Tuesday, October 20, 2015

20 spaces that let the fur fly

When I had major reconstructive foot surgery two years ago, my major source of comfort (other than my husband) was a faux-fur heated throw he surprised me with on a run to our local warehouse store—fur on one side and sherpa on the reverse. For the better part of three months, strapped to a cryo-cuff which circulated ICE water around the three incisions in my foot and lower leg 24-7, this blanket was the only thing that kept me warm.

These days I seldom need the heat feature, but I still keep the throw handy whenever I’m watching TV—straight through the hottest part of the summer. It’s not hot flashes I suffer from, but constant cold. So recently I treated myself to a sweater coat lined with—you guessed it—low-pile faux fur. And wow,  is it ever cozy! All of which got me thinking that an EASY way to cozy up any interior space for fall and winter is to add faux fur elements—pillows, throws, ottomans, stools and upholstery. You don’t even have to touch to feel the warmth, but you won't be able to resist.

Faux fur comes in so many realistic prints and textures these days, there’s bound to be one to match any room’s color palette and style. Here are some ideas on how to cozy up your digs with faux fur.


When fur pillows talk, everyone listens


Sharon Montrose

Designed by Antonio Martins, this master bedroom in a bachelor’s Lake Tahoe ski lodge could include a plaque above the bed that says “James Bond slept here.” As well as a few Bond girls, and I’m guessing no one got much shut-eye. I love the symmetry of the room, as well as the rough-hewn bench that shares its cognac color with those gorgeous faux-fox pillows. The neat pinstripe of the bedding draws the eye toward all that yummy softness. I hope this room has a view because I’d just never want to leave it, 007 or not.



Found on Minneshopolis

Because the bedding is neutral, these fur pillows can easily be swapped out for a bright ikat, suzani or geometric print to welcome spring. But from frost-time through April showers these two plush sirens will call you home. If you work from home, my guess is more afternoon naps are in your future.





These shaggy guys, one in a square and one in a lumbar shape, add to the layers of texture in this industrial chic living room. The large-panel horse artwork sets the stage. Those pillows just could be its mane. Nothing like leaning your head against horsey while you watch Seabiscuit, right?



Throw me for a loop, anytime



Everything about this California bedroom designed by Stephen Shubel says Hollywood glam. And what better material to take a room over the top than faux fur? The black accents against red remind me of all those black ties and tuxes on the red carpets at award ceremonies and premieres. This luxe black throw looks stunning flanked by those black lampshades and cute damask pillows.




Acrylic can be spun and dyed to rival most any natural animal coat, including Mongolian lamb. Loving the look is okay, but make sure the “skin” you buy is manufactured. Wild Mongolian sheep, technically called Argali, are an endangered species and protected in their natural habitat. The faux look-alike you purchase won’t be quite as warm as the real thing, but then you won’t be wading through snow in it at high altitudes running from the poaching police. For your couch—and this one—a knock-off is plenty warm enough.





The mix of pattern here says glam AND boho to me—GLAMBO! The steady repeat of the 2015 Pantone color of the year, Marsala, is what takes this bedroom over the top. And the lush fur blanket folded chastely over the bottom half of the bed brings it back down to earth.



Found on Chinoiserie Chic

This classic chinoiserie bedroom designed by Phoebe Howard wears its faux fur throw like a counterpoint. So much elegance, all blue and white, and then--!! A stroke of warmth that’s also a stroke of genius.



Pushing fur’s boundaries



You don’t need to reupholster an entire sofa or chair to have a different look come cooler weather. If yours have loose cushions (bottom or back), simply slipcover with a striking faux fur. Guests usually gravitate to chairs rather than sofas, but I’m thinking this touchy-feely tiger print on the couch will have them jockeying for position. It sure makes MY inner cat purr! If you don’t sew or can’t spend money on a seamstress right now, use faux fur throws to get a similar look. Either wrap your cushions and pin the throw to size, or layer the fur throw like the woven one on this sofa—over the back and under the seat cushions.



