The Washington Post

Flights of Imaginatio­n

- By Terri Sapienza

The bird-on-a-branch motif is a traditiona­l design element flitting through antique prints, bright chintz fabrics and exotic chinoiseri­es. Lately this classic image has been stylishly revived, with vivid and often strongly graphic birds settling on all kinds of home accessorie­s, including plates, pillows, wallpaper, baby bedding and area rugs. Unexpected colors and materials, such as chartreuse salt and pepper shakers by Jonathan Adler, startle a familiar form into fresh flight.

“I think it’s become a little more kitschy, which is more fun for younger people,” D.C. decorator Liz Levin says. “If you take the bird motif and make it less traditiona­l, it looks more fun.”

Natural organic shapes (birds, eggs, nests) mix especially well with the clean lines of modern decor, Levin says. But best not to overdo it. One bird item can be plenty. If you have several, use them as a repeated note throughout the house. And steer clear of placing bird figurines on your grandmothe­r’s doilies. “If you’re going for a modern bird motif, that’s a definite don’t.”

www.floppingfi­sh.com.

www. westelm.com.

www.alenahenne­ssy.com.

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 ??  ?? from John Robshaw, $95-$120.
or 212-594-6006. from Jonathan Adler, $48 for the set.
from John Robshaw, $95-$120. or 212-594-6006. from Jonathan Adler, $48 for the set.
 ??  ?? from Flopping Fish, $45.
from Flopping Fish, $45.
 ??  ?? from Super Natural Baby, $320.
from Super Natural Baby, $320.
 ??  ?? from Alena Hennessy, $40 for a matted print, $74 matted and framed.
from Alena Hennessy, $40 for a matted print, $74 matted and framed.
 ??  ?? from West Elm, $129.
from Alena Hennessy, $30 for a matted print, $60 matted and framed.
from West Elm, $129. from Alena Hennessy, $30 for a matted print, $60 matted and framed.

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