s Lili and other stylish people:

leopard chair
This is gorgeous, but NMS*.

We’ve growled enough about animal prints. Tell us what you think:


26 Responses

  1. [...] Are You Wild for Animal Print Decor? HGTV Design Happens Fri, September 28, 2012 8:00 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  2. pixelecho69 says:

    Love it but in small quantities for clothes and decoration.

  3. RSS says:

    Too much animal print for inside decor just looks cheap and tacky in my opinion.

  4. Jean says:

    I like that door mat with the dog pictured. Very nice.

  5. Sammie says:

    A big ol' NO on this one.

  6. CplusE says:

    I like them, but subtle is the way to go with animal prints. Of course, this is the opinion of a woman whose home office is crammed with probably more than 101 Dalmatian-themed items, mostly stuffed toys — although even I admit it's tacky (in a fun way!).

    These rooms, however, are spot on (sorry, I just couldn't resist):



  7. Troy/Cinci&Miami says:

    PLEASE! First, if you need endorsement from the Kardashians, you are already gone.
    As an interior designer, the use of animal prints is ultimately up to the client. I try to avoid the use of velvets or other plush fabrics that mimic the actual animal hide. For instance, I recently finished a large room with a pair of occasional chairs upholstered in a yellow and white zebra pattern in the same yellow as the silk draperies.
    If done with finesse, however, even look-alike animal prints can work. The key is- If you don't really know what you are doing, leave it out or hire someone who does.

  8. geodesigns says:

    Your Blog is very helpful for me. Your navigation & structure of website is quite well. We also serve same domain to know more about us follow us on Geo Designs Thank you.

  9. Kayla@HGTV says:

    I'm going to voice my opinion on this topic a little late – LOVE IT, obviously. >> http://blog.hgtv.com/design/2012/08/20/mood-board

  10. susan feller says:

    I use to watch HGTV all the time, when you had clever and invented shows, with great ideas, now it all House Hunters (Blah) enough already and none of your shows are out of the box, really gone to the dogs.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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