About a decade ago, I remember being smitten with the images of leather couches and cowhide rugs in my Pottery Barn catalog. Nearly a decade later, animal hide rugs are still seen everywhere in design and decor. Here is a collection of some of my favs.
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As you might be able to tell from the pics, I’m partial to zebra rugs. I have to be honest here though; although I love the look of these, at the same time they sort of creep me out. What do you think? Do you have one in your home? Do you like the look of them? Do they possess a creepy factor for you too, or is that just me? Talk to me!
Bill Dern says
A definitive Yes! If you have a problem with dead things in your house, then you might as well not be a hypocrite and remove the paneling and dining room table and all the other furniture that glorifies the beauty of dead trees – wood!
I’ve had a cowhide rug in my bedroom for years and it’s beautiful, feels nice under the toes, and reminds me that the patterns and colors and textures of nature are so much more handsome than anything man-made.
Refreshing to see cowhide rugs outside of a western theme.
A lot of people in the comments think they are looking at authentic Zebra skin when obviously a lot of those are cowhide prints. Zebra are not very cow shaped 🙂
Kinda funny to see people worried about 'dead animal parts' in their home. I wonder how many wear dead animal parts on their jackets, shoes and purses!
Not my taste at all. I just saw a real zebra skin at a store yesterday. Eeek!
I love cowhide rugs, I desperatly want one in my living room but with two young boys I am not sure how well it would hold up.
love them but the one with the glass table looked gross to me…almost looked like it had been filleted! I will say though that they can get messed up easily…especially if you'd have furniture moving on top of them…the zebra ones are my favorite though…must be the drama! LOVE!
I think that many hide-shaped rugs are creepy (except zebras… I don't know why that is! lol). But DANG, look at that yellow on the walls in the country living picture!!! Now THAT I am on board with 😉
I LOVE animal prints and I do have a real zebra hide. My husband went on safari to South Africa and this was one of the treasures he brought back. I tried putting it on the floor, but didn't like the way it looked, so I hung it on the wall, in the corner – looks pretty cool if I do say so myself.
I know it creeps some people out, but I like it and I get a lot of compliments on it. I will be posting 6 year home anniversary pictures on my blog this week – you can check it out there and let me know what you think.
Love your blog!
Kim @ Sand and Sisal says
I like the zebra prints but that's about it. If I could have it formed into a regular round or rectangular shape that would even be better. As long as there's no head or tail attached, I'm good. I trip over enough toys, who wants to trip over a head! 🙂
Cindy at Some Really Neat Stuff says
Yep. Agree on the creepiness factor.
I just found your blog again after I lost it several months ago. That was a real loss. I love it! I finally decided I better follow you so I don't lose you again.
I like them in the photos, but have never had a desire to get one. Now that you mention it, they are kind of creepy. I like animal print on things like a chair or pillow. But not the actual hide rug.
I love this! Love that you are on the lookout for "enduring" trends – I like to be up with the times, but not if it means redecorating every 6 months. (Not that I don't sometimes do that!) Love the rugs!
Danielle @ Transforming Home says
I just bought one…a fake one, of course….and the shape of it kinda freaked me out. I put it in our TV room, under the couch and coffee table, so it is not all that obvious. But it adds just enough character and interest to the room. And my kids love laying around on it. Will it be in that room this time next year? I dunno….we'll see. It was a great price, so if it only works for a year, I'm fine with that.
I'm kind of unsure. Is it weird the first thing that pops into my head is, how do you clean it? Do you never wear shoes on it? Would it feel totally gross on my bare feet? LOL! I do really like the sheep skin ones, they are so soft. But not sure I could handle the shorter haired more stiff fur on my feet. Pretty pictures though!
The Sterling Cherub says
I adore animal print (love zebra, and the big cat patterns!) and do like the aesthetic of animal hides, but at the same time, there is a creepy/sad factor there, because it is part of a dead animal, after all, and I am a HUGE fan of all animals.
HOWEVER, that said, I am also a huge believer that if an animal is going to be killed for any reason (though I HATE the idea of hunting just for "sport" — food hunting is different), then every. single. part. of that animal should be USED. Maybe that comes from the little bit of Native American blood I have, I don't know. I think it is absolutely disprepectful to kill an animal and then throw most of it away!
My BFF does not like that I have leather handbags, but she is by no means a vegetarian or vegan, and in fact lives in Alaska and has a fridge full of moose meat right now! (she's doing the Atkins diet, so protein is most of what she eats). I pointed out how ridiculous it was for a cow to be killed so she could have the meat for fajitas, but that it is somehow wrong of me to have the hide for a handbag? Faulty logic, if you ask me.
I had one of those small Ikea sheep skins in front of my fireplace, and my cats avoided it like the plague! Its like they KNEW it was once alive (I think animals are more intuitive than we are in many ways). I ended up giving it to a friend, just so my cats would not be uncomfortable around it. So, how would I be able to have a full-sized zebra hide under my dining room table? Maybe it would keep the cats out of that room?!
The Hopkins Home says
I don't like them – they kind of creep me out and make me sad at the same time. Although I'm not a fan of any kind of animal print on anything – just not my style I guess…BTW I love the way you are presenting some different design trends lately and asking opinions – I love reading the comments – very interesting to see what everyone thinks 🙂
Very Creepy!!! I'm such an animal lover, I could never embrace this trend. Don't like heads on the wall or skins on the furniture and floor.
I really want a zebra print rug in my bedroom but not a real one. Mostly because my cat would chew on it. I once had some rabbit furs and one day they disapeared and sure enough they were hidden in the back of my closet behind a garment bag.
