Despite what ‘dated’ fashion and interior trends may say, there’s a certain animal print that’s creeping its way back into our home decor trend radar – and dare we say it, we actually kind of don’t hate it.
Cue, none other than the iconic leopard print that has definitely made its way into our wardrobes at some point in time (guilty), and potentially even our homes. Although it’s typically seen as a trend that dates your home, we’d like to offer a counterargument for the return of this controversial animal print as the new neutral to know about. Yep, really. Hear us out.
The return of the leopard print trend
‘The return of the Sex and the City reboot ‘And Just Like That’ has sparked the nation’s love affair for leopard print,’ says Matt Siberry, head of home at Pinterest UK. In an earlier episode of the current season, there was an iconic moment where we see Seema dressed in head-to-toe leopard print, and it’s safe to say, that absolutely sold us.
‘While leopard print has garnered somewhat of a mixed reputation over the years – partially due to its popularity amongst ’90s and early ’00s soap and reality television stars – it’s making its way back into our homes as a luxe neutral that adds a pop of glamour to any space,’ says Dayna Isom Johnson, trend expert at Etsy.
Matt confirms, ‘We have seen fans searching 35% more for the print on Pinterest,’ while Dayna adds, ‘On Etsy, there are over 100,000 results for ‘leopard print’ within the Home & Living category, with sellers offering everything from planters and vases to candles and clocks, to wallpaper and rugs, and everything in between.’
While we love the concept of using leopard print in any small statement pieces, the one that’s caught our attention is using the pattern for a rug or carpet.
Using leopard print for rugs and carpet
‘What’s great with leopard print is that it can be used at scale as a reoccurring print, so it’s great for rugs as a centrepiece within a room and to tie a room’s scheme together,’ starts Daniel Prendergast at Iconic Rugs. ‘As a natural animal print, the design doesn’t feel too ‘uniform’ as a floor covering and this adds a warm feeling.’
‘Leopard print is a great way to incorporate a pattern and build texture within a room and while it’s a bold touch, it also tones in well with a neutral colour palette,’ assures Matt Siberry at Pinterest UK.
‘Animal prints work really well as accents or large coverings, for example adding an animal print rug can be the perfect accessory for a bedroom or living room – making it feel larger and more vibrant.’
One home decorator who has incorporated leopard print so seamlessly into her home is Laura from @leopard_print_stairs on Instagram, who is one of the biggest advocates for leopard print we’ve spotted in the wild.
She’s got this gorgeous leopard print stair runner that transitions into a full leopard print carpeted upstairs. Long story short, we are so unapologetically obsessed with it.
We asked Laura why she decided on leopard print for her carpet, to which she responded, ‘I’ve loved and worn leopard print for as long as I can remember – not just when it’s been trending, but back in the days when Bet Lynch (ask your mum!) was the poster girl for the look!’
‘To me, it’s a design classic, as iconic and versatile as a stripe or a spot, so when it came to carpeting our stairs and landing, there was only one option,’ Laura continues. ‘My husband was totally on board with the idea too – for us, leopard will always have a rock ‘n’ roll connotation and was a way of introducing that vibe into our home.’
Laura continues, ‘Of course, there will always be naysayers. ‘What if you want to sell your house?!’ ‘Won’t it seem a bit tacky in a year?!’ While we’ve no plans to move, I’m a big believer in decorating for myself and my family – not future buyers. And there’s no chance of my leopardy love affair dwindling after thirty-plus loyal years!’
We think if you’re trying to give your living space an ‘It Girl’ aesthetic makeover and tap into your villain era (just as Laura has done), this may just be the direction to head towards as it’s pretty unique and almost kind of unheard of in 2023, as we’re surrounded by ‘safe’ and ‘neutral’ everything.
‘Our carpet stamps our personality all over our home – from the moment I open our front door, it brings a smile to my face. It feels bold and confident – there’s no getting away from it and I like how much of a statement that makes,’ finishes Laura.
‘I’d totally recommend taking the leap.’