There's still something elusive and  magnetic about the extraordinary natural camouflage patterns of our earth-mates - Is it a 'call to the wild '  deep within our 9-to-5 suburban souls?   These magnificent works of art seem to always stir innate feelings of hunter, predator or protector deep in our marrow.
Back in the day a Leopard pillow or Ocelot pill-box hat implied that person had some extra style or were more cosmopolitan .... A coat with leopard cuffs and collar was tres chic whereas an entire coat of leopard was for the arriviste, or just too Hollywood. But now, every chick at the mall is wearing something leopard, tiger or zebra... flip-flops, sunglasses, halter tops, even granny wears a sequin tiger-print schmata to the Piggly-Wiggly. 

Just by having an animal print at home or on your body doesn't make you a hot jungle cat, you gotta have panache to pull it off.  Let's aim for restraint, shall we?


This will be what you think  you have...

When what you really  have is this...


(Designer: Palmer Weiss)
This elegant, quiet living room has ultra well-designed upholstery with some nice details. The one small punch of leopard makes it a bit sassier... a slight purring growl coming from the cushions is what's sexy not a guttural roar of the bloodthirsty beast. 

(Designer: Ryan Corbin)
Natural elements always blend well together; the sheep's fur on the Brno chairs, the leather on the Chesterfield sofa and that felt-lined antique hide on the floor are perfection in this room.

(Source: Unknown)
GTFO...sooo freeking chic!  Love the large, open and casual arrangement. The  antique leopard hide blanket over the sofa back adds more panache and old-world patina than anything else you could find!

(Shoe Designer: William Frawley's home)
This Bohemian space is so on it!  A careful assemblage of many things which are special to the owner are artfully displayed to eliminate clutter.  The warm masculine colors are accentuated by the masculinity of the animal patterns. 
Notice there's no specific period furnishings, everything from Chippendale through Modern and everything in between and it looks great.

(Designer: Joseph Paul Davis, ca 1988)
My own living room in Washington, DC was done entirely in cream. The Old World Weavers leopard silk pillow was used to accentuate the gilded accents in the room.

(Yves St. Laurent's & Pierre Berge's Paris apartment)
The end-all-be-all of collections!  When this was first decorated it was sleek and spare - very Deco.  As time went on YSL and Pierre collected the very best of everything. It's funny to see that English Baroque silk-velvet leopard upholstery in this art Deco room...but it work in a very European way.

(Designer: Michael Taylor, ca 1980)
  In Dodie Rosekrans' library in San Francisco Taylor used only ONE leopard pillow for punch on the sofa, and it's the only patterned textile in the room!!

(Designer: Mary McDonald, ca 1983)
This room was done probably over 20 years ago, but it was - and is - a classic.  Maybe today we don't want that heavy English-tassely look , but it will be a reference for decades in regard to "lavish restraint" 
 (Oxymoron? No, good design!)

(Designer: Michael Smith)
This stair runner is genius! Who doesn't have problems with dirt and wear on stairs? Leopard needlepoint or Axminster carpet is the answer! Always get the densest pad available too.

(Designer: Palmer Weiss)
I love the feeling of this hallway: Few focuses, clean lines, painted walls, etc.  BUT, I've used that carpet before on stairs and its VERY confusing; astigmatism or not it's dangerous because you can't visually define the steps easily... Which is why real zebras have those confuse their predators.

(Designer: Mark Sikes)
A small purring pillow in the corner of a bedroom...gotta love that...

(Source: Unknown)
PLUXURY: Plush Luxury! These silk leopard pillows are totally OTT and stunning on this purple silk daybed. They're sexy and they compliment the brass hardware and the overall feeling of this room.

(Source: Cornelia Guest's home)
These two small chairs are perfect for moving around for conversations without taking up a lot of space. The leopard silk is sooo elegant - yet sassy, and perfect for this large, grand living room.

(Source: Madeleine Castaing's home)
The Parisian "Grande Dame of Style and Taste" had leopard patterns in all of her homes.  Here, the wall-to-wall carpet is a  great backdrop for the space and a foil for each little spot or stain. The room is slightly dated for our times now, but you can see the benefit of the wall-to-wall making the room feel larger. 

(Home of Brazilian style setter Fabrizio Rollo)
Known for his eclectic interiors and lifestyle; Rollo surrounds himself with favored objects; odd shapes and unusual textiles that charm him...nothing precious! The leopard pillows and the Zebra carpet fit right into this melange without superseding the other items.

(Source: Unknown)
Walls upholstered in a modified animal print pattern add a certain groovyness to this home office.  Patterned, upholstered walls can hide the pins and nail marks of changing wall hangings.

(Tony Duquettes Home "Dawnridge" ca 1980)
Tony Duquette was always over-the-top, but this stairway is one of his more "restrained" installations...

(Source: Unknown)
A slightly more restrained leopard stairway - LOVE!