I really am excited the animal print is back and I love taking something ultra feminine like lace and then pairing it with a cool zebra or cheetah print while decorating. Kinda fun.
I am SO not into it! But, I don't even like animal print fabric or anything like that.
I do have a lambskin that my aunt (a sheep farmer) gave my son when he was born though. It's tucked in a closet somewhere because it grosses me out!
I think they look like fun in another person's home…not sure I could walk bearefoot on one in my own home though…kinda creepy.
When I was a child, my brother's godparents had an honest to goodness bearskin rug with head still attached. (the head was taxidermied.) It was definitely creepy. I love the picks of the animal skin rugs, but don't know that they'd ever work in my home. Great pics! Thanks for sharing.
Heather@The Black's Best says
They look great in pictures but I just don't think they seem very practical for real life. How in the world would you clean one of these if the kids spill something or the pet has an accident? I have to admit they creep me out a little bit. Kind of like mounted animal heads.
Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says
They give me the heebie jeebies. Eek!
Mary Lemon says
I love the look although the only rugs I have are fake and not the shape of the real ones. Fun to use for staging but I would probably rather have fake than an actual animal skin. Great look in these pics. I really wouldn't want one with the head on.
The Rusty Bucket says
I think it's the pattern that I find creepy like the zebra. I do love the layered look from the first photo but I would opt for fake. -Bethanie
nope. one trend i will seriously be abstaining from.
I like the look of them in these photos, but can't imagine one in my own home! Your right…they definitely possess a sort of creepy factor!!
Creepy definitely. The zebra ones are cool, but still creepy. Maybe a zebra print rug instead?
Lemonade Makin' Mama says
I'm so drawn to the yellow… I think I'm going to add in pops of yellow in my new house.
This is so funny I have this very topic on a list of ideas for a design post but from a different perspective. I am not a fan for my own personal taste, but when done well and not in a trendy room but in a classcially elegant room by someone that has had a rug like this for years and years because they truly love them , then I can appreciate them. I feel this rug has been beaten to death literally,sorry for the pun. I feel they are on their way out for the trendy but for the purest they will always be around. There I almost did my post here, Have a great weekend, KS
I'm loving the trend.. only if it's zebra!! And I'm also drooling over the wallpaper in the first pic, fo sho!!
I love the look, but think the real ones are sooo mean! Can you imagine being skinned? No thanks! I will take a fake, wool zebra print one though any day! 🙂
Lolo @ The Adventures of Stig and Lolo says
I prefer the prints….not the hides. They creep and sadden me at the same time. They sorta look like they got ran over – ala the bad guy via the steam roller in Roger Rabbit – hahaha.
I especially dislike the "tail" area……yuck! LOL
I DO love Ballard's tan colored leopard print rug. And it in no way resembles a leopard!!
I could handle a FAKE one, but I have seen an animal be skinned and it is not something I would want to look at in my home everyday! TOTALLY CREEPY!!
The enchanted home says
Nice roundup of rugs! I wasn't a huge fan from the start however they have been really growing on me and I like when I see them "layered" with other rugs or elements, they can look very rich and I like the texture and color they bring to a room. In the right room..they are stunning! Nice job!
I don't have one (does a wool zebra rug count?), but I am madly in love with them! That House Beautiful pic is one of my favorites. They don't creep me out at all. Does that make me weird? Who knows. I think they're gorgeous!
rindercella @ neatheringourfest says
while i think they are pretty and i try to appreciate the beautiful aesthetic of something that God made, i can't help but think about what used to be inside that skin… so they kind of creep me out a little. but again – i think they are beautiful. i just don't know that i could live with one!
I'm not a vegan or PETA member, but I could never live with an animal hide (faux or real) in my house. I feel the same way about animal heads. I may not be trendy, but animal body parts of any kind creep me out.
Jo - To a Pretty Life says
I really like the look of a cowhide rug. I'd only find it creepy if the head were still attached. I'm not sure if I could ever use one in decorating…maybe in my son's room one day. The zebra ones are pretty too, although that's even further out of my decorating comfort zone! I do have a little ikea lambskin rug that I got back before they got expensive.
They totally and completely creep me out. But then I'm anti animal print in general (don't own/want anything animal print) and don't dress my children in camo either. I'm not anti-leather…just anti-animal print. I don't know what that makes me…other than opinionated!!
Brittany Lynn says
When I was little, I watched Bambi probably three times a day, minimum. Then I married a hunter. Conflict of interests? Little bit. BUT, my husband's dad has gone to Africa several times and recently brought home a gorgeous zebra rug that I LOVE. I never thought I would say this, but I want that rug in my master bedroom. My father in law also brought me some Zulu masks and other interesting souvenirs I could decorate with. I would love a jungle themed room. However, since the rug isn't mine, I have been looking at the fake zebra rugs and I like them better (no head attached…not as creepy).
Kassi @ Truly Lovely says
I LOVE this look!!! I'm partial to zebra print also, but I love a good cowhide rug! I agree with Molly, fake = less creepy! And cheaper usually!
I love the fakes, but yes, the real ones kind of creep me out. I like the cowhide ones, myself.
Carmel @ Our Fifth House says
I love them! I think they're timeless. I've seen some really good fakes if you're not into the real thing. Maybe a fake wouldn't be so creepy?
Brooke Trogdon says
Nope, do NOT like it. I'm not an animal rights activist or anything of the like, but there is something that is just creepy and gross about it. The shape and all. I'm more traditional, like a rectangle rug with maybe an animal print. NOT an actual animal hide. That's gross to me, but to each their own. These images are pretty, but rugs not so much…