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Publication Date: 2014-05-27


Tortoise Shell Accents & Accessories

In interiors, animal print patterns like zebra, leopard and antelope tend to take center stage. However one animal motif that’s making a comeback is the ever so classic tortoise shell. Whether its an antique box adorning a coffee table or a faux finish in a great cabinet, this pattern never fails to bring that little touch of sophistication every room needs.


In this living room, a zebra patterned wallpaper creates quite the impact but it’s the tortoise shell patterned coffee table that provides just the right amount of a graphic contrast.

In a now famous Miles Redd-decorated living room, Redd breathes new life into a vintage table with some serious decorative paint.

Bamboo modeled furniture was brought over to the Western World when Chinoiserie was becoming the fashionable taste. Tortoise shell finishes were often applied to these pieces lending to their exoticism. This glass front bamboo cabinet is a perfect example.

A tortoise shell wallpaper by Schumacher peeks through a cabinet in the manner of Albert Hadley. Details like lining the inside of a cabinet is a simple way to make your accessories seem artful and curated. It’s also a great alternative to hiring a decorative painter.

Tortoise shell finishes don’t have to be just for furniture and walls. In this office (left), a tortoise shell finish has been applied to the ceiling, bringing warmth and a nice textural element. On the right, an easy application wallpaper designed by Karen Robertson creates a similar effect.

Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber had a door molding in this house decorative painted to look like tortoise shell. So subtle you almost miss it!

In this walk in closet designed by Jonathan Adler, every single surface is adorned in a tortoise shell finish. Talk about drama! While this closet appears to be designed for a fashionable woman, we think that tortoise shell has a very gender neutral aesthetic.


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