Don’t Be Afraid of: Zebra

Louisa canopy bed with zebra print upholstery

Not to toot our own horns, but sometimes we just hit the nail on the head. We’re still swooning over every single detail in this gorgeous bedroom featured in our Spring catalog, so much so that we thought it it served as the perfect example to prove why zebra print has stolen our hearts and why you should make it a part of your home.

Zebra print canopy bed with upholstered headboard

1. In a subtle tone-on-tone color palette, zebra can be soft and feminine.

When it comes to home design, most people usually think of zebra as a pattern that is bold, busy, and not something they’re ready to add to their bedroom. But as evidenced by this soothing space, we protest! When presented in a gorgeous tone-on-tone gray, like our Kenya Gray fabric, zebra print can feel quite relaxed and neutral. The gray-and-white colors give this feisty fabric a more sophisticated appeal, and we’re loving the way it mixes with our feminine Hailey Ruffled Bedding.

Zebra print upholstered bed with white bedding

2. Mixed with lots of neutrals, zebra feels relaxed and unfussy

In this bedroom, we blended our zebra print fabric with large planes of airy whites, like sheer linen drapes, which create a canopy around our Louisa bed, and luxurious all-white bedding. These airy whites and a soft gray wall color leave this bedroom feel polished and perfectly inviting.

Two stools in zebra print upholstery

3. A pair of stools in zebra aren’t too much

It’s easy to think when you’re picking upholstery that each furniture piece in a room should be a different fabric. As evidenced by this gorgeous space, not so! We could have gone with a simple cream or gray fabric on the pair of Lacquer Louis Stools at the foot of the bed, but by using the Kenya Gray fabric twice, we’ve turned the zebra print into a neutral. Using one fabric in several places in a room, the effect is really quite tailored. Plus, you can apply this rule to just about any pattern.

Kenya gray fabric on Louisa canopy bed

4. Let your accessories take a back seat

When you’re working with a bolder print, incorporate accessories with a more restrained style. For example, we chose accessories in mostly white and creams. None of our accessories compete with the zebra print, instead they complement it. We also opted for our Bradley Task Lamp in Aged Silver as it closely matches the frame of our Louisa Canopy Bed. While we’re usually fans of mixing metal finishes together, in a bedroom where you want to create a relaxing space, the matched metals play to that tailored look.

Find more inspirational bedrooms on our Bedrooms Pinterest Board, or browse our Bedrooms Photo Gallery.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Ann ette Nazari Suares

    April 26, 2016


  2. Reply

    Joyce Cummings

    June 25, 2015

    Why is this fabric not in the fabric ? Have looked in the catalogs and net .want it.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 22, 2015

      Hi Joyce,
      Unfortunately this fabric has been discontinued! We’re so sorry!
      The How to Decorate Team

  3. Reply

    leah alexander

    October 4, 2014

    I really enjoyed seeing a beautiful white bed. Thank you for showing me what I vision.

  4. Reply

    Cindy Scoma

    May 26, 2014

    Stunning oasis! Would love to have wall color posted

  5. Reply

    Tana Leigh

    May 4, 2014

    Excellent combination of feminine and masculine,traditional and contemporary,very dramatic!