I don’t know about you, but for me the organic luxury of fur has always been a source of undefinable enchantment. There’s something about the rich variety of texture, form, and purpose nature provides us with that never fails to captivate. Recognized for its wooly warmth and gentle pelage, sheepskin is one of my favorite design tools to bring nature’s charm into the home.
Food52 just launched a new line of humanely-raised, naturally tanned sheepskin that comes in ivory and oat—and in honor of the occasion (and even if the idea of working with sheepskin hasn’t yet crossed your mind) I'm sharing 8 reasons I love to design with it in the home.
As opposed to printed or woven cloth—where surrounding wall color must be carefully considered—the neutral shade of sheepskin adds instant appeal to any palette. For minimally-decorated spaces, the playful texture can instill a bit more personality to smoother, classic materials such as marble and wood, while in more spontaneous interiors, the fur’s clean color will add an element of versatile refinement to a more casual mix of color and print.
Unlike leather, sheepskin may be scratched, scuffed, or stepped on without showing many signs of use. There are also many eco-friendly, faux-fur options now available that look just like the real thing, and most sheepskin rugs can even be washed in a machine for easy upkeep.
Although sheepskin may be thought of as primarily a wintertime accent, it can be a great design tool for warmer months as well. When it’s hot out, you’ll want less clutter in your space and more room to breathe—the quick addition of a sheepskin throw in cool beige will create enough statement and depth to fill your entire room. As the temperature drops, introduce an assortment in varying styles to add a warmer base to wooden chairs, a snug cover to sofas, and an even more welcoming idea for a welcome mat.
The great thing about any natural product is that each is one-of-a-kind. Though most sheepskins are petite, there are also a selection of patchworked sheepskin throws and rugs available for larger interiors. When space is limited, a small pillow or panel thrown over the arms of a chair may add just the touch of warmth you’re looking for.
Generally thought of as a material used only underfoot, designer’s have channeled the luxurious appeal of sheepskin in creative ways. Cozy up your couch by layering on a few sheepskin pillows, or sling a plush sheepskin over an antique wooden trunk for a sophisticated storage solution.
Even if an extravagant renovation may not be in the cards for your wallet, there are plenty of options on the market that can trick even your own bank account.
Though we are all familiar with the fluffy white variety, sheepskins come in a wider range of styles depending on the breed. From Icelandic sheep, you can find a longer, sleeker fur in dark brown for pairing with wooden interiors, while Mongolian sheepskin is curly and less tamed, giving off vintage modern vibes.
Mother nature has a lot going for her. Reel in the magic of the wilderness without the dirt and grass stains by adding a plush pillow or throw to an industrial concrete environment.