How can I make my leopard-print sheets feel less love motel-y?

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Rawr! Photo by Ask Chewie. Used under Creative Commons license.

Lithy has a question!

I love leopard print (perhaps too much) and have bought a leopard print bed cover pillowcase set.

Unfortunately, now I find it makes our bedroom look too much like a motel room you rent by the hour.

How can I accessorize with this bold print to make it work?

What have you got, guys? Go to town in the comments and help Lithy save the leopard print.

Comments on How can I make my leopard-print sheets feel less love motel-y?

  1. Pairing it with a rich solid color will offset the print- even something bordering on boring can tone everything down and highlight the fun (as opposed to freaky) Maybe try grey/silver, deep blue, or deep purple throw blanket and throw pillows?

    • Since leopard print has alot of neutrals & basics in itself, with all the browns, tans, and blacks, my first reaction is to add some COLOR! I was thinking a nice deep red to set off the leopard print, but then I realized that would make it even more sexy-fied, lol! I think Erin’s suggestion of deep purple would be a MUCH better way to add color. It would really bring out the luxurious nature of animal print, without bringing on the sexy like red would. I think it could look downright regal with the right shade of purple 🙂

  2. I agree with Erin, that you should tone things down. I’d work with the lighter colors in the sheets, like beiges or grays. Plus, it’s not like your sheets have to be showing. You can change the style in which you make your bed to make the sheets less obvious, like adding more pillows or pulling the top blanket up all the way.

    In the end, if you like them, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

  3. just like you do with an outfit. pair it with neutrals (like grays, tans, etc). it won’t be boring, it just frames it in a different way than hot pink would. hehe

    … maybe add a heart shaped tub 😉

  4. Layer in some solids to balance the print… if you’re inclined to do a little room makeover, a rich (but not dark) wall color might help to blend the print in a little more. Use one of the lighter gold/tan colors in your bedding as a guide. Pairing a strong print with neutrals helps to ground it… then you can add a few pops of accent color. As the commenter above suggested, think of it like a great outfit and adjust the proportions.

    • That’s what I was going to suggest! Leopard with white is so 1950’s Hollywood wonderful… Of course, I’d spill everywhere. But I love white in other people’s decor. 🙂

  5. I love leopard print! I had so much of it that eventually I bought a roll of carpeting and cut it into area rugs for the whole house. Here are my hints to make it work:

    Only one leopard print per room. If you have 2 objects with the exact same leopard you might be okay, but it’s way less chaotic if you stick to one. Miss-matched leopard looks awkward. I had to get rid of lots of leopard to make room for that carpet!

    Lots of colors work with leopard, because leopard is made of neutrals. I’ve had most success with reds and greens, but a friend has leopard with navy and it’s surprisingly hot. The room I’m in now has leopard carpet and a red African wax print valance- it works because most everything else is one of the colors in the leopard- lots of beige and black, with a few red accents.

    Really, there’s at least one shade of every color that goes with leopard. I love scarlet and deep red, olive or emerald green, deep purple or navy… it’s hard to say without seeing your leopard. Add one bold color and then make the rest match the tan/beige in the leopard. I prefer having tan walls with dark furniture. Have fun!

  6. Im a zebra print fanactic, and have a zebra print velor blanket. Can you say cheese motel? Anyways, we painted our room in silvers and black, and use a really really dark blue as our only colour in the room. I love the look of our room- it’s sexy and sultry without being cheesy. We also went all dark on the furniture. The silver is a great color accent as well at least for the zebra, and its a bit brighter and grown up then the white of the zebra print.
    If i had leopard, I would probably do the same idea, but with browns and golds. I love the idea of a dark purple. Or even a maroon red. Something dark. I used the same zebra blanket on my own bed when I lived alone, and paired it with bright pinks and reds and oranges and (at least then) loved the brightness of it, but it really did scream little girl. I

  7. A lot of people are suggesting dark, rich colors. That’s fine if you want to go with the sort of decadent feel. But you don’t necessarily have to. You can go lighter. Brights might make it look younger than you want, but if you like fun-looking, they can work well. But more subdued colors, like light blue, might keep things from feeling too dark of heavy. Avoid yellow, it’ll look weird with the tan. Green is tricky too, because the wrong shade of green with animal prints will scream “jungle-themed kids room!”.

  8. I love the ideas about white and Tiffany blue. I also think light pink would look lovely. All of these could make it look a bit more feminine vs. freaky. 🙂

  9. I have giraffe print sheets (my first animal print ANYTHING, EVER!) that I pair with a teal comforter cover and mismatched orange, red, and yellow pillowcases. I also have a turquoise rug, Tiffany’s blue painted furniture with on-the-blue-side-of-white trim, and brightly colored artwork. Maybe it looks like a box of crayons threw up, but I love waking up in such a cheerful bright space. FUCK BEIGE. BE BOLD.

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