(Designer: Joseph Paul Davis)
I decorated this intimate 'den' in Baltimore for a very sexy, sophisticated woman; she didn't want it feminine, but she did want it to have some Ggrrrr...  The antelope carpet is perfect because it hides the traffic pattern and the occasional spill! There are no patterned fabrics in the room except for the leopard pillows in the sofa - which helps with the calming, subtle effect.
Note: This room was decorated eighteen years ago!  By using clean lined pieces, a simple palette and no goofy or trendy items the room still looks great!


(Source: Unknown)
These two large Zebra hides laid over this sectional and cascading onto the floor add an amazing layer of earthy, Sub-Saharan style to this clean-lined apartment.

(Source: Unknown)
The Zebra hide carpet and pillows give a needed punch to this living room. It "grounds" the room as it is, makes it less "retail" looking.

(Designer: Kathryn Ireland)
This Victorian foyer is pure fashizzle with the vivid pink walls and traditional furniture, but that Zebra is what makes it happen!

(Designer: Joseph Paul Davis)
In my living room in Florida I covered an ottoman with a zebra hide. Now, guests and I can chat with our feet up and not worry about soiling the covering. The Zebra is the "zing" in the room of all neutral mushroom colors - and it perfectly compliments the African art.

(Designer: Joseph Paul Davis)
On the large sectional in the same room I used Brunschwig et Fils  "Le Zebre" to compliment the ottoman. This is the only patterned textile in my entire house!

(Designer: Joseph Paul Davis)
In my library in Florida the entire sofa is covered in the same Brunschwig Le Zebre linen - I love it!

(Designer: Miles Redd)
This pair of doors makes my shorts tight, I think this is so creative and chic!

(Designer: Nina Seirafi)
This tan and white Zebra patterned wall-to-wall carpet in this small-ish library adds pattern and makes the room feel larger. I love that its the only pattern in the room too.

(Luxury goods designer: Christina Azario)
These gleaming floors reflecting the beautiful daylight are interrupted by the felt-lined zebra hide - which adds interest - much more than an off-white rug would.

(Source: Unknown)
Black and white rooms are making a return. Here the Zebra adds a natural element to this very tight and tidy room, giving it a sense of organic relief from it's composition.

(Source: Canadian Home & Garden)
Beige Zebra art? OK, why not?  It works - not particularly cerebral but lets call it a "place holder" until something finer comes along

(Designer: Mark Sikes)
This casual beach house is zhuzhed up just by throwing down a zebra hide.

(Designer: Brian McCarthy)
OMG! McCarthy knocks it out of the park with this pee-in-ur-pants living room... As if those turquoise lacquered walls with brass strapping weren't enough, he added a gold-leaf ceiling - all of which are balanced by that custom made zebra rug - creating the juxtaposition of high-glam and earthy.

(Show Designer: William Frawley's bedroom)
From his subtle, dark, moody living room with the leopard accents he moves into his bright, white bedroom with that overwhelming art piece over the bed (opinion withheld) which is well accented with that modern zebra tripod stool.

(Designer: Kazumi Yoshida)
This modern apartment is bright and full of shapes, period pieces and colors. The bold Leger-esque carpet designed by Yoshida is complimented by the zebra needlepoint fabric on the antique Art Deco bergere.  The carpet needs something strong to counter-balance it or it will dominate the room too much!

(Ashley Stark of Stark Carpets own home)
Those two needlepoint faux zebra pillows add warmth to this cool palate and compliment the tones in the sepia photograph above the sofa.

(Source: Ashley Stark's living room)
The two Deco tabourets are upholstered in Stark's tiger silk-velvet. It's truly one of the most luxurious (and expensive) fabrics I know of!


Really??  Zebra lights on the ceiling where do you think you are, Rainforest Cafe ?

Don't order a 'bed in a bag'...ever...

This attempt to add sizzle to this boring room by using a zebra hide didn't work....  They need a full size carpet as the traffic pattern is so limited people will trip over the edges constantly.

Who though that was a good idea?

This entrance hall with the crisp whites and blacks looks great with the pops of color, but that fake stamped cow-hide is heinous...never do that, it "de-legitimizes" the entire decor.
Go real or go home!

Again, a pretty, bright space with fresh turquoise accents has a cheap-ass stamped cowhide - it totally brings down the quality of the room. AND, they don't need it as they have a nice sisal carpet....
It looks like caca,  lose it! 

Pretty room, nice pieces and a great view!!
Why the hell would you want to use that crazy-ass zebra carpet in this room with the soft palate?  If they wanted an animal print the soft Antelope pattern below would've been the perfect choice. 

Cute beach house; feels cool and casual - too bad they felt the need to use those schmancy leopard tabourets as they don't work in here at all...if they were covered in bright red or navy blue canvas they'd be perfect. Here, they look pretentious. 

I don't even know where to begin with this...Trying to determine which is worse the zebra ultra-suede chairs or the big chandelier in the living room and the small one in the dining room...

The tacky bright-white and black zebra wallcovering is bad because the scale is too small... but combined with that cream trim it's really bad!

I'd love to know who lives here...

(And yes, I do have a leopard bathrobe 
hanging on my dressing room door!)

You can do it, I'm here to help!