Home decor goes exotic

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Arteriors 2100 Stemmons Freeway Dallas 972-488-9800 www.arteriorshome.com Domain XCIV 3100 W. Seventh St. Fort Worth 817-336-1994 www.domainxciv.com Neiman Marcus 2100 Green Oaks Road Fort Worth 817-738-3581 www.neimanmarcus.com Portfolio 5224 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth 817-735-1422 www.portfoliofw.com Sandra Sampson Interiors 3805 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth 817-429-4605 www.sandrasampsoninteriors.com Wright at Home 4818 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth 817-989-8222 www.wrightathomefw.com

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When it comes to incorporating animal hides into home decor, Texans have always been more than a hair ahead of the trends. It’s no surprise, then, that local designers say they’ve been loving shagreen — one of the season’s 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 XV’s most famous mistress, Madame de Pompadour, was said to have been a devoted fan of shagreen; it became popular again during Europe’s 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!”

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