Cowhide leather - Dallas interior design

A large, lovely cowhide provides this room with a unique look.
Like the image? Hover or tap to share it on Pinterest, Facebook and more.

I like to liven up spaces and give them interesting looks by using items in unexpected ways. One of my favorite examples of this is the cowhide. Many people equate cowhides with Western décor, though these days this isn’t necessarily the case. Much like animal prints, which have been a “neutral” in design for the past decade, hides are now being integrated in all types of rooms in a variety of ways.

Today, the classic blacks and browns or new bold patterns and colors of cowhides can be used to provide splashes of creativity and fun, giving almost any room a unique twist.

I’ve seen stunning uses of pure white cowhides and even seen them dyed a beautiful cobalt blue.

To add an interesting accent to your project or bring an old room to life, try some of these unique applications

1. Snazz up a Tabletop

For a unique accent in a room, drape a cowhide across a counter or table. Done right, it can add a subtle subconscious vibe to a space. It can suggest Western, English equestrian or a chic rustic motif.

2. Wall Art

One really neat way to feature a cowhide is to display it as wall art. Try prominently showcasing it on the wall above a sofa or frame it in a shadow box it to enhance its effect.

3. Layered Floor Coverings

Hides are typically on the small side for floor covering, so consider laying them overlapping each other to cover a larger area. Or mix different colors, to add further depth to the “area floor covering.” Layer a hide on another floor covering like a sisal rug to add more depth and dimension while giving personality to the room. The larger sisal rug with its plain, flat weave will visually extend the size of the hide to fill the whole space.

4. Adorn a Sofa or Chair

You can lay a cowhide over the back of a sofa or chair so it looks like a throw or even a seatback cushion covering for a new twist on old furnishings. This is particularly helpful in bringing a new look to a space without a full redesign.

5. Upholstery

Update the feel of a room by upholstering furniture with a hair on hide. If you have a piece you particularly love, consider reupholstering it with a hide to keep the cherished item, while at the same time giving it a completely different look. You can cover the typical seat cushions, bar stools or chairs. But also consider fully upholstering an accent table or the front panels on a console. This will definitely add visual texture to your space.

6. Accenting the Bedroom

Any bedroom can be given a totally different feel by using a cowhide in creative ways. A simple way to approach it is just by laying it across the bed, or along the foot of the bed. The effect can be very dramatic.

7. Bold and Blingy

The latest trend in hides is featuring them in counterintuitive ways.  We now see bold hues, such as cobalt and fuchsia, saturating the hairs. Just as prominently, they’re being spattered with metallic paints. This allows a hide to amp up more edgy looks as well as glamourize contemporary settings where a typical black or brown hide would never suffice.

Design is all about creating the right mood and feel to send the message you want. It’s about creating a space that makes people comfortable, makes them want to live in it and enhances their living and working experience.


Image courtesy of

Other Design Inspiration Articles

  • Refined Rattan: Indoors and Outdoors
    By Published On: May 15, 20233.5 min read

    Rattan has long been used in furniture due to its flexibility, durability, and ability to regenerate in 5-7 years, which is quicker than many other natural elements. In the past few years, we’ve seen rattan venture out to so many categories, including indoor and outdoor decor, furnishings, rugs, and more!

  • Nicole’s Neutrals Spring Edition: Bring on the Pastels
    By Published On: April 4, 20233.3 min read

    Spring is a great season for pastel tones grounded with neutral whites, creams, and sandy colors. This season we’ve selected fabrics and tones that bring us right back to our favorite beaches.

  • Lighten Up Your Kitchen with Nicole Arnold Interiors
    By Published On: March 6, 20232.8 min read

    When building or renovating your home, a great way to open up your kitchen is to ensure there are windows strategically placed near or in the kitchen. An open-concept design with high or vaulted ceilings can allow light to travel better through your space, maximizing natural light!