Animal print fabrics can be one of the easiest fabrics to incorporate with any interior decorating scheme. Animal prints act much like black and white on color wheel. The pattern blends in perfectly with any color, and therefore it makes it an easy choice for any designer in finishing a room. Too much of one color in a room can make a room appear boring, so adding an additional texture or element can give it some life.
Painting the frame of your french chair to coordinate with the upholstery can create a beautiful effect. As you can see in some of the pictures we posted some chairs have a natural wood frame, others have a white painted frame and others with a black painted frame. Which do you prefer?
White Finishes: Sometimes the key to getting the finish right with a white chair is glazing over the white frame with a brown glaze. How glaze works is you paint over your (satin or eggshell white finish ) with a brown glaze. You wait for about 3 or 4 minutes and wipe off the glaze using a soft rag leaving some of the glaze behind in the cracks. The overall tone of the white paint will be aged and not so new looking. For an even more antique finish, distress your frame with a sponge sander before you begin glazing, allowing some of the natural wood to show through. In this post I explain how to achieve great black painted finishes.
Above is a terrific looking Louis XVI settee with zebra print upholstery. Normally I WOULD list fabric from Amazon, but animal prints are rather tricky to find. If you go to either Michaels Craft Store or JoAnnes Craft Store, you will not find a zebra print that looks realistic. The black chair below is an upholstery found at Calico Corners. They have high quality prints and woven fabrics that are high end looking for your upholstery needs.
If you look closer at the photo below of the Settee from Donna Parker, the print is either from a cow hide or some sort of realistic animal hide. Horchow is famous for using these types of fabrics and they really can make your chair look like a million bucks. I have been looking around for fabric like this for my own set of chairs, and I would suggest going online and looking up “cow hide zebra” Smaller stores may carry specialty items such as this.
Amazon does carry some stunning fabrics. You can also order sample cuts depending on the seller for a sample of the fabric before committing to several yards.
Payless sells a Microfiber Suede Brown and Cream Zebra For $13.00 Per Yard
You can see in this picture how well zebra fabrics work with brighter interior colors. You can see this table has a bright green table cloth, and the zebra prints work well in this scheme. The chairs are painted gray and heavily distressed. In the past I have achieved these finishes by starting with a brown base color. Then after the piece is dried, I heavily distressing the piece of furniture, I then applied a dark butter yellow satin OIL paint over the top of the furniture. Working small sections at a time, I would apply it, and right away I would wipe it off with a dry wash cloth. This leaves behind the white aged appearance that you see in the legs of these chairs.
If your taste is more refined, do a search on ebay for Maitland-Smith furniture. The line features many reproductions and high end looks. Here you see a metal stool. If you can imagine, a mahogany against a zebra print can be extremely rich looking. Accenting the details of your carved accents gold can really make your french chair stand out.
A gold frame can really make a white and black zebra stand out. Over the years I have learned that even using the best gold spray paint pales in comparison to gold leafing. Taking the extra time out to gold leaf your accent chair will make a world of difference in the quality of the end product.
Look how zebra prints work terrific with painted finishes and natural woods in the above room designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors. Adding some natural wood to your painted home gives the room a base. The black and the white upholstery looks terrific against the bare wood chest. You can see in Jessica Lagrange’s design the zebra print is centered on the back of the chair. Centering the fabric according to the design will make your french chairs appear more professionally upholstered.
This Sophie Lounge Chair sells for $2975