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Animal Print Rugs


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Animal Print Rug Facts & Buying Guide

Ready to take a walk on the wild side with an animal print rug? From bold statement-makers to surprisingly subtle tone-on-tone patterns, we’ll walk you through all the possibilities animal print rugs can unleash in your home.

Why Choose an Animal Print Rug?

If you’re looking for that decorating wow-factor, you can’t go wrong with an animal print rug! This eye-catching print makes a natural focal point wherever you put it, so it’s ideal for living rooms, foyers, and other spaces where you need a little extra oomph.

Not into making a bold statement? Animal print rugs in neutral hues like beige and cream are sophisticated and subtle, while still adding that signature animal print chic. Plus, all of those spots and stripes are great at hiding dirt, making animal prints a surprisingly practical choice.

Animal prints to keep an eye out for:

  • Tiger stripes
  • Cheetah spots
  • Leopard print
  • Cowhide
  • Zebra print
  • Dalmation spots
  • Sheepskin
  • Snake print

Material Matters

Animal print rugs come in a range of materials and textures, from real cowhide to soft wool and indoor-outdoor versions. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular materials.

  • Wool: Wool is a high quality rug material that makes for a soft and natural feel underfoot. Wool has natural soil and stain resistance.
  • Synthetic: Examples of synthetic materials used in rugs are nylon, polyester, polypropylene and viscose. Also called olefin, polypropylene is a synthetic fiber that is strong, colorfast, and comfortable.
  • Indoor-Outdoor: Made from synthetic materials designed to withstand sun, sand, and weather, indoor-outdoor rugs are a low-maintenance option for patios and high-traffic areas.
  • Cowhide: Cowhide rugs are durable and can stand up to years of use with proper care.

Where to use animal print rugs:

  • Give your kitchen a subtle chic touch with a neutral-hued leopard print runner.
  • Layer on sophistication with an animal print runner in the hallway.
  • Pull together an elegant dining space with a big animal print rug.
  • Liven up a games room with an animal print rug.
  • Use a weather-resistant indoor-outdoor animal print rug on your porch or patio.
  • Layer a cowhide (real or synthetic) atop a bigger natural fiber rug in the living room.
  • Create a serene backdrop in the master bedroom with a barely-there cream colored animal print rug.

Decorating With Animal Print Rugs

The caché for animal print rugs sadly began with hunting trophies when rare animal skins were displayed as prized possessions after hunting expeditions in Africa. In the 1950’s with the rapid growth of decorating as a profession and the advent of synthetic materials, there was suddenly a wide range of animal print textiles available that did not involve harming rare species. Prints like tiger stripes and cheetah print began to be used in chic apartments, offices and homes.

Today, some decorators even think of animal prints as neutrals, thanks to their ability to mix and match with all sorts of other colors and patterns as if they were blue jeans. You certainly don’t have to be an interior designer to get animal prints right, but subtle hues are do tend to be more forgiving.

Decorating tips for animal print rugs:

  • A little animal print goes a long way! If you have an animal print rug, you probably don’t need to add animal print cushions and a throw, too.
  • The more neutral, the easier animal prints are to work with. If you’re just dipping your toes into animal prints, go for a rug in cream, tan, or gray.
  • Hide-shaped rugs, whether they are made from real cowhide or a synthetic material, are especially great for layering over bigger natural fiber rugs.

Styling And Care Tips For Striped Area Rugs

Animal print rugs can work beautifully with many styles. Here are a few ideas for styling your animal print rug with your decorating look in mind:

  • Farmhouse: Create a layered look with a cowhide rug atop a natural fiber rug, paired with rustic antiques and classic linen upholstered furniture.
  • Beach: Bring a touch of sophistication to your laid-back beach house with a neutral animal print rug in cream and tan. Pair it with white-washed or natural wood furniture and white slipcovers.
  • Traditional: Go bold with a chic zebra print rug atop a larger natural fiber rug in the living room.
  • Modern: Embrace scandinavian modern style with a gray animal print rug, light wood furniture, and plenty of candles.
  • Eclectic: Make a statement with a bold cheetah print rug, and mix it up even more with an assortment of antiques, found items, colorful textiles and artwork.

To help your animal print rug look good and avoid damage, it helps to follow these guidelines:

  • For animal print rugs made from wool, blot (don’t rub!) any liquid spilled before applying a gentle, neutral detergent to clean. Do not use “oxy” type cleaners on wool rugs.
  • For animal print rugs made from synthetic fibers such as olefin, nylon, and rayon, the same method can be used — and for tough spots it’s okay to use “oxy” type cleaners.
  • Rugs Direct recommends avoiding using a vacuum with a beater bar on any area rug to keep it in the best possible shape.

Find Your Perfect Animal Print Rug

Use these shortcuts to narrow down your search results and find just the right animal print rug for you.

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