Cheetahs, Leopards, and Jags: 3 Prints That Are Always in Style

Jaguar Fashion Inspired Interior Design

Images: (Left) Cristina, (Right) Elle Décor

Some trends come and go, while others have a certain staying power that can’t be ignored. One such trend would be cheetah, leopard, and jaguar prints – CLJ for short. Often used in fashion, the spotted look is just as popular in the home.

As a Fashion Mainstay, CLJ Decor Will Always Seem Fresh


Image: Cristina

Since interior design tends to trail fashion, CLJ fans have little to fear. The exotic prints were showcased as recently as the fall 2013 runways and will undoubtedly make an appearance in the upcoming spring shows. CLJ is also prevalent in street style looks worldwide. Whether head-to-toe frocks, shoes, or accessories, these powerful prints are a mainstay in fashion culture. That’s good news for interiors! CLJ décor will always feel of the moment although it’s been widely used for decades.

Cheetah vs. Leopard vs. Jaguar: Can you spot the difference?

The patterns of these animals are constantly confused and interchanged; in fact, an Internet search for “leopard” will yield examples of all three! But take heart, this isn’t an elementary or novice mistake – even the so-called experts mislabel these prints. So, to properly learn the difference, let’s go straight to the source.


C- Cheetah, L- Leopard, J- Jaguar
Image: The Big Cat Blog

A cheetah’s small solid-colored spot is by far the easiest to discern; however, things get tricky when comparing leopards and jags. As a rule of thumb, the jaguar has a larger, open spot, or rosette, with smaller spots at its center.

Use At Home for a Chic Interior

CLJ fabrics are everywhere, and often used as a neutral when decorating. Try a small dose via a throw pillow, or be risky with a fabulous, fully-upholstered sofa. When done well, the results can be super chic!


Images: (1) Vogue, (2-3) Lonny, (4) Chic & Posh

Feeling adventurous? Try wall-to-wall carpet like this landing and stairwell.


Images: (Both) Harper’s Bazaar

Now for your CLJ quiz! Can you tell which pattern is which in the above examples?

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About The Author

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Desiré Greene
Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.