Our Designers’ Favorite Ways to Decorate With Animal Print

Cheetahs, leopards, zebras, oh my! Animal prints are fun, bold patterns to use in home design and decor. These decorative motifs that add a luxurious, glamorous pop to any space. While they’re often associated with Hollywood Glam style, animal prints can truly be used in any decor scheme.

Want to learn more about animal print decor? We’re unpacking the different types of animal prints, discussing if it’s still trending, and showing you some different ways to incorporate animal prints into your home’s decor!

Are animal prints in style for 2021 and 2022?

The short answer? Yes! Animal prints are all over the fashion world and are a major trend for Fall/Winter 2022. But the animal print trend isn’t just for clothing. It’s a truly classic interior design motif that never really goes out of style. So, even when animal prints aren’t at the top of the trend list, these motifs will still look amazing in your home. In fact, animal prints are great if you want to design a timeless home.

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Popular Types of Animal Prints

What are the animal prints that are used in interior design? Well, pretty much any animal that has a beautifully patterned coat will make for amazing animal print decor. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Cheetah Print
  • Leopard Print
  • Tiger Stripes
  • Zebra Stripes
  • Dalmatian Spots
  • Giraffe Print
  • Tortoiseshell Print

Cheetah vs Leopard Print: What’s the Difference?

Wondering how to spot the difference between cheetah and leopard prints? Both of these feline-inspired prints are quite popular in interior design. And at a glance they may seem like they’re one and the same. But there are actually some differences between the spots of these two felines.

Leopards have tawny or warm golden tan coats with spots (called rosettes). The rosettes tend to be somewhat c-shaped and have a black border and a light-brown interior. Cheetahs have a beige and black-spotted coat. The base color is lighter than that of a leopard, and the spots are closed and fully black. They also tend to be smaller and closer together than leopard rosettes.

Some animal-print enthusiasts say that cheetah print decor is superior to leopard print decor and has a more sophisticated vibe. But we say it’s simply a matter of preference, as both are beautiful and fun patterns!

How to Incorporate Animal Print Decor into Your Home

Ready for some practical examples and design ideas? Read on for some of our favorite ways—both bold and subtle—to incorporate animal print decor into your home!

luxurious living room with leopard print pillows

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1. Animal Print Pillows

Animal print pillows add texture and pattern to any space where throw pillows are used—from living room and bedrooms to an entryway bench or a reading nook.

How to Make it Work

Since animal print pillows offer a smaller surface for the print, you can definitely mix them with other patterns, like stripes or plaid. However, they also look great as stand-alone patterns in a room, with solid-colored pillows and upholstery.

This is a great choice… 

If you want to dabble in animal print decor but aren’t ready to make a huge commitment. Pillows are a good place to start if you’re unsure about animal print!

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2. Animal Print Rug

Animal print is a bold pattern for a rug! But it can add an amazing style statement to your room. You can find options where the print is oversized (like room above) or smaller scale—what you choose simply depends on personal preference. Large-scale prints will feel more bold, while smaller-scale prints will be more subtle.

How to Make it Work

When decorating with an animal-print rug, keep other prints to a minimum to not overwhelm the room. Offset the busyness of the rug with large pieces of solid-colored furniture, like the sofa pictured above, which grounds the rug.

This is a great choice… 

For a sophisticated, modern glam look! This would also be a really fun design choice in a teen’s bedroom to add a pop of personality!

Want to turn up the boldness dial even more? Check out two extra-bold animal print rug options, below.


colorful living room with tiger rug

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3. Faux Animal Hide Rug

Want to add some extra drama to an already dramatic print? Choose a rug, like the one pictured above, that features an animal print in the shape of an animal hide. This tiger rug is an attention-grabbing and glam design choice that adds a really fun pop of personality and instant drama to your space. Faux animal hides with bold animal prints can be paired with other bold patterns—like this room, with the striped coffee table and tropical-print pillows.

