Born To Be Wild: How to Style Animal Print Fabric, Wallpaper & Coordinates
In case you’re wondering, we love animals. Fat ones, skinny ones, animals with spots. We love them all. Many of our signature patterns include a nod to animals, whether they’re fantastical creations or those we can find IRL (in real life).
Let’s talk about our obsession with zebras, for instance. Is there anything more magical than a pony with stripes? (Yes – we know they’re not really ponies! But when we were kids, we thought of them that way. It may help explain our fascination).
Zebra prints have been included in our pattern collections since the first days of SmithHönig. In fact, our Sebra Stripe pillow is our number one bestseller! A pillow is one of the easiest ways to start incorporating animal prints into your home or outdoor sanctuary.
When working with a pattern like Sebra Stripe, we suggest analyzing the pattern for its less obvious elements and swaths of color – like the navy and lavender you see when you look closely at this print. See how beautifully Sebra Stripe coordinates with the blues and tans in this modern, maximalist apartment, tying disparate elements together through pattern and color?
Sebra Stripe is also great because it coordinates with both warm and cool color palettes. Adding an animal print with multiple colors in it is a great way to pull things together. You might even start your design with a specific animal print as the basis for other choices.
Here’s a playful, pastel zebra that we introduced recently named Moxie. The lavender and teal colorway is soft and soothing and would look great in a nursery, powder room, bedroom — or this laundry room. Here, the design started with the wallpaper. Tiles, cabinet colors, etc., were chosen to coordinate.
If the idea of a bold wallpaper feels at all intimidating, start with a laundry room, entryway or powder room as you find your inner maximalist. These spaces are used less often and for shorter periods of time. You’ll find the pattern and color energizing.
Coordinating your wallpaper and paint choices to connect spaces is another tried-and-true way to make transitions feel calming rather than jarring. If your home already features grays, blues and whites, then Moxie in the Lilac colorway is a great animal print to add into the mix. (It also comes in fabric for upholstering, sewing drapes or table linens and so much more, and has multiple coordinates, like Neela Blue.)
Look how great Neela, Moxie and our leopard print, Fancy Pants, in the Bob colorway, look together!
If your home features warmer neutrals in the public spaces, consider a dramatic addition like Pantera. We love how it looks in this powder room. In this case, dark wood and the bold wallpaper combine to create a show-stopping impact in even the smallest spaces.
Leopard, as we all know by now, is a neutral and can enliven both modern and traditional spaces. Here’s an antique French settee covered with leopard, which creates a fun and fascinating dialogue between what’s new and what’s classic.
If you’re ready to really get really wild, take a look at this flamboyant zebra print called African Paint. Created for true maximalists, this pattern features a mix of colors that are bold and radiate confidence. We love the fabric on dining room chairs (consider upholstering the backs in African Paint and the seats in a solid velvet), and on this vintage bergere. Take it up a notch and create a feature wall — or an entire room – using the coordinating wallpaper.
How wild will you dare to be? For more inspiration, check out our line of animal prints and coordinates.