I’m late to the game with my antelope carpet crush, but I think it’s a look that has to grow on you. And boy, has it! I’m certainly not tired of my current carpet, and it’s scarcely three years old, so we’re certainly not talking replacement. But oh how I wish I’d seen antelope patterns when we last carpet-shopped! Chances are I wouldn’t have talked Chris into it, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
Maybe if I showed him some of these dreamy antelope-carpeted rooms…
Designer Garrow Kedigian used Stark Antilocarpa in his Montreal sitting room, as well as on the staircase. He quips that it’s an homage to Canada’s fur-trading industry and admits the pattern is a hard-sell with his clients in spite of its neutral qualities. See/read more about this home at House Beautiful.
I love how the antelope mixes so well with bright colors and bold prints–even other animal prints (though I’ve never seen a green cheetah).
|Jan Showers via The Peak of Chic|
I swear I could get even MORE work done with this underfoot. That desk is nothing to sneeze at either! Follow the link to see more spaces by Jan Showers Interior Design.
This taupe antelope warms up the dark gray sofa and walls without getting in the way of those sensational pops of red.
A reality check and a story
Because dreams are all I have of antelope carpet for now, I got to wondering how the carpet compares with actual antelopes. Not that I’m planning to hunt one down and skin it, or even adopt one as a pet. But the carpet is so beautiful, I knew the animal had to be, too.
Turns out there are many varieties of antelope, some with vertical stripes, some with horizontal bands, some with dots and stripes, etc. Interestingly, the antelope carpet I’ve seen looks most like the animals in the lower left photo, which are spotted deer rather than antelope, so more connected to what fascinates me about this carpet.
The first summer in our condo was unbearably hot, so we were always looking for weekend entertainment that kept us cool. The car AC kept up with the 100-degree temperatures better than our HVAC, so we took a drive in the country. Western Indiana’s Parke County has a higher concentration of covered bridges than any other U. S. county—31 in total—and holds a Covered Bridge Festival every fall. We’re not much for crowds, so we never attend, but the four routes to see the bridges make beautiful, leisurely drives off-season when they’re not jammed with festival-goers.
On one of those routes we happened across a doe and her two fawns nibbling on corn in a field. The corn in Indiana gets pretty high, so all we saw at first was the mama’s head bobbing up and down as she ate. Then, out of nowhere, these two smaller forms leapt up and down, first one, then another, then the other again. We pulled over to the side of the road to watch, but once the doe saw us she bounded across the road into some woods, where she turned and waited for her offspring to follow, which they did, awkwardly, one by one. We got a good look at the babies then, and they still had their spots!
The way the three of them pranced in the corn reminded me of musical notes dancing across a score, and now whenever I see antelope carpet I think of those two fawns and that day. How we decorate our houses should tell a story, right? This carpet would do that for me.
‘Species’ of antelope carpet
Stark, Couristan, Karastan, and Glen Eden all make variations of antelope carpet in different shades and pattern intensities. Most of the choices fall in the tan-to-chocolate-brown range, but taupe and gray options are offered as well. One manufacturer even has a blue version, which isn’t at all what I had in mind, but in the right setting it would be stunning.
I like that most antelope carpet reads as a neutral but adds visual texture. And it maintains its neutral stance even when lots of pattern and color are used along with it, as in this example:
|MeKenzie France via The English Room|
The top left photo shows how the Karastan Exotics carpet looked during installation, without furniture, window treatments and other décor, while the other photos show the finished room. There’s a lot going on here for sure, but the carpet pattern gives a fun movement to the madness, don’t you think? See/read more about the renovation of this family room during last fall’s One Room Challenge at The English Room.
New carpet is at least five years down the road for me, probably longer. So if I can’t have antelope carpet, what are my other options?
- Antelope fur pillow case, 100% polyester, 20 by 30 inches, $27.99
- Faux antelope hide rug printed on faux suede, 58 by 93 inches, $199.
- African Queen II wallpaper by Rasch, $79.98 per double roll.
- Patterned jacquard antelope throw, 100% cashmere, 50 by 65 inches, $299.
They all leave me feeling kind of flat. What about you? No spots on the pillow case, I’m not a wallpaper fan and I especially don’t think I’d like this in anything except MAYBE a bathroom, the “hide” looks more like a cow than an antelope, and the throw is just boring.
What about an AREA rug? Any dealer who carries the brands mentioned earlier could probably custom order an area rug. But thankfully that won’t be necessary.
Why? Because Ballard Designs added antelope to its animal print area rug collection this year.
Here’s a closer look:
Ballard’s antelope hand-tufted rug is 100% wool with a cotton backing and comes in five sizes, ranging in price from $149 to $849. I’m thinking low-end…a 3-by-5 foot accent at either the foot of our bed or at the side I use (so I can admire it while I’m getting dressed).
It’s not wall-to-wall by a long shot (swerve for puns), but maybe it will tide me over until our next carpet-hunting safari.