How to Use Animal Print in Your Interiors
Once reserved for those with the boldest tastes, incorporating animal print into home decor has now become a design staple. Whether you opt to layer with leopard spots or get cozy with cowhide, these Scouted interior designers are here to inspire you to take a walk on the wild side with this fauna-forward aesthetic.
Make a timeless choice. Interior design trends come and go, but animal print stands the test of time. Anne Buresh, founder of Anne Buresh Interior Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, Big Sky, Montana, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, confirms the incredible staying power of this fun and funky design choice. “Animal print has been a staple of both high-end fashion and interiors forever,” she explains. As shown in the room above, by incorporating animal print via a hide rug, Buresh is able to make a stylish statement while still achieving a look of understated elegance that will remain in style for years to come.
Less is more. “One piece of animal print is more than enough to make a statement,” explains Allison Handler, founder of Allison Handler Design in Bergen County, New Jersey. She urges her clients to keep it simple, explaining that pillows and ottomans are an easy and cost-effective way to experiment with the trend. Another more understated application of animal print is to stick with its intended, neutral color palette, as it brings drama and edge to a space, without running the risk of overdoing it. “When used correctly, animal print can be that perfect touch to really pull together a space and make it feel high end and designed,” she says.
Let it shine. Animal print has a strong presence and Lisa Hargus, senior designer and director of Ellen Hanson Designs in New York, New York, and Sarasota, Florida, believes in giving it pride of place. From one side of the spectrum, you can take a minimalist approach and add your favorite print to an oversized upholstered ottoman, allowing it to anchor the room and act as a featured element. On the opposite side, if you’re more adventurous, Hargus recommends mixing a variety of prints and scales within a limited palette of colors.
Embrace the texture of animal hide. If you’re still animal print shy, Hargus recommends opting for a shaggy hair-on hide mini-rugs. Whether faux or the real deal, these pieces add great texture and can be tossed over the back of a sofa, chair, or chaise lounge. This application leans into the current quiet luxury trend.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Tans and taupes of traditional animal aren’t speaking to your aesthetics? Hargus is all for skipping the natural look and going with bold color. She personally loves decorating client’s home with cheetah print in vibrant colors like China Seas Conga Line in Aqua Pistachio on Tint. Alternatively, she notes that a cowhide rug can be used as a canvas for beautifully hand-painted designs. “The natural shape conjures traditional hide rugs while the variety of pattern and color in their offerings point to gorgeous new possibilities,” she explains.
TSG Tip 467 from Anne Buresh, founder of Anne Buresh Interior Design in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Allison Handler, founder of Allison Handler Design in Bergen County, New Jersey; Lisa Hargus, senior designer and director of Ellen Hanson Designs in NYC and Sarasota, Florida. Anne Buresh Interior Design appears in The Scout Guide Jackson Hole & The Scout Guide Bozeman. Allison Handler Design appears in The Scout Guide Bergen County. Ellen Hanson Designs appears in The Scout Guide Sarasota.