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Suzanne Frost gets her feath­ers ruf­fled about bird-themed dé­cor

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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.

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