The difference between a trend and a classic is often nothing more than staying power. A trend becomes a classic when it has proven the ability to stay the course, to endure the years, to outlast, outlive, outwit. A classic is such that looks timeless, elegant and, to some degree effortless, over the years. I wrote last about black and white and why it is a perfect color pairing. It is such because of its timeless appeal, because it never fades from style, from beauty, from taste. It is a classic because it can accommodate any lifestyle or decorating style and because it works well within all budgets and spaces. When done properly, animal prints can have the same effect.
Many prefer a neutral home for a myriad of reasons. Some are a bit afraid of color and some just like the ease of life and living within neutral tones. Yet, these subtle, quiet, yet often elegant and sophisticated tones can feel sleepy and lacklustre without a certain pop of color, pattern... something. And this is where animal prints fit in beautifully.
I grew up in an era where animal prints were often equated with gaudiness. They were usually over the top, a la trashy Jackie Collins Hollywood Wives literature. At least, that was my personal take on it all. Because, as with everything else, too much of something, of anything is never a good thing. And this is especially true of the animal print. It was over-the-top and then, just like that, it was seemingly gone.
But a few years ago it once again became mainstream. We saw it all over the pages of our favorite shelter magazines and we saw it on the runway. It was declared to be a fad, like the color of the year. But this fad stayed, because, when done right, whether zebra, tiger, giraffe - they are as beautiful and graceful and elegant as the animals themselves. Used carefully, and in moderation, animal prints can be used in any room of the home. Below are some exquisite examples as to how you can incorporate animal prints into your home whether as an accent piece or focal point, with neutral tones and bright colors, even with other patterns.
Bust just as it was overdone in the past, it can be overdone today. When using a bold print such as this try to stick with the less is more way of thinking. You can still go large and wrap a room in a beautiful zebra print paper, as seen below, but be careful then, not to add any more. Finish the room with other colors, even other complementary patterns. Pay attention to quality - a high quality fabric will lift up your space, one of poor quality can send it crashing down! I've selected the following images from top design sites and blogs to best illustrate how animal print can work well with any decorating style.