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4. Off-Color Animal Print Rug

Who says animal print has to be its natural color? If you want to add an extra pop of color to an already playful pattern, try out animal prints in color schemes that defy nature! Here, the aqua green leopard print adds a vibrant pop to this fun dining space! (Of course, this isn’t limited to rugs. You can also do off-color animal prints in pillows, wallpaper, and more!)

5. Animal Print Wallpaper or Art

Another way to make a big style statement in a room? Animal print wallpaper. Whether decorating with zebra print or tiger stripes, dalmatian or cheetah spots, or even a repeating peacock feather print, animal print wallpaper is a great way to add a big moment of pattern to your space.

If you don’t want to go quite that bold, you can opt for animal print wall art instead. Framing a large print of your favorite animal print adds a splash of pattern and personality but with a lower level of commitment than wallpaper. (You could also jump on the animal art trend bandwagon if you want to feature the whole animal and not just the print!)

How to Make it Work

Animal print wallpaper is best on an accent wall rather than a whole room; animal prints are bold and busy, and wallpapering a whole room with animal print would be visually overwhelming. Similar to an animal print rug, in the typical room, you’ll want to keep other patterns to a minimum in a room where patterned wallpaper is used. Unless you’re a maximalist, that is. In that case, go all out, like in the room pictured above!

This is a great choice… 

For those who like making bold statements with interior design. Animal print wallpaper (or art) would be great in a home looking for some glam design ideas.

Glam dining area with fireplace and animal print

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6. Upholstered Animal Print Dining Chairs

Animal print on dining chair seats? Très chic! This adds a high-fashion vibe to a dining room, which is a fun but unexpected place to incorporate this print.

How to Make it Work

Since this is a bold way to incorporate animal print into a more formal space, consider looking for removable cushion covers with the animal print of your choice, so you can swap them out later if your style changes. You could certainly choose attached cushions or a fully upholstered dining chair with animal print upholstery—but this will be more expensive to replace if you ever want to do something other than animal print.

This is a great choice… 

For more neutral dining rooms where animal-print cushions or upholstery can really pop as the only pattern in the room.

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7. Animal Print Accent Chairs

Turn up the heat with animal print accent chairs! This is definitely a bolder statement—as is any printed accent chair. But, depending on the pattern you choose and the other furniture and decor you have in a space, it can feel more or less subtle. For example, this small-scale leopard print with ombre coloring adds visual texture and depth but isn’t over the top. Meanwhile, something like decorating with zebra print or tiger print will feel bolder and draw more attention to itself.

How to Make it Work

As with other animal print decor, pulling off the look of animal print accent chairs is simply a matter of what else you pair with it. This living room does a great job adding animal print in a subtle way. To get the look, balance out the animal print with a neutral sofa and natural materials like wood and rattan.

This is a great choice… 

If you want to make a bolder statement with animal print and aren’t afraid to incorporate it in a more permanent and prominent way. It’s also a perfect choice for people who want a classic, glamorous look in their home.

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8. Animal Print Stool

A stool is an easy and practical way to add a bit of animal print to your home. You could choose an animal-print stool for a vanity stool, a living room pouf or ottoman, or even a kitchen island stool. Or as an extra seat in a home office, like pictured above! In this design, the zebra print draws the eye in and makes for a bold statement!

How to Make it Work

This is one of the easiest ways to incorporate animal print decor into your home. Stools are already accent furniture, which means they can blend in or stand out as much as you’d like. Simply choose a stool that features the animal print of your liking and use it as a visual “pop” in any room of the house.

This is a great choice… 

If you’re looking for a fun-but-less-permanent way to add animal print to your home, since stools can be easily moved around and repurposed in new places around your home.

Need some help incorporating animal print decor into your home?

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Animal Instinct: 7 Ways to Try the Animal Portrait Trend in Your Home

The stranger art trend has been picking up steam for a while now. While it’s a trend we love, we know that sometimes it can be a struggle to find that perfect vintage portrait, or maybe the idea of someone else’s great-grandfather watching over your living room is simply just too creepy for you. A fun and more approachable alternative, we’re currently crushing on the idea of hanging animal portraits in our homes.

