Animal prints get a bad rap. Some folks say they’re too tacky for interior design, while others utilize them to “wild” extremes. The fact is that animal prints, when done right, can transform a room in a way no other pattern can.
Leopard: A Classic Neutral
“Leopard print is a classic, timeless print that can be used as a neutral or take center stage as the focal point of a room,” says Kymberlyn Lacy, Principal Designer for International Flair Designs in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Lacy says that Madeline Castaing (1894-1992) is credited as the first interior designer to utilize leopard print patterns by creating rugs, pillows, and other home accent pieces. (And the key word here is accent.)
Always Best In Small Doses
Wearing a head-to-toe leopard fashion ensemble would be “tacky and hideous,” says Lacy. Likewise, overdoing the pattern in a room would be “an interior designer’s nightmare.” Castaing would surely not approve! When bringing leopard print into a room’s design, it’s important to avoid overuse and (no pun intended) overkill of the pattern.
“Incorporate the print in small doses, creating juxtaposition alongside bright, solid stable pieces or soft, subtle neutrals that are complementary to the leopard print pattern,” says Lacy. She compares it to spicing up a neutral wardrobe palette with a leopard-print belt, scarf, or pair of designer heels.
Leopard Print As An Anchor
Since decorating in floor-to-ceiling leopard is not advised, start with an easy anchor piece. Leopard-print area rugs are a terrific way to introduce the pattern into a room without that in-your-face effect that can sometimes happen with a bold print.
ProSource premium animal print carpets fit the bill perfectly and helps create a space that is beautifully on-trend. Choose small-scale prints and explore you color options… not all leopards have black spots. Elegant Brummel print ranges from neutral tan to rich chocolate brown and is deal for a formal living room or dining room.
To make a bolder statement, consider a large-scale leopard print. Langholm – available in Ash, Graphite, and Onyx – sets a dramatic tone for a master bedroom or a home office. If you’re looking to keep your leopard décor light and fun, then the Atoka pattern (in cool hues like Ocean Blue and Flannel) is a great way to get started.
“If I begin by designing the room around a rug in leopard print,” says Lacy, “then I ‘pull the eye up’ by using the print on pillows, and finally I add decorative boxes or accents in leopard on a side table or in a nearby foyer.”
Leopard Print As A Focal Point
A beautiful bold pattern like leopard print can easily become the focal point of a room. “Use neutral hues (think gray, white, taupe, brown) as the basis of the room’s design,” suggests Lacy, “then add decorative accents in leopard to create that ‘wow’ factor or to simply add interest to the room.”
Leopard Print As A Theme
Hold on… a leopard-themed room? It can be done, tastefully, if you use the print on no more than three or four items within the room, according to Lacy. And those items can be more than just décor –furniture like sofas, ottomans, and settees look fabulous in leopard.
“I will use the print to accentuate a pair of chairs that have modern-clean lines or strong-detailed classical lines to add flair to any room design,” says Lacy.
Bottom line: Leopard print is classy. And, with a little restraint, you can incorporate it into any room’s design scheme.
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