How do you rock leopard print in your home? Any which way that suits you has to be my answer to that! And probably the same way you would in your clothing. My friend has the most amazing oversized fake fur leopard print coat, and she really rocks it, whereas I am more sedate and have a fab pair of leopard print boots. I would like to be more dramatic with it, but I’m still waiting for a piece to call to me! So, as with most interior decisions it’s all about you and your personal preferences. But to get a more balanced view on the subject we asked 4 interior experts their thoughts on leopard print in the home, all with differing views. Let’s start with the more sedate, as I would call it. For those of you who believe a little goes a long way.
Leopard print as an accent pattern works well because of its contrast value. You’re not asking it to tone in, you’re asking it to be bold and vibrant. It’s a pattern, but a ritzy pattern that will also be that bit different and stand out, so even used minimally it will always have impact.
“Just as you would add a leopard belt to jeans, or a silk leopard blouse to a tailored black suit, a little goes a long way. It hints at hidden depths, a desire to experiment, and a love of the unexpected.” Carole King, Blogger at Dear Designer’s
We can all equate to this and it’s the simplest way to use leopard print in your home if you are nervous about bold moves.
A rich, vibrant scheme with just a dash of leopard for contrast and pattern. It adds a slightly exotic element to this scheme and a hint of glamour.
“I think the issue with it is, you have to treat it delicately. You have to handle leopard print with care. It’s like over doing it on the spice when you are cooking – just enough and it brings all the other flavours to the fore – too much and it will overpower the entire dish, making it inedible. Balance is key. To me, leopard print shouldn’t overwhelm the space. It shouldn’t be the first thing that jumps out at you.” Kimberly Duran, interior design blogger at Swoon Worthy
Image credit: Swoon Worthy
Kimberly’s use of leopard print makes a bold statement in a pink and yellow bedroom. It adds pattern, texture and an element of fun to a harmonious scheme. Again, it is just a little dash of it that creates the impact. The yellow in the cushions picks up on the bed head and the contrasting pattern creates a tension with the bedlinen to stop it looking too pretty.
But not everyone wants leopard print to play a small part in their home, it can work just as well in a much more maximalist scheme but it’s a brave move, and it’s your personal bravado that will carry it through. If you compare fashion with interiors it’s the sense of style, and owning the look, that makes it work.
“I tend to repeat themes throughout the house (whether that be colour or pattern) to almost dilute the impact of one really big statement so the exaggerated use of this print doesn’t seem shocking. I think leopard works best against a dark backdrop. If you look at all the fashion icons, they all looked red hot when wearing leopard print with black leather.” Sally Worts, Instagrammer @flower_heart_flower
Image credit: @flower_heart_flower
Why this room works is the different scale of leopard print patterns to create tension. The dark woodwork and floor pick up on the darkness in the leopard print designs, with the orange stools picking up on the wallpaper background colour. It’s a very harmonious scheme, but so unexpected and original with the added touch of floral pattern.
“I think any pattern can mix with any other pattern if you are bold with it and just own it. My favourite pattern mix is leopard and dark floral.” Sally Worts, Instagrammer @flower_heart_flower
If you’re concerned about leopard print looking ‘tacky’, Marcie Kobernus recommends to “try painting it yourself or creating a more abstract look with different colours. Perhaps just keep clear of the fluffy fake leopard fabric, but saying that, if that’s what you want, it’s your home so just embrace it.” Marcie Kobernus, Columnist for Reclaim Magazine and founder of Marcie K Designs
If you like a full-on maximalist look, don’t be afraid to mix other patterns with leopard print. Contrasting patterns should vary in scale and colour for real impact and a sense of excitement. In that sense leopard print is very easy to mix with other patterns because it’s such a simple design.
Image credit: Marcie K Designs
A real maximalist delight for lovers of pattern. The leopard print table is a calming oasis that works well in this opulent scheme. Taking leopard away from realistic colours creates a more abstract look to it. The black and white in the leopard print picks up on the wallpaper colours but contrasts with excitement, verve and drama – for the drama queens amongst you.
Image credit: @daniellelouisedoughty
Here this homeowner uses the pattern of leopard print, in a black and white colour way. This gives a totally different feel to the room, lighter and brighter, and certainly more feminine. The leopard print wallpaper is more about a pattern than an animal print. Contrasted with the pink and white, and plenty of texture, for a stylishly girly bedroom.
“I believe that to make something work you have to really love it. In my opinion, leopard is a classic that never goes out of style.” Sally Worts, Instagrammer @flower_heart_flower
Sally nails it here, it’s all about how much you love it. How to use leopard print in your home comes down to your sense of style, be it extravagant and maximalist or as an accent pattern. Because it is just a pattern. A pattern that you either embrace or not. So, use it as an accent as you would any other pattern, or if it’s something you love go the whole way and embrace it – with panache and no apologies. Like the fashion icons!
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