Animal art doesn’t have to mean that horse poster you had in your bedroom growing up. Here we’ve curated seven pieces of animal art that are just as whimsical and quirky as a stranger’s portrait, but decidedly more humorous and approachable.

Check out these seven animal portraits below and try them on in your space with Modsy!

animal portrait

1. Highland Cow No. 1, Kingdom by Randal Ford

If your style is… Rustic, eclectic, or modern

Looking to add a little humor into your home? This portrait of a highland cow named Gertrude, might do the trick. Between her shaggy mop of hair and her slightly tilted head, you can’t help but fall in love with this bombshell blonde.

Photographed by Randal Ford, this limited edition photograph comes from his Kingdom series, a collection of intimate animal portraits. Available in a range of sizes and framing options, this limited edition work, along with other members of the Kingdom series, is the perfect addition to the home of any animal lover.


animal portrait
2. School of Fish, Williams Sonoma

If your style is… Traditional or classic

A school of scaly fish swimming against a backdrop of deep blue makes for a less intimate portrait of the animal world, but one that’s sure to make a statement in your home. This giclee reproduction of an original oil painting is full of texture and intricate details, making it look like a one-of-a-kind work of art.

If you’re looking for a work of art to crown your linen sofa or leather club chair, School of Fish is the perfect piece to polish off a truly traditional look. We paired ours with a wooden decoy swan and a brass task lamp for an American Traditional reading nook.


animal portrait
3. Golden Gait, by Andrew McClintock for Minted

If your style is… Chic or industrial

If you like a bit of glam in your space but don’t want it to feel over-the-top, Andrew McClintock’s sprinting cheetah print might be the perfect pick for you. Here our cheetah gets abstracted into a collection of 2D graphic spots. It’s a familiar chic staple with a minimalist twist.

Not chic enough for you? The print is also available in gold for an extra dose of glamour. We paired ours with a black leather chair and gold accents for a look that’s equally chic and edgy.


animal portrait
4. Blue Bird Art – Jay, Ballard Designs

If your style is… Classic and elegant

For anyone looking to add a bit of animal elegance to their home, these blue jays might make the perfect addition. Based on the animal drawings by John James Audubon, this piece would fit well into a range of spaces from the naturalist’s study to the the most elegant living room.

The print has a companion work if you’re looking to fit two birds into one shopping cart – try them together over a bed frame or as pendant pieces hanging on opposite sides of a fireplace or doorway.


animal portrait
5. Llama Framed Print, by Jennifer Meyers for Pottery Barn

If your style is… Eclectic or modern

A framed portrait of a llama in profile, Llama by Jennifer Meyers is an all-time favorite of eclectic interiors. Minimal in its color palette and rich in texture, this print will add a note of whimsy and humor to any space.

Available in a range of sizes and shapes, we love it as a non-cheesy option for kids’ spaces that can totally be repurposed to other rooms down the line.



animal portrait

6. Icelandic Ram by Robert and Tiffany Peterson, Artfully Walls

If your style is… Rustic or minimal

Escape to Iceland with this framed print of a ram stopping to say hello. Set against a majestic landscape, Icelandic Ram by photographer duo, Robert and Tiffany Peterson, is the perfect addition to any rustic interior.

You might have spotted it before in our Icelandic Bedroom Collection, but don’t be afraid to hang it in your living room, office, or even entryway!

animal portrait
7. Dog With Cone print by Michael Sowa, Art .com

If your style is… Eclectic or whimsical

Fans of the movie Amelie might recognize this print from her eclectic Parisian apartment. Part of a larger series of playful animal portraits by Michael Sowa, this Dog with Cone print is a tried-and-true eclectic favorite.

Get the full Amélie look and try it in your bedroom with it’s other half, or add a playful note to a child’s bedroom or nursery. Even hang it above your dog’s bed as an homage to your four-legged friends.


Got a favorite piece of animal art? Tell us in the comments below!