Normally, when I hear "animal print" the words "overdone" "over-the-top" and "tacky" come to mind, but somehow zebra on a cowhide rug is classic in these spaces...
Here are a few guidelines for incorporating a zebra cowhide into your space in a classic way:
The space below does a great job of it. It has brass on the side table, an overstuffed and worn leather chair that looks like it was from grandpa's study, and light weathered wood. This keeps the space feeling collected. In a word... Classic.
Keep a Neutral, Light Color Palette:
If you know what you're doing, (or if you are going for a really over the top Moulin Rouge type vibe), feel free to bust out other bright colors and patterns in the same space, but if you are dabbling with zebra for the first time, neutral colors are a safer bet. Black and white always looks chic, but shades of brown, taupe, tan, grey, and creme are also safe bets for mixing in.
Keep a Neutral, DARK Color Palette:
Yep... while the last rule was to keep a light color palette, the same rules apply to a dark color palette AS LONG AS you stay neutral. Dark grey, chocolate, or black walls still maintain an uncomplicated look, and allow the rug to be center stage. If you go this route, ensure the space is well lit - a big window offers plenty of natural light to keep it from feeling cave-like. I can think of nothing worse than an animal skin rug in a cave-like setting. #NOTclassic
Another important factor in making a zebra cowhide rug work with dark walls... accessories should be upscale and glam here. Pretty gold frames, mirrored console / side tables, lucite lamps, etc. The entryway below is a great example of how to keep the space feeling upscale.
Pair with Elegant Antique Pieces:
The ornate sconces and embellished chairs are also statement pieces (not to mention the silk curtain panels) but they are all within the same time period - very Louis XVI. Among fancy-feeling antiques, the rug provides the graphic, modern punch that makes this space feel current.
Whether it's placing the zebra cowhide rug in a sunroom surrounded by big trees in the yard, or simply bringing in fresh flowers or a leafy plant to the space, natural elements make the rug seem earthy and natural.
Bring in a Professional:
Ok, so let's say you want to bring in lots of color, lots of pattern, complicated, cool accessories, AND a zebra print cow-hide rug... I'd advise you to hire a professional. This little girls' room is perfection, but could easily end up looking like a cluttered, visually confusing mess if done improperly.
So what about you?? Would you ever attempt a zebra print cow-hide rug??