When it comes to incorporating animal hides into home decor, Texans have always been more than a hair ahead of the trends. Its no surprise, then, that local designers say theyve been loving shagreen one of the seasons hottest home decor materials for some time now.Said to have derived from the French word chagrin, shagreen refers to the skin of sharks and rays; the rawhide features a texture that is rough and granular.The prized and somewhat exotic skin has signified luxury, some reports say, since the time of the pharaohs in Egypt. In 18th-century France, King Louis XVs most famous mistress, Madame de Pompadour, was said to have been a devoted fan of shagreen; it became popular again during Europes Art Deco era. Though found mostly in neutral colors like gray and cream, the hide can be found or dyed in more colorful hues, such as dusty blue and purple, and faux shagreens are popular. The material is used to cover both larger furniture pieces, such as chairs and screens, and smaller accessories, such as trays and lamps.On a variety of projects, I have incorporated the uniqueness of shagreen by using it on ... desk accessories for commercial projects in executive offices and upholstery such as dining chairs, says Fort Worth interior designer Kenneth Jorns, ASID. Recently I covered the most awesome dining chairs in a red skin that has blown everyone away. I love it!