Getting WILD with Textiles

I am just going to go ahead and say it- I think animal prints get a bad rap! Glad I got that off my chest. I’ve seen the articles and heard the talk that animal textiles are a décor faux pas (or maybe a faux-paw in this case 😉). It is time to take a walk on the wild side and put this falsehood to rest by highlighting some of my favorite animal prints that we use in the shop to make a bold statement with New Traditional design. Animal prints themselves are a contradiction, labeled throughout their history as both “tacky” but expensive, timeless yet fresh, eye-catching but able to be used as a neutral pattern, “basic” and still luxurious. Perhaps that’s why everyone from royalty to rock stars have utilized them throughout time! When done tastefully, animal prints are a beautiful pattern that not only add texture to a room and mix very well with other patterns but are perfect additions to your home year-round. (Disclaimer: no animals were harmed in the writing of this blog – here at the shop we only do faux!)

To start us off, there is one print that is so versatile it would be hard to find a look it doesn’t enhance. With a history starting in 18th century French and Italian fashion, leopard print is a textile that has been around this long for a reason! This print is bold, alluring and timeless.  With seemingly unlimited color and size options, it is a great fabric for both upholstery and accent pieces. Leopard is a great example of a pattern that plays well with others, from florals to plaids it can mix effortlessly.  

Another favorite print in the shop is Antelope.  While fairly new compared to classic animal prints, antelope is quickly becoming one of our go-to styles.  With its neutral hues and soft pattern, it can be used for everything from carpeting to headboards to tablecloths! Antelope textiles work well with both earthy hues and bright jewel tones, making your design possibilities endless. It is a great way to add a unique elegance to your home that won’t overshadow other prominent design elements.

Last but not least, my love of stripes has led to an influx of zebra print at Nell Hill’s! While this print can be tricky to incorporate due to its stark contrasting design, there are some ways to soften it up! Using muted colored zebra prints in gray or tan won’t draw too much attention away from your décor but will still add some depth and texture that every room needs! While I wouldn’t advise a full zebra rug or sofa as I would for some of the other animal prints mentioned, small touches on statement ottomans or chairs can bring an exotic flair to your space that is truly divine!

If animal skins are too much to jump into right away, that’s ok! Sometimes it takes time to build towards a new style.  There are many other ways to bring animal prints to your décor, from art prints to whimsical animal wall coverings animals can be a big or small part of your home design. 

When you are looking to redo a room, ask your designer to provide a “wild card” option – you might be surprised how much you love it! Until next time – Happy Decorating!