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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:



Design Trends

36 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. MissLucy says:

    I agree. Today all day Million DollarRooms. Who cares. Then Love it or List It is on for hours at a time. What happens to the shows that shows how to do your home. Wed all day is House )Hunter International. To me the channel just doesn't have it anymore

  3. Janie says:

    I agree! Let's get rid of some of the House Hunters and Love it or List it! Let's get some of the programs you now have on only during the daytime (Color Splash, Candice Olson, High Low Project, Sarah's House) and get them back on Prime Time! You're loosing a lot of followers with your stupid lineup of all House Hunters and Love it or List It during prime time. Let's get with it – let's have some diversity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Connie Bowen says:

    You surely changed your format! I get tired of Love it or List it! I agree with Janie, also Linda.
    We live in the real world, and want down to earth, ideas.

  5. Linda says:

    What happened to the shows Design on a Dime and Room by Room. Shows helping us design for not a lot of money. In this economy I don't want to see that some can spend a million dollars on one room and buy a house for 900,000 thousand. Most of us out here in the real world are not in that world.

  6. Jane Waring says:

    The change in programing has taken the channel off my must see list. No more recording!

  7. sue says:

    the blogs are somewhat informative but I felt compelled to indicate that I am in total agreement with the ladies (above)…. HGTV is no longer informative or enjoyable for those living in the real world, just how many wealthy people do you figure actually watch the programs you run constantly that are about decorating, buying and selling houses priced over the vast populations affordability? I have heard comments in my circle that some have felt those in charge of production and programming have lost touch with reality or that it was insensitive with most out of work or just getting by.
    trust me, your most loyal followers were those that were addicted to craft, scrapbooking, flea marketing, repurposing, and low cost decorating shows. just saying….

  8. Donna Cariker says:

    I agree with Sue and the others who say that HGTV viewers want more "before and after" shows and DIY ones that show "how to decorate on a budget". I'm actually in the design business, but like to offer my clients ways to save money by teaching them how to faux finish, repurpose, shop at estate sales and thrift stores, etc.

    I have given classes that teach the "how to" of decorating on a budget by finding a picture of what my students want and helping them duplicate it at a great price! When I first began my design business, I had a "design hotline" and gave out info over the phone, then started going to my client's homes and showing them "hands-on" how to wallpaper, faux finish, sew, paint, etc. so they could decorate on a budget. They loved it, my business grew, our personal home was on city and national tours and I was asked to speak on radio shows discussing the "DIYs" of decorating. The majority of people want to learn how to do decorating themselves. That should be the main purpose of HGTV shows. Donna

    • Carol says:

      I agree with Donna. I used to love watching HGTV when Room by Room was on, as well as when Kitty was on, all the older shows. They were fun, there was learning involved and you could experiment in your own home. They showed down to earth homes.

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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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