By Karen Parr-Moody
Animal motifs add instant whimsy to any décor, and have long been a decorating favorite. Cat motifs decorated the clay pots of ancient Egyptians. And during the Victorian era, Staffordshire dogs were the best in show for any respectable home (the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels remain popular today). Whether used as an accent, or as a menagerie, animals bring the outdoors inside in ways carefree, kitschy or elegant. So add some charm to any room with these fabulous creatures from GasLamp Antiques and Decorating Mall.
SWIMMING IN STYLE
Founded in 1883, the Victoria Porcelain Factory was located in Austria, and the products produced there are delicate in form and design. The hand-painted fish motifs on these plates remind us of the days when adventurers still sought natural solace. Today, these plates would look gorgeous as wall hangings (in a lake house kitchen, natch), or simply pulled out for use on special occasions. Victoria porcelain set, 10 pieces, including a large oval platter and 9 plates, $298, Booth B106.
A GROWING CROWING
The ubiquitous kitchen rooster is here to stay. How to keep it from looking like a Hobby Lobby display? That is another question. The way around this is to choose roosters in unusual colors, shapes or materials. At The Dutch Girl, Booth B235, the solution is found in these whitewashed versions with Cubist angles, a fantastic way to perk up a classic motif. An accompaniment worth crowing for is the blue-and-white clock in blue. Large rooster, $29.25; smaller rooster, $24.95; clock, $20.
FEATHERING THE NEST
These vases, in Schiaparelli pink, show off a feathered friend in a subtle way. The brown wrens are hand-painted in an Impressionistic style that renders them natural and breezy. They would look gorgeous in a pale grey-green room. As for the graceful brass crane, it will set a tone of serenity wherever it is placed. Vases, $225 for the pair, B106; crane, $85, Booth B225.
GETTING PIGGY WITH IT
Pig motifs are a quick route to kitchen fun. Skip the standard pink pig and go for one done up in a fresh way. These blue-and-white cuties will make mealtimes merry; they’re just looking
for a butter yellow kitchen to live in. And the adorable iron piggy banks, clad for business, will make saving money as fun as spending it. Blue and white pigs, $9 each, Booth B106. Iron piggy banks, $39 for the pair, Booth B125.
AN ELEPHANT ALWAYS REMEMBERS … STYLE
This ceramic elephant plant stand in vivid yellow is imbued with Orient style. It can be used to hold a plant or books, or as an unusual end table. The smaller wooden version will fit charmingly on a desk or bookshelf. Plant stand, $35, Booth B2026; wooden elephant, $49.50, Booth B2007.
COPY THESE CATS
Cat lovers and kitty collectors alike will love these stylized pieces. The glossy Siamese duo is actually a lamp that is both frisky and fancy – and sure to lighten a room’s mood. The porcelain cat is made of strong, elegant lines, and is purrr-fect for a collector’s shadow box menagerie or china cabinet. Cat lamp, $175, Booth B225; porcelain cat on pillow, $39.95, Booth B105.
SHABBY CHIC CHICKS
This colorful wooden trio from Jason Parker Counce Designs ($6 each, Booth B309) is ready to cheer up any brunch. To use as a tiny floral arrangement, hollow out eggshells and leave an opening at the top. Fill the shell with a small amount of water and place in the egg holder. Then fill with diminutive blossoms, such as violas or pansies. These look adorable grouped together as a centerpiece, or mixed with other vintage versions to brighten each guest’s place.