Using animal prints tastefully in interior design involves careful consideration of balance, scale and restraint. Let me repeat that, restraint!  Even if you are partial to a bit of leopard print with your wardrobe, going all out animal print for walls and furniture together can be a little overwhelming.  Here are my tips to help you incorporate this season’s ‘wild’ trend into your home with style and sophistication.

Start small

Introduce animal prints in small doses as accents rather than overwhelming the space. This could be with cushions, rugs, artwork, or other decorative accessories.  The new Echo collection from Prestigious Textiles has a range of muted animal prints right up to the full leopard print design.

Focus on statement pieces

Use animal prints on statement pieces of furniture or decor items to create visual interest. For example, a leopard-print accent chair or a zebra-print ottoman can add a touch of drama to a room. This is a great way of adding a focal point than can lift the decor in the rest of the room. Check out the Kai Animal Instincts collection from Ashley Wilde for ideas.

Mix with neutral colours

Pair animal prints with neutral colours such as white, beige, grey or black to create a balanced and cohesive look. Neutral backgrounds allow the animal print to stand out without clashing with other elements in the room.

Limit the number of prints

Less is more, so avoid using multiple animal prints in the same space to prevent the decor from looking too busy or chaotic. Stick to one type of animal print and use it sparingly for maximum impact. The Zahara wallpaper in Dove is beautifully understated and a perfect way to dip your toe into the animal print trend.

Layer with texture

Combine animal prints with other textures such as velvet, leather or faux fur to add depth and dimension to the space. Mixing textures creates visual interest and helps soften the boldness of the print.

Consider scale

Pay attention to the scale of the animal print pattern in relation to the size of the room and the other elements within it. Larger prints work well in spacious rooms, while smaller prints are suitable for more compact areas.  Bear in mind that having a large pair of curtains in a strong print will dominate the room and you are more likely to tire of the design quicker than a more muted print.

Accessorise thoughtfully

Choose accessories with animal print motifs such as vases, picture frames or decorative trays to add subtle hints of the pattern throughout the room. These smaller accents will tie the design together without overpowering the space.


Ultimately, use animal prints in a way that reflects your personal style and preferences. Experiment with different combinations and arrangements until you find a balance that feels right for you.