By Karen Parr-Moody
Birds are swooping among the redbuds and dogwoods of Tennessee this season, and at GasLamp, they are creating flights of fancy for the home. Images and items of these winged creatures can bring whimsy and elegance to a space. And given that birds have a long history as a decorative motif, they'll be around for a while.
Designers are adding these lovely avians to all manner of goods. In the image from Apartment Therapy, right, the bird wallpaper by Emma Thomas is so cheery and elegant, who could resist? The Victorians bedecked their textiles with pheasants, peacocks, and other elaborate birds, so lots of wallpaper prints currently reflect this vintage vibe.
There is a long list of items one can use for an avian vibe -- fabric patterns, rugs, plates, lamps, paintings and bookends are all ready to flutter into a fashionable home. At GasLamp, there are many ideas for decorating one's home with an aviary full of these beautiful creatures.
Designer and GasLamp antiques dealer Jason Parker Counce is a master of birds, regardless of the season. He is well-known for the adorable owls he makes from vintage fabrics and buttons; he changes their colors and fabrics according to the season, and at $12, they are always an inexpensive pick-me-up.
Right now he has many feather friends on display, and one is this sweet wooden bird with a felted coat shown at left (it still gets chilly on these May nights, you know). Another item is this darling plate features a whimsical bird design chirping in the center (bird, $14; plate, $6; Booth B-309). Putting this duo together would make a great summery centerpiece for a table, or could be set resting delicately on a bookshelf or fireplace mantle. Other pieces to add to the vignette could include a small, vintage bird cage filled with candles or flowers. Of course, the plate alone would look great hung with an assortment of plates on a wall that can be appreciated year round.
Even if one doesn't have a bird watching book collection, these feathered bookends at right are perfect for holding up other reading material (plus, they welcome spring to your home any time of year). Their shabby chic style of cream and rust means they will match any decorating scheme while they create a cheery, nature-inspired look in any spot. If not used as a bookend, they could also be used in a screened in porch to add some architectural interest to plantings. Whatever one chooses to do, they will bring nature indoors ($29; Booth B-103).
There are many ways by which one can decorate with bird motifs. The realistic looking bird lamp, left, makes a great decorative accent in the form of a warm and elegant lighting solution. (Coincidentally, it is found for $59 at the booth called Birdland, where customers can find many a bird motif in all manner of incarnations). We can imagine this lamp placed in a bedroom that has the old-world feel of a crisp chinoiserie print bedspread or curtains. Or it can be a tempting centerpiece in a more masculine setting, with its deep coppery tones.
Bird artwork at GasLamp comes in all styles. Those who prefer a natural style will enjoy Audubon Society bird prints. For those who like color and flamboyance, the bird paintings of Joey Murray, who runs the booth B-312, can add kitsch and charm to a space. Far from capturing the true look and feel of birds in the wild, Murray -- who paints under the name "Joey" -- goes the folksy, cheery route. His mixed media pieces, like the one at right, "Silver Lining," include both pop and folk influenced (collage with copper bird; $120).
Yes, bird themes are taking flight in today's world of interior design, creating a decorating zeitgeist. Is it because so many of us are cooped up in an office cubicle all day, and would like to fly into the trees ourselves? Regardless of the reason, these sweet tweeters will surely shed some light on any home.