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Suzanne Frost gets her feathers ruffled about bird-themed décor
EVERY little swallow, every chickadee, Every little bird in the tall oak tree, The wise old owl, the big black crow, Flapping them wings saying ‘go bird go’.”
The song Rockin’ Robin gets new meaning at Decorex Cape Town, as decor enthusiasts flocking to the International Convention Centre from today until Tuesday to find things to feather their nests, will find that birds are big news.
Bird-themed decor is everywhere. From dragonflies and butterflies to weaver birds and woodpeckers, if it has wings it’s on the “it-list”. Expect puffins and peacocks on tea towels, woodpeckers on wallpaper, antique birdcages housing delicate pot plants and lamps that look like bird nests. This winged trend even hatched a chirpy charity initiative by Decorex Cape Town.
“A little bird told us modern homes aren’t just for people anymore,” quips Melanie Robinson, Decorex exhibitor director. “Birdhouses rule the roost as one of the year’s top trends. It also acted as inspiration for the creative Home Tweet Home fundraiser.”
To mark Decorex Cape Town’s 12th anniversary, 12 creative thinkers are transforming blank birdhouse kits into unique, fun-art collectibles which can be purchased at the show to raise funds and awareness for Little Angels, a charity organisation caring for abandoned and abused children until “forever homes” can be found for them.
Budgie-lover Roxane Laker collaborates with Anneke Huyser of Daisy Floral Art, in a whimsical approach. “We want to create a palace fit for a queen fisher, using laser cut metal and soft touches of colour and detail.”
While some looked to legendary birds such as Marilyn Munroe for inspiration, it is birds’ natural nest-building artistry that really gets the creative juices flowing. Using off-cuts from the studio floor or recyclable material from the bin, the designs also tread as light as a feather on Mother Earth.
At a trends seminar held in Cape Town earlier this year, renowned trend forecaster Li Edelkoort commented that the interest in all things avian flows from an ever-deepening relationship with nature, predicting that birds will continue to offer design inspiration for the next two to three years. Edelkoort foresees that architecture and interior design will continue to look for lessons in birds’ monumental artistry as natural nest-builders.
From her trend forecasts quoted on visi.co.za one can expect “a strong focus on blurred edges and visual texture, reminiscent of soft, yellow chicks; fabrics will be soft, cuddly and tactile; swans will inspire the use of lace, tulle and fluttering knits”.
The colours of water birds will influence the use of blue, grey and green, while urban birds will leave their mark through the bleak colours of concrete.
She adds that designers will take their cue from weaver birds and their nests, with fabrics made from hand-spun yarns: from the coloured coats of singing birds translated to sophisticated brights, to powerful neutrals, casual clothes and folk details — a nod to birds of prey.
According to Nina Phillips of Condé Nast House & Garden, participants in the Home Tweet Home project, it is best to approach the avian trend with a classic twist. “A very good tribute we can learn from birds is persistence; their nests are destroyed and yet they keep building new ones. Our bird abode will feature patterned fabric and wallpapers.”
The team at Elle Decoration opts for a birdhouse design that will feature black line drawings on a crisp white background. The key words are young, contemporary, urban and graphic. “We love the bird theme and find our inspiration in the bower bird: the male goes out and collects things like buttons and pink ribbons to attract a female”.
The decadent bird house adorned by Wilja Reitz will feature her signature details such as feathers and diamonds, combining the bird bling with twigs, leaves and petals. She credits the grace, elegance and regal crown of the secretary bird as her design muse.
A birdhouse tattooed with delicate feathery patterns will form part of the flock. “With the immense interest in winged creature, it comes as no surprise that wall motives featuring a flutter of butterflies, birds and birdcages are becoming best sellers,” says Esther Schumacher of the online outlet mywalltattoos.com. “I believe that birds are currently so popular because they are cheerful and light, they are friendly and happy. They are everything we need to brighten up our life.”
Bring ‘em on; take ‘em off. This fashionable wing-ware for walls is easy to apply and easy to remove once the birdcraze is over.