The trend for animalskin print has been around for a while now, and shows no signs of stopping. The trick to getting this look right is ‘less is more’ – think one or two perfectly positioned, witty accessories, rather than full on safari or zoo.
Patterns such as leopard, zebra and tiger tend to be big and bold, so don’t overdo it. Lots of designers are now working with quirky twists on a theme, so whether your taste is for faux far that looks like it could be real, or bright pink leopardskin, you’re sure to find something that works in your home.
This blue zebra print rug (above, from £89 from Modern Rugs) is a great way to introduce pattern and texture into a neutral room. Team with white walls and a bare wooden floor, and there won’t be a sniff of the veldt about it. Although the pattern’s strong, the colours are neutral so you can still use bold pops of colour elsewhere in the room without it looking too busy.
Can’t limit yourself to just one piece? In that case, mix the prints up, but stick to the same broad colour palette. Pair cowhide with tiger print in shades of brown and tan, and the effect will be interesting without being overpowering.
Mix this cotton rug (above, from 49 euros from Dash and Albert Europe), which features a traditional print and fresh, modern colours, with this hand-painted zebra wall light, below, £449 from Besselink & Jones.
The simple, modern lines of the lampshade combined with modern fittings are sure to make a statement without trying too hard.
If you’re worried that traditional animal skin prints will look too formal, there are plenty of fresh, interesting alternatives out there at the moment, such as this Rainbow Leopard handmade lampshade, above, £40, from Love Frankie. Hand made to order in the UK studio, it’s made from flame retardant PVC and cotton so would be ideal for a child’s bedroom.
Alternatively, this bright leopardskin print throw, just £9 from Primark, will keep your little explorers warm and dry.
Team animal prints with bold blocks of bright colour for a truly modern look, with not a hint of Bet Lynch’s bedroom about it! Keep bright accessories plain not patterned or textured though, for a look that impresses rather than overpowers. This monochrome giraffe print cushion, above, £12 from Very, is easy to mix with plain, bright colours on a sofa or bed.
Above all, this look is about having fun, so don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. This unusual Python rug, from £89 from The Rug Seller, is an ideal way to dip your toe into the trend. Cushions and throws are always an easy place to start, as if you tire of the look they’re relatively inexpensive to replace.
Get creative with animal prints
You could also try your hand at some DIY creativity by painting the top of a small table or the back of a chair with tiger stripes.
Try drawing out the stripes on paper first – to look authentic, they should be broader in the middle and taper to a point at both ends. Look at some photos online to get an idea of the how the stripes should look. Draw your outline with a pencil onto the furniture first, then paint in the outlines with the two colours of your choice, allowing the first colour to dry completely before you start with the next. Apply a coat of clear varnish to protect your work.
Just let your imagination go wild!0