Right at Home: Feathers soar as a decor trend
When you think of a feather, what comes to mind? Peacock plumage in flamboyant, iridescent blues? Or maybe a leafy glade full of forest creatures and woodsy hues?
The natural beauty and extraordinary variety of bird feathers have made them a decor trend. The motif really took flight last fall in both fashion and home, and feathers are now emerging in spring decor collections, too.
Christina McCombs, an interior designer in Lake Mary, Florida, says she's seeing all sorts of feathers in everything from tabletop accessories to fabrics and wall coverings.
"In recent years, we've seen a big resurgence of nature influencing design, feathers definitely being part of it," she says. "Feathers symbolize new beginnings and lightness, making them a perfect addition to decor for the New Year."
A look at some places where feathers have come home to roost:
At Anthropologie, there's a chandelier crafted out of welded brass feathers and a shower curtain with a falling feather quill pattern. (www.anthropologie.com )
Michael Aram's limited-edition feather sculptures, inspired by his fantasy of finding a large feather during a forest walk, are rendered in nickelplated bronze. (www.michaelaram. com )
Jayson Home's evocative series of Instagram-y feather photographs printed on handmade paper are quiet, rustic, modern wall art. Speaking more loudly at the other end of the style spectrum is a colorful tray with decoupaged feathers on a gold metallic background. Pillows encrusted with actual rooster feathers, in gold or ebony, are playfully exuberant. (www. jaysonhome.com )
Feathers are printed in soft blues and greens on birch wood, creating a forest of sorts, at West Elm. Watercolored feather medallions look like dream catchers on an organic cotton duvet cover and sham. (www.westelm.com )
"I've seen a huge feather influence in fabrics and wall coverings," McCombs says, citing Mary McDonald's new collection for Schumacher, in particular. McDonald's Firenze design is based on a Florentine marbled paper.
"While it's not blatantly a feather motif, the inspiration is subtle and timeless," McCombs says. "I'd love to make a bold statement with this and put it on some fabulous window treatments." (www.fschumacher.com )
French wall-coverings firm Elitis has an ethereal collection of feathery prints, including Euraquilo and Tramontane. (www.elitis.fr )
John Nolan's peacock window curtain has featherly flair, with a large, color-saturated print. (www.houzz. com )
And designer Thomas Paul uses birds and feathers as frequent inspiration, in groovy '70s-style designs, chic damask, and toile-like patterns for pillows and napkins. His Feather rug features an oversize frond-like feather motif on tufted wool, in cream on a deep eggplant background. (www.jossandmain.com )
Tempaper's Feathers removable wallpaper features a feather print on either a silver or golden "Twilight" background.
Archival Décor has black-and-white striped feather elements photoprinted on pillows or offered as framed décor. (www.archivaldecor.com )
And at Pottery Barn, feather silhouettes become bold graphic art on white paper, framed in inky black. (www.potterybarn.com )
Is your own creativity ready to take wing?
McCombs says, "One of my favorite uses for the feather motif, and probably the easiest, is wall art. I love doing a photo collage of matted and framed feathers. This is a simple DIY project that anyone can incorporate into their home and make a chic statement."
For a simple how-to — using seethrough frames from a crafts store and feathers either found or purchased — go to www.chapterfriday.com .
This photo provided by Jayson Home shows rooster feathers that are dyed a deep ebony hue, then affixed to a linenbacked pillow to create a striking work of art. Thereís a rectangular version as well, featuring gold metallic feathers, backed in velvet.
This photo provided by Michael Aram shows a nickelplated feather sculpture that is an arresting example of the motif. Designer Christina McCombs says it’s one of her favorites. ‘I can see this placed on a great console in an entryway or placed on a stack of coffee table books on a low bookcase.’
This photo provided by Anthropologie shows a chandelier crafted from brass feathers that makes a striking statement.