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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. Raquel says:

    I will agree that it gets very disappointing to turn on HGTV and see the same shows over and over. However, it is also nice sometimes to see people buying a beautiful home (completely out of my price range) so I can dream and also see the full spectrum (apartments-million dollar homes). I would appreciate new shows on prime time. Some of the old shows were great. Not sure what happened to them. I loved Color Splash, High Low Project, Sarah's House and Emily Henderson.

  2. janevir says:

    Never have liked animal print myself, but I think it looks great in others' spaces when used with a little restraint.

    Must shout AMEN to all the honestly about the programming. My mom and I lament on the phone all the time. Nothing on but Love It or List It (TOO!) – nothing against the hosts, though, as they are great – or the same show all in blocks. So disappointing. The HGTV magazine is such a fun product (and all our favorite designers are featured there…), but I'm wondering what is happening to the television network…the favorites are missing! Someone isn't doing a good job of planning. I love anything Sarah, Chip, John, Vern, Casey , Sabrina, Genevieve, Taniya, Meg, Nicole, Josh, Bryan, Matt, Ahmed, Scott, Todd, Kim, Lisa, and the Property Brothers (except they are a little prolific right now), Selling LA and Selling NY. Weary of David Bromstad, Mike Holmes, Emily Henderson, and whiney flippers and homeowners, and family drama. Put the real people back on, more reality and not so much "reality show," for the real people. Thanks!

    • rosewood11 says:

      It would be nice to see something along the lines of TLC's Trading Spaces. They regularly went for flea market or thrift store finds, and refinished or reupholstered them. It allowed me to see what was possible on my budget instead of those of the newly rich. How about it, HGTV?

  3. elwny says:

    Must admit that I don't watch HGTV much any more. I get tired of all the house-buying programs – much preferred seeing what could be done on a budget, though I wouldn't mind an occasional program.

  4. Janey says:

    Anyone that pays any attention to what the Kardashirns say about anything forfits all credibility. Your designers – set the trends based on what looks good, not what a group of publicity at all costs seekers decide is ‘hot’. Sooo sad that as professionals you would even let their opinions influence you – embarrassing!

    • rosewood11 says:

      As I said below, animal prints look like something a hooker would wear. The Kardashians fit that description nicely.

  5. erina says:

    I'll agree that this gets very disappointing to show on HGTV and begin to see the same shows again and again. However, it is equally nice sometimes to discover people purchasing a beautiful home (completely from my price range) so I will dream in addition to begin to see the full spectrum (apartments-million dollar homes) . I might appreciate new shows on prime time. Many of the old shows were great. Undecided what happened for them. I loved Color Splash, High Low Project, Sarah's House and Emily Henderson

  6. Sharon says:

    ONE pillow, rug or print makes a fun statement.

  7. Sue Mortensen says:

    I once loved HGTV. I watched from the very beginning and learned so much. But rarely watch anymore. To
    Much if the same thing. Watching people buy houses. Why are the same shows on over and over again.
    I love fixer upper, but it's about all I watch any more. HGTV used to teach many useful and fun things . Why did it change?

  8. rosewood11 says:

    The only place I want to see animal prints is on an animal. To me, it looks like something a hooker would wear–or an old lady who's trying to recapture her lost youth.

  9. Merrlyn says:

    The first pic made me go hmmm, but that second one just made me want OUTTA there!

  10. Merrlyn says:

    I'm with you Linda. Most of us don't have the money to buy, much less, renovate our homes/apartments. I used to get lots of nifty ideas that I tweaked to fit in my home. Miss those shows! Rarely watch HGTV now … same old, same old.

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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