A Touch of Leopard
There are few patterns as enduring and classic as leopard print. Ever since J Crew’s Creative Director Jenna Lyons proclaimed it a neutral, it’s been popping up more and more in both fashion and home. People seem to be using it less as statement pattern and more as a layering pattern. I’ve always loved this photo, below, by Louise Dahl Wolfe from Harper’s Bazaar. What I would do for that coat right about now!
Christian Dior’s famous leopard print ads from 1958 really put leopard on the map.
I think there’s something very French about using leopard in interiors. I’m in the midst of decorating a new apartment and one of the first things I did was upholster the seat cushions of my english roll arm sofa in Brunschwig & Fils’ Congo Grospoint leopard print fabric. I love how it adds a subtle, small scale pattern to the space but still leaves room for other larger scale, bolder patterns. It can’t be overlooked that it’s also a great stain camouflager! One of the biggest champions of leopard in interiors is French interior designer Jacques Grange. Grange has decorated many of Aerin Lauder’s homes–from New York City to South Hampton–and has without fail managed to incorporate a touch of leopard into all of her homes. Below, her Manhattan living room which features a leopard print upholstered pair of chairs.
In Lauder’s house in South Hampton, a classic Bridgewater sofa is covered in a graphic leopard print.
More leopard! It’s a nice way to make the historically masculine library feel a little bit more whimsical and stylish.
Fashion designer Veronica Swanson Beard’s diminutive leopard chairs pop off the turquoise walls of her Manhattan apartment.
Designer Miles Redd loves to use leopard whenever he can and you’ll almost always see at least one or two leopard print pillows in the homes he designs. Pillows are an easy and risk-free way to get in on the leopard game.
In Claiborne Swanson Frank’s first apartment, she covered a pair of x-benches in a leopard print velvet. It’s just the right pop of sophisticated pattern this light and airy room needs.
Lots of little hits of animal print in this room in the apartment of Lambertson & Truex.
In more neutral environments, like this living room below, a touch of leopard really pops.
Often times when we show clients a leopard print fabric swatch, the initial response is that it’s too bold or fashion-y. But take a close look at some of the interiors below and you’ll notice that in many of these colorful rooms, the leopard print practically fades away.
Another great way to use leopard print is on the floor. Like in this Thomas Britt living room (above) and this Nick Olsen room (below).
A family room we shot for our book designed by Miles Redd. Wouldn’t you just miss the leopard carpeting if it wasn’t there? I couldn’t imagine this room without it.
A classic room that feels much more fashionable with leopard on the floors than it might have otherwise felt.
Below, a suite at the Hotel Saint James in Paris.
A very dressy bedroom by Miles Redd.
A more casual, young and fresh feeling bedroom designed by Lily Bunn. Proof that leopard print doesn’t equal fuddy-duddy!
What are your thoughts? Do you like how leopard print looks in interiors? I’d love to hear!