Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

That Wallpaper

by habituallychic

02 . 25 . 10

Sometimes I just assume that my readers have already read about something so I don’t mention it. But apparently not everyone does know about the zebra wallpaper that was featured in one of Kate and Andy Spade’s bathroom above because I’ve had quite a few people email me about it. The Zebra wallpaper is available from Scalamandre and has a fun back story.

Gino Circiello, who although born in Buenes Aires had an Italian father who worked as a chef so after he immigrated to the United States, Gino decided to open an Italian restaurant at 780 Lexington Avenue in New York with two of his friends. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Circiello was a hunter without the means to pay for an African safari, but he reasoned that he could at least afford zebras on his wallpaper.” He commissioned his friend Franco Scalamandre to design wallpaper depicting leaping zebras pursued by arrows. The wallpaper is now synonymous with Gino’s and made the place a New York institution. I often walk by it but have yet to eat there so I think I might have to make a reservation soon!

I have also read that Wes Anderson was a huge fan of the zebra wallpaper which is why he used it for Margot Tanenbaum’s bedroom and bathroom in the movie The Royal Tanenbaums.

The zebra wallpaper was recently seen in the December issue of ELLE DECOR in a powder room designed by Miles Redd.

Interior designer Lindsey Coral Harper also used the iconic zebra wallpaper in her bathroom.

In addition to the original Masai Red color and the Serengeti Green in the Spades bathroom, it also comes in Zanzibar Gold and Safari Brown. I’ve never seen anyone use these colors though so if you have, please let me know. The best part of the story of Gino’s is that Mr. Circiello’s restaurant was a huge success and he was finally able to afford that trip to Africa! I love a story with a happy ending!

Comments Closed

  1. Karena February 25, 2010 | 4:15 pm

    Love the Masai Red in both Miles and Lindsey Harper’s baths. I think it is a very dramatic and interesting paper. Who wouldn’t love to have Franco Scalamandre as a friend!?


  2. KEEHNAN February 25, 2010 | 4:33 pm

    This paper has press it can’t handle. I waited SEVEN months and more phone calls than I can recount for three rolls to arrive due to mismatched dye lots, while a bathroom remained half-papered.

    Gorgeous print, but a company more capable of handling manufacturing should try knocking it off.

  3. La Maison Fou February 25, 2010 | 4:41 pm

    Well I will be a horse ( zebra )of a different color…..
    Now that you mentioned it I totally remember Margo’s wallpaper and had no idea it had such a retaining past!
    Thanks for the info,

  4. Alaina @ Live Creating Yourself February 25, 2010 | 4:49 pm

    Wow – love the yellow version. Really a beautiful print!


  5. Blair February 25, 2010 | 5:11 pm

    I just found your blog a couple days ago and loved it so much I shared it on my own blog!

    I look forward to following you.

  6. Belle on Heels February 25, 2010 | 5:27 pm

    i literally LUST over this paper. i don’t have the space {or the money!} to use it just yet, but the zanzibar gold WILL be mine.

  7. magnaverde February 25, 2010 | 5:34 pm

    I’ve always loved this paper, and I couldn’t believe that, only a few hours after seeing a display ad announcing that it was commercially available for the first time, I read that Gino was planning on shutting its doors. Between Gino & Tavern on the Green’s closing, January was a bad month for iconic restaurants in NYC. Then again, this year’s been bad for restaurants all over. All I know is I was planning on heading out to NY tomorrow–with the weather, it may actually be next week before I make it–and I’ll make sure to eat at Swifty’s, which, thanks to Mario Buatta, is the best-known home of my own all-time favorite wallpapar, Gallier Diamond. As far as I know, there’s no problem over there, but these days, one never knows.

  8. Chic Coles February 25, 2010 | 5:42 pm

    My mom and I love the Zebra wallpapers. I dont know which color way is the best, but I do love the green used in that bathroom!

  9. Adventures in Dressmaking February 25, 2010 | 5:52 pm

    So COOL. I should watch Royal Tennenbaums again for the visuals. It is a dryly hilarious movie, I have developed a love of it!

  10. Susie @ Maddie's Nest February 25, 2010 | 6:48 pm

    I especially love the yellow colorway.

  11. Picture of Elegance February 25, 2010 | 7:44 pm

    Great story. I loved Redd’s bathroom, so unexpected!

  12. Katherine Lee February 25, 2010 | 10:09 pm

    i love love love that wallpaper! thanks so much for sharing such a great source; i hope you’re having a wonderful week my dear!

    xo urban flea 🙂

  13. Heather February 25, 2010 | 11:17 pm

    Um, I don’t see any price or other buying info on the link to the wallpaper site. Is it for designers only or what? Just curious because I really like that wallpaper and was looking for information on it. thanks. 🙂

  14. Julie February 26, 2010 | 1:39 am

    I remember seen this wallpaper at Scalamandre a while go and loved it. It’s a very exiting one.

  15. Renee Finberg February 26, 2010 | 2:17 am

    is Gino’s still on lex across from bloomies?

    i loved the paper and the place.

  16. Priscilla Joy February 26, 2010 | 12:27 pm

    It’s very nice to read the history behind a wall-paper. Somehow, I never took the time to search for the story “behind” the paper. Thanks for this.

  17. jones February 26, 2010 | 1:24 pm

    Just saw the snow falling like mad in NYC–stay warm and dry today. I do love the wallpaper especially that green–it makes everything happy. Your post on the Spades was wonderful. thanks-Mary

  18. Tammy@InStitches February 26, 2010 | 1:37 pm

    How fun is that ! I did a post on Scalamandre’s Le tigre silk this week and saw it on their homepage.

  19. Bailey February 26, 2010 | 3:27 pm

    Not really that happy of an ending for the Zebra he killed…wah wah…Debbie Downer signing off here…

  20. camdesign February 26, 2010 | 3:49 pm

    Great post, love the green colour way

  21. Prutha February 26, 2010 | 4:18 pm

    i love zebra’s !! …but i have been dying to see a giraffe in real life… i know u ca see them at the zoo’s but i dont want to…i want to see them in their natural habitat…someday!! ..lesigh…till then maybe i need this wallpaper in my room!!


  22. Black Zebra February 26, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    I first came across that image of Kate’s bathroom many years back, it was being featured in an Interior design mag that I can’t remember ,but know it’s in my huge collection somewhere. I dream of having it in my bathroom too one day…….great post!

  23. Taj Acosta February 27, 2010 | 12:31 am

    Oh how I love zebras! This wallpaper is too cute for words! Thanks for sharing love your site and glad I found you! xoxo

  24. Taylor February 27, 2010 | 12:34 am

    I saw it in Elle Decor and never realized it was in The Royal Tenenbaums! Thanks for the info about it!