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Bad use of a perfectly good zebra rug

I love a zebra rug. I do. I know I shouldn't but I do. I fell in love with zebra rugs the first day I saw one on the top floor in the home collection of Ralph Lauren. But, here's what I don't love. I do not love it when people put their zebra rug at the wrong angle. Its very important not to do this. Its easy NOT to do this. Look:

This is the perfect example of how to use a zebra rug. The most important step in using a zebra rug is the angle. The wrong angle use can make it look like you are walking directly into the zebra's bum. Not good. 

Now look at this one:
See? This is wrong. It looks like you are walking right IN it. Additionally, this rug is too big. Small doses are key. I love this bathroom but if they had just angled it better and found a bit smaller rug it would be perfect.

And for god's sake, if you are going to commit to getting a zebra rug, get a REAL one. Its not like you are being a better person by getting a cowhide zebra rug. FYI, cows are animals too.

Here are some examples of improper embarrasing uses of zebra rugs.
 Bad angle but great blue chairs. This is a nice room but if they had just bought a real rug and angled it better it would have been great. Oh, and gotten rid of that Tuesday Morning cachepot on that beautiful guerdion table. 
This is a great room but if they had just turned that beast around at a slight angle and bought a real zebra it would be perfect. Who wants to walk into a room and walk into a zebra's privates?
I love this room but I think the rug should be turned a bit, no? And real. It's like, "I'm a cow dressed a zebra, Surprise!"  Love the room though.

This almost works but if they had just angled it under the bed a pit it would be perfect. I also like the layering of a sisal and then a zebra. Gives it some depth.

Yikes. Looks like the zebra went, "Splat!" On a side note, there are too many little pieces here. A small sofa would have been better and then the table. I love the table. At least they used a real zebra.

Okay, now for some good examples of zebra rugs:
This is perfect.


So, to sum up MY thoughts on zebra rugs:
1. Angle it
                                                                          2. Use a real one
                                                                          3. Only use one zebra per house.
                                                                          4. Use appropriate size


  1. Think the zebra rug under the bed looks terrible! Agree with your 'perfect' though. The under bed one clashes massively with the other carpet/rug on the floor, not good.

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  3. Dear Eleanor,

    I am thinking strongly about putting a zebra rug in my new house. I want to put it under my dining room table (possibly layered over a sisal). I was wondering if you think this is a proper use of a zebra. Also, any recommendations on angling?



    1. Dear Kirstin,
      yes, it sounds like a great use of zebra. I love the layering aspect. Angle the zebra so it doesn't look like you are walking into its fanny. Also, don't put it straight underneath your dining room table. Angle it a bit. XOXO Ellie

  4. Oh dear, this made me giggle MIGHTILY. Not only because you just are so witty but I just had this conversation with my Honey the other day regarding our (fake! I know! I am kicking myself for not buying the real one in Tanzania but it seemed...kind of...smelly) zebra rug and now I have proof that it needs to be angled. Ha! Thank you Mam.

  5. Its ok to walk on zebra rugs or put furniture, i.e., coffee tables, on them? I see examples like this, in fact most of them are placed like this. I don't expect a lot of traffic, but some here and there. I have a large, 8 ft. rug that I plan to place in Great Room in front of a sectional / fireplace. There will be a coffee table. Thank you. Pls reply to

  6. Hello, thank you for the ideas. I have a large, 8 ft. zebra rug I took last year in S. Africa, and plan to use it in my Great Room, in front of sectional and fireplace. My questions are, it seems ok to walk on them and place a coffee table on them? Don't expect tons of traffic but there will be some. I understand the angling thoughts and agree. I'd rather use the zebra on the hardwood floor so this was my concern. Thanks!