The Washington Post
Flights of Imagination
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.”