How To Decorate Your Home With Animal Prints

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Animal prints are very popular right now in home design for the living room, bedroom and dens. They really work well in any space but as with all design elements there are some things to keep in mind to maximize your room’s animal style. There are animal prints for most household items since it’s not just for rugs anymore. There are everything from bedspreads and pillows to candles and curtains so if you can imagine it for your room, then it can be brought to life.

You can go zebra or cheetah or tiger or leopard if you want – and even in the same space, so long as you keep a few things in mind.


The great thing about animal prints is they add texture to a room – even if it’s just a zebra pattern on a picture. One thing to keep in mind about animal prints is that if you have huge items with the print it can overpower the space. You want to be sure what you use with the print doesn’t become the only thing people see in the room. Further, you don’t want the room becoming all one giant leopard print because you have it everywhere. Scale is especially important with bold patterns, like animal prints, so go slowly before you do-over your whole room.


What color you paint the walls should be kept in mind when doing an animal print heavy room. Keeping in mind animals’ natural habitat, the walls could be a more neutral beige or white, or off-white to help the animal prints pop. If you are doing a bedroom and you want to have a bedspread in animal print, or if you are doing a living room with an animal print throw and rug and piece of art, a neutral wall helps the prints become the focal point of the room, which is, after all, the point. Some people are doing room borders with tiger prints or adding leopard wallpaper to an accent wall and as with the item before I suggest you keep in mind on thing: scale.

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Animal Color

Zebra prints are not only in the naturals they exist in nature – same, too, for all kinds of animal prints. You can find pink zebra patterns and lavender cheetah prints all over department stores for kids and adults. While animal prints and textures are more masculine in traditional design and colors, added pinks and blues mean you can use it for a touch of color and playful animal style in kids’ rooms and even living rooms and dens. No longer are you kept to the browns and blacks of nature so if you want to add a splash of pink zebra in a living room throw pillow, go ahead.


When designing a bedroom with an animal print, it’s a good idea to pick out your bedding and pillows in an animal print and coordinate them. They don’t necessarily have to be in the same pattern, in fact contrasting accent pillows and sheets are very popular now, but make sure you have some theme to your animal print scheme. You want to keep it to one or two animal prints though. If you do want to add some color to your room, accent pillows in solid pink or a complimenting pattern could work well. Or else get a solid color throw blanket and lay it across the bedspread.

You may want to get some art to tie in the animal print theme and a number of stores have art and frames in a variety of styles that will match and compliment your prints so check around. This in when scale really comes into play in room design, as you add pieces, so keep that in mind as you purchase more animal prints for your room. Art is also a way you can bring in some other colors to your room if you like some non-traditional animal print color.

Living Room

An animal print rug is always popular in a living room. You can use it with a variety of styles and themes, too, so it’s useful that way, and as a classic design piece it really never goes out of style.

Another common accessory that people often have in their homes as an animal print, even if they don’t have any other animal print around, is a lamp. It gives a room a touch of nature that many designers say is key to have. And, since you usually have lamps anyway, it offers a good way to bring in the texture and artful design in animal prints to a room. If you are just inching your way into animal prints a lamp is a good way to start. Again, like a rug it can be used in any room in a house.

If you didn’t go for an animal print couch and even if you did go for an animal print chair, get a throw blanket in a coordinating print for the couch. It can be a nice way to add a touch of animal to the room. And if you have leather couches and chairs, the animal print throw can be an added touch of softness while still maintaining that animal style.

Animal prints are a hot design item for the whole house. And, with stores selling all sorts of items you can be sure to find one at a price point that suits your wallet. Pick and choose where you want the animal prints and the scale of your room and in no time you will be wild for your room.

Last Updated: December 28, 2011
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About Leah Gillis Leah Gillis has worked for several major news outlets, as well as a television series on home buying and decor. Having grown up in New England, she has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Milan. When not trying to get a great deal, she is often found reading something, writing something or talking to someone.

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