Allen Kirsch & Associates

Use similar methods to get the look of the glorious leopard cocktail ottoman in this room designed by Allen Kirsch. Slipcover or simply fold and drape a luscious faux fur throw. Straight cushion and ottoman slipcovers are relatively easy to pattern, cut and sew. The trick lies in working with the faux fur, which does sometimes shed when cut. Ask for pointers at the fabric store.


PB Teen

I absolutely LOVE that each of these faux fur bean bag chairs has its own matching stocking! I’d ask Santa to leave one of these under my Christmas tree, but if I sat down in it I don’t know if I’d be able to get back up. But then again, maybe I wouldn’t WANT to. Hmmm… Note to Santa: My favorite is the snow leopard!




Believe it or not, this faux fur area rug came from Wal-Mart. Though it doesn’t look like winter outside this bedroom, I can easily see this rug warming up my Midwestern toesies come January. My bedroom is carpeted, but a faux fur accent rug would look oh-so-divine positioned over it. I’d pull mine down a bit to anchor the seating area I have facing the foot of the bed.




How ‘bout the wowza pair of faux fur stools in this bedroom designed by Lee Ann Thornton?! They look like creatures from outer space (friendly, of course). Remember that episode in the original Star Trek series, “The Trouble with Tribbles”? These guys reminds me of tribbles that grew bodies and legs. Cute! This pair is by Jonathan Adler, but you’ll find a hardy selection of these pint-sized beauties in various imitation furs AND price ranges at other retailers. Seems they multiple just like those tribbles!



How much is too much?


Ballard Designs

That's strictly a matter of personal preference. I’m loving this mix of a brown-bear throw with THREE matching pillows AND a leopard ottoman at the end of the bed. The neutral bedding and the reliance on texture rather than pattern make it work. And how easy would it be to change out the throw and pillows come spring to a colorful tribal print that brings in the brown of the headboard and the sage green of the chair. I’d leave the leopard ottoman. If it were mine, I don’t think I could bear to cover it up!



One Kings Lane

The lush brown chinchilla is subtle against the bolder brown zebra-skin rug (all faux, of course)in this bedroom by designer Alessandra Branca. The dark chocolate wood floor here is amazing, and I can see why the owner would want to leave as much as possible showing, but “skin” rugs do look smashing layered. A larger area rug (sisal?) would look great beneath it or even solid-colored wall-to-wall carpet.





Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard knows his way around glambo, that’s for sure. This bedroom is all-out but stops short of crashing any gates. The gray/black faux chinchilla coverlet and standard shams make a wonderful foil for the hot pink sheets and the bright ikat Euros. And all that white faux fur underfoot is luxe-deluxe on the bare feet, I’m bettin’.



Restoration Hardware

Something about fur heightens all the textures in a room. Here, the metal table pops, the fireplace carving pops, the wood sculpture, the carved chair, the weave of the draperies—it just goes on and on. I think I could live forever in this room with these faux fox pelts to snuggle me. The white faux fur area rug works with the over-mantel mirror to make sure the room feels “black tie” rather than “black hole.”


Faux fur matches the real thing and then some




The tiger fur bolster pillows in an other-worldly raspberry provide a playful pop in this bedroom designed by Philip Gorrivan. Along with the strong horizontal lines of the bed, the tiger stripes are a counterpoint to the round shapes found elsewhere in the room—the clover-shaped mirror, the Moroccan-patterned window mullions, the swirl of the chair arms, and lastly, the subtle leopard spots of the teal carpet. (You DID see those, didn’t you?) I’d volunteer to be the third animal in this zoo any day of the week.


No telling what’s next



Okay, maybe this sofa by Italian designer Rodolfo Rochetti takes it a bit far. On the other hand, it’s the cutest of the collection, which includes a scary black panther and a doe-eyed Holstein cow.




If you have leftover bean pillows, chairs or ottomans from your teenage years and you’ve been waiting repurpose, this is your lucky day. This settee is actually pretty rad—and snuggly to boot!



And what about all those stuffed animals your now-adult daughter packed away in boxes still stored in YOUR attic? Well, here’s a solution. This loveseat would be an especially great fit in a nursery if she's expecting or you want her to be. Kinda cute, huh? I hear it grows on you. ;->

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