How To Work Animal Print Home Decor Into Your Space

Even minimalists will be on board.

by Jessie Quinn
animal print home decor
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The flashy, designer logo-loving style of the early 2000s is back in all its glory, thanks in large part to Gen-Z’s penchant for nostalgia and the ubiquitous mob wife aesthetic that’s dominating TikTok at the moment. While the latter trend is mostly coming for our wardrobes with bold jewelry and luxury fabrics it’s slowly but surely making its way back into our homes, too. Only, this time around, it’s less about the Tuscan kitchen decor and more about incorporating some of those lavish (and oh-so maximalist) animal-print motifs we’d find in a mob wife’s closet.

Alex Bass, interior designer, art curator, and founder of art and design studio Salon 21, recommends dipping your toe into the over-the-top patterns and general aesthetic before diving all in. “Work in small elements into your home with prints that feel just a little fancy,” she notes. This will allow you to lean into the mob wife trend while still maintaining a more subtle, timeless touch, so your space doesn’t feel too on the nose and can better blend with modern design choices.

As it happens, animal prints have a rich history in design, making them surprisingly versatile to work. “Animal prints are reminiscent of iconic eras like the glamorous 1950s and the opulent 1980s,” says interior designer Erin Lichy. Much like the suburban mansions of our favorite mob wives (hello, Carmela Soprano), these eras celebrated indulgence and sophistication, which is what we associate animal prints with today.

Apart from versatility, Lindsie Davis, an interior designer and founder of Blueberry Jones Design says animal prints are meant to elevate your space with personality. “What I love about them is that they add character to a room, making even the most sophisticated spaces feel unexpectedly fun,” she explains.

Leopard and cheetah ire the most iconic and obvious mob wife animal prints — and it just so happen to be considered neutrals (as far as prints are concerned) in the design world as they complement most color palettes, making them super easy to decorate with. That said, zebra and tiger prints also work particularly well here, especially when alongside saturated colors, luxurious textures (think: velvet and fur), and brass motifs. (If you want to try the mob wife look but prefer a more minimalistic look, Lichy says to opt for tiger since it’s usually less busy compared to leopard and cheetah prints.)


How To Decorate With Animal Prints

Mob wife home decor tends to err on the side of gaudy. For a more modern spin on this style, Bass says to focus on animal prints as statement decor. “Make sure you use [prints] as an accent piece rather than the entire [scheme], so it really has its own moment,” she explains. This can look like adding a leopard and brass table lamp to an entryway table, tossing a couple of leopard throw pillows on your sofa, or adding a small rug to your office.

Although you can incorporate animal print in more subtle, contrasting ways, Sarah Latham, an interior designer at Latham Interiors, says it can feel a bit too predictable when leopard print is splashed across your space on its own. Instead, she recommends blending these patterns with other prints, textures, and bold hues (jewel tones are a great choice) to make it feel more purposeful and interesting. To take it up a notch, Davis recommends mixing animal prints for an ultra bold effect. “The key to making the mix work is to use patterns with different scales,” she notes. “If the leopard print is smaller in scale and the tiger print is larger, they will complement each other and blend well in tone.”

Whether you’re more of a leopard-print mob wife or you prefer a classic tiger stripe, there are so many ways to make the mob wife aesthetic your own this season. Ahead, a few animal-printed pieces — from subtle to statement — to help you get started on your trendy journey. Products for the carousel: