Zebras have a lock on pattern that will never go out of style. Their wavy brown or black against cream or white striped hides are not only good camouflage, they're also a decor pattern worthy of emulation. Faux zebra hide rugs and zebra-striped fabrics are dynamic in any room. As attention-grabbing as they are, they are also neutral, capable of mixing with almost any color.
Zebra's Got the Blues
Zebra print is a strong design statement, so temper it with a soothing blue. There's nothing soporific about a faux zebra rug anchoring a white molded plastic Saarinen table surrounded by Louis XV chairs upholstered in robin's-egg blue leather. The tempting aqua of an enclosed lap pool gets a poolside zing from a chaise covered in zebra-patterned canvas and a couple of mocha rattan papasan chairs with sink-into-it zebra upholstered cushions. Add just a touch of the exotic to an ice-blue living room, decorated in neutrals, with a single accent table covered in faux zebra skin.
Substitute faux zebra hide for embroidered brocade on the cushion of a bench in a bedroom done in creams and golds, with a faded Bokhara carpet covering the hardwood floor, mismatched gilded reproduction 18th-century French chairs, nightstands and bed frame, and unbleached linen bed linens and drapes. Zebra is rich enough to pair with ornate decor, but it also looks perfectly at home in a safari-themed room with a distressed caramel leather sofa, carved Ghana stools, vivid African paintings on oatmeal-colored grass-cloth walls and a clear acrylic coffee table. Center a faux zebra skin under the see-through table so its bold pattern is clearly visible in the room.
Graze your zebra in the grassy plains of a lawn-green family room or a pistachio-painted dining room. A contemporary zebra-patterned carpet enlivens a calming space and suggests a sharp palette to go with softer green walls. A black-and-white plaid sofa will take plenty of abuse in the family room without looking the worse for wear. The eclectic modern furniture on the dining room works when a glass-topped table that reveals the rug beneath is surrounded by Baroque-inspired black-enameled chairs upholstered in hot pink velvet. In an oyster-white kitchen with a lime-green accent wall, a zebra tea kettle and tiled backsplash expose the streak of wildness lurking just below the domestic tranquility of the hearth.
Zebra -- Hot and Haute
A zebra rug on the terra-cotta bathroom floor in your adobe picks up the burnt umber color of the time-darkened vigas overhead. Zebra-patterned upholstery on the curvy wire ice cream parlor chairs in the apricot sunroom invite guests to an exhilarating lunch. The red-on-red-enameled library is an homage to Billy Baldwin and Diana Vreeland -- except for the faux zebra hide reading chaise taking center stage among the dark wood bookcases. Zebra, the shocking but intriguing juxtaposition of opposite neutrals, pairs vivaciously with all the warmest colors. The brown-and-white or black-and-white stripes are strong enough to hold their own against the most saturated reds and oranges without striking a discordant note.
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