What’s black and white and stylish all over? Why, zebra print, of course! This classic look is neutral in color, bold in appearance and wild in mood, making it adaptable to just about any decorating style and personal taste. It’s a strong, dramatic print, however, so when it comes to taking a walk on the wild side in the bedroom, it’s best to use zebra in a single dose.
Heat Up the Bed
As the largest piece of furniture in most bedrooms, the bed plays center stage when it comes to decorating. Take advantage of the spotlight with a zebra-inspired bedding set. Go all-out with a fully striped comforter, or take it down a notch with a solid comforter or duvet rimmed with a zebra border. Add a sham or two with animal magnetism, but don’t go crazy with the toss pillows. Keep those simple, in solid white, black or a bright color to contrast against the zebra print. You want your bed to attract attention, not raise eyebrows, so keep the sheets, bed skirt and blankets solid, not striped, to avoid animal overload.
Spice Up the Floor
An area rug is the perfect way to spare your feet the shock of hitting chilly hardwood or laminate on a cold winter’s morning. A zebra-print area rug has enough flair to bring pizzazz to your bedroom, but the neutral colors keep it from overwhelming the space. If your bedroom floor has carpeting, simply layer the area rug right on top. Here are a few guidelines for choosing the right size rug:
- If the rug is for the foot of your bed, look for an area rug a little bit wider than your mattress, and large enough to fill most of the space between the foot of the bed and the wall or dresser.
- If the rug is going under your bed, it should be large enough to extend at least 12 to 18 inches out at the sides and foot of the mattress.
- If you are just adding a small bedside rug, it should fill most of the space between the mattress and the wall or dresser.
Little Things Count
If you prefer zebra in a smaller dose, stick with accessories. One or two animal print touches are enough to give your bedroom spirit without looking like the zoo.
- Choose a zebra-print lampshade.
- Hang zebra curtains or a valance.
- Liven up the walls with a self-sticking zebra border a foot or two below the ceiling.
- Toss a small throw blanket over the back of your bedroom chair, or at the foot of the bed.
- Gather two or three paintings or photos of actual zebras, and arrange them on the walls.
- Set a photo or two in a zebra-print frame, and keep them on your nightstand.
- Switch out a boring light fixture with a zebra print replacement.
In a Child’s Room
Zebra is a fine choice for children of all ages, and is especially loved by preteen and teen girls. You can go a little crazier with bold prints in a kid’s room, but the look still needs to be controlled. Any of the ideas suggested for an adult bedroom work here, but a fun option is to choose a bright-color-and-black zebra print, instead of the natural black and white. Hot pink, bright blue and yellow are especially exciting against the contrast of black, and you can often find zebra print with these colors in the teen bedroom department of stores like Target or Walmart.
If your child is especially outgoing and dramatic, a very bold look is painting zebra stripes right on the walls. You can do this freehand, or use a stencil if you don’t trust your artistic skills. Go zebra on just the wall at the head of the bed for a focal point, or go wild with stripes on all four walls.
Remember, the primary purpose of your bedroom is relaxing into sleep, so don’t create an atmosphere that is overly stimulating. When decorating with a very bold print like zebra, the old adage, “More is less,” truly comes into play.