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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taking the Tacky out of Animal Prints

Animal prints rise and fall in popularity from year to year, yet always remain in style. I love today's wave of animal prints on the design scene because they are not so literal. They take the idea of an animal print and add a sophisticated spin or a more abstract interpretation. We're all well aware that your leopard rug isn't a REAL leopard rug (well, maybe it is, in which case you belong in jail), so it's nice to see designers having some fun with the prints.

That said, 99% of the animal print decor on the market looks like it should be sold out of the back of a van alongside Elvis portraits on velvet. Since we all need a little entertainment as we settle into mundane post-holiday life, enjoy some of my favorite "bad's" too!

Leopard Print.

The Bad:
Apologies if you were attempting to eat while viewing this rug. The nausea will subside eventually.

The Breathtaking:

Miles Redd

House Beautiful

Horchow's Jaguar Light Rug (L) and Jaguar Dark Rug (R)

And for some color, Leopard Print (Ink) by Duralee reminds me of a leopard/ikat hybrid.

Dalmation Print.

The Bad:
I will have nightmares about this photo for a long time, but sadly, it's NOT because of the dalmation print

The Breathtaking:

Robert Goodman via House Beautiful

Waverly's Spot On (also in other adorable colorways)

While technically this is a leopard print, this colorway reminds me of a reverse-dalmation print.

This features Schumacher's "Hiro" print...reminds me of damlation print and confetti!


The Bad:
When guy claims claims he's a tiger in bed, he must mean it quite literally.

The Breathtaking:
Miles Redd- again!

Albert Hadley (using Lee Joffa's Tiger Silk Velvet)

And something a bit less literal- West Elm's Bengal Tiger Dhurrie

Any favorite new animal print fabrics or rugs out there you've seen? We'd love to hear about them!


Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Glad I swallowed that sip of coffee before I saw that tiger one-that scared the bejesus out of me.

Lindsey Suggs said...

Thanks for all of the tasteful options! I am in the market for a little leopard rug...and NOT a gnarly one.

kayce hughes said...

great post!

Danielle said...

Spot on :)!!!

Design Elements said...

interesting options! happy new year! said...

Go to and check out marathon, it's in the new collection, and it is under fabrics. It is an adorable version of an animal print, and avilable in so many great colorways !!

traci zeller designs said...

Thank goodness I was sitting down ... because I do madly, totally, completely love animal print ... at least when it's done right. I have a major crush (read: desperately want) the Suzanne Kasler for Safavieh Jaguar rug.

Katie of Modern Oasis said...

Hilarious! Love the Richard Simmons photo...definitely BAD! I just got a leopard rug for my bedroom a la Miles's to die for!

wonderfullydomestic said...

I've never been a fan of animal print...I just can't do it.

Although it is possible to be done tastefully, there is such a fine line and I've never wanted to cross it.

Anonymous said...

I once read only the very rich or the very poor where animal prints. Hence Jackie Kennedy in a leopard skin coat and Jethro in coon skin hat!

Animal Print Gal said...

Great post, the bad pictures make people think that animal print is so tacky but it can be so beautiful it if it put together in the right way...

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