Guest Picks: Bye, Bye Birdie. Hiya Birdie
And last but not least, here’s a birdie for the bathroom. Yes, the toilet brush gets to be cute and functional too. This simple white stick ends in a branch shape on top and includes a chartreuse (or sky blue) bird.Next: How Birdhouses Bring Life To Your Home
No, it's not a ring holder. Named after Jamaican swallow-tail hummingbird, this white ceramic Dr. Bird Juicer by Toronto-based Imm Living should provide you with some impetus to make freshly squeezed orange juice, at least on the weekends.
Designed by Dutch industrial designer Hella Jongerius, this porcelain bird bowl is part of a larger animal series commissioned and produced by renown German porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg. It's based on a series of animals found in its archives and is more artwork than everyday ware.
Glasgow-based design house Timorous Beasties creates my very favorite wallpaper designs. I used a richly colored ivory paper replete with with purple butterflies when I designed a friend's powder room. For another project, I interviewed a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston about the design house's history and appeal. This new design called "British Birds" places realistically rendered birds on a background of digitally rendered stripes, that are then blurred with vertical lines of graffiti-like spray paint paint. It's inventive, to say the least.
This is just a simple white pitcher with a tall silhouette, the slightest spout and a thin handle on which an avian visitor is perched. Give it as a hostess gift for the breakfast table, a bouquet of flowers or a woodsy outdoor feast.
OK, so I have a penchant for the Scandinavian. Swedish illustrator and designer Lotta Glave drew these red and orange birds on this vintage-inspired tea towel, manufactured by Swedish textile company Klippan. Despite its Nordic flavor, Glave credits inspiration to her Austrian grandmother. Why yes, I definitely see a naif Austrian fairy tale influence.
Originally introduced in the 1950s by legendary Danish designer Kay Bojesen (you’ve seen his wooden monkeys), but never put into production, these colorful songbirds were finally launched in spring of 2012. They’re made from solid beech and hand painted. They’re also named after the designer and his family: Ruth, Pop, Otto, Kay, Peter and Sunshine. I want all six!
Designed by Finnish glass designer Oiva Toikka, he of those glass bird figurines from Iittala, these plastic rocking chairs will delight in the nursery or playroom, but they can also be brought out to the patio. Rock on baby, rock on.
Hang this sweet bird mobile, which was laser-cut from sustainably harvested bamboo plywood, over a baby’s bed or even above a chair in the sunroom. Like many of the items assembled here, it channels vintage Scandinavian charm.
Also available in neon yellow, this classically modeled but irreverently colored candlestick featuring a sparrow and a bunny is a good counterpoint to an otherwise all-white room. This balancing act of figurines was individually cast from ornaments found by designer Stephen Johnson at antique markets in England. Wonderland indeed.
Even the name, “Flights of Fancy,” of this digitally printed wallpaper is appealing. With elegantly rendered, but not too serious migratory birds perched on simple branches and set against a moody blue/green background, this pattern from British design label House of Hackney would look as at ease in a powder room as it would on an accent wall in a sophisticated nursery, or on four walls of a cozy guest room
Iannone Design's graphic consoles have been favorites of mine since they were introduced. Constructed out of Kirei board (an environmentally friendly substitute for wood), maple plywood and white gloss laminate, this six-drawer dresser features stylized flowers and an elegant hummingbird. It would be the perfect focal point in an all-white bedroom (for grown-ups or kids) or a dining room.
Reminiscent of salt and pepper tchotchkes one might find in dusty junk shops, this heavenly match of puffy cloud and swooping dove is designed by Korean ceramicist Daniel Jo, and created out of his studio in Seoul. They'd be perfect atop a rustic wooden table in a beach cottage, providing a clean modern counterpoint.
I love the shape of this organic cotton pillow, along with its natural, unbleached color and long-legged black birdies. It's designed by artist Shelly Klein, who, along with her mom Mary Klein, runs K Studio out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The pair make every effort to create wares from sustainable materials. If you're charmed, they have an ever-expanding menagerie, along with charming people folk too.
A more whimsical take on ornithological-inspired decor, this silhouette pillow pictures a pencil drawing of a caped bird on one side and hand-drawn multicolor polka dots on the other. Designed by two best friends in Canada under their newly launched children's collection label Petit Pehr, this little birdie would make a cute baby gift for the nursery.
An Italian take on the midcentury modern Scandinavian bird, this cute little glass guy (named "Pulcino," which is "chick" in Italian) was designed by glass artist Antonio Da Ros for Murano glass house Cenadese. The colors are very ocean-like, and the stylized feathers are rendered with a watercolor effect.
If you’re not one for cutesy creatures or in-from-the-outdoors specimens, this pair of no-nonsense feathers forms a crisp clock that lends just a hint of the natural world. Designed by Dutch designer Tanja Soeter, it’s made from white acrylic over metal.
Leave it to Jonathan Adler to re-interpret the iconic midcentury-style bird and dip it in a glaze of pure gold. This fellow is so shiny that he's practically Disco Bird. Even better, he's crafted in Adler's Peruvian workshop, founded through Aid to Artisans, a nonprofit that connects designers in the States with artisans in developing countries to promote fair trade.
A trio of simple white papier-mâché birds is a sweet way to add a bit of 3-D interest to a wall in a room that you don't want to overdecorate nor leave completely bare. Perhaps use them in a pristine guest room in which you don't want to impose strong tastes.
These gunmetal-plated pewter black hawk feet, which measure just 1-1/2inches high, are simultaneously strong and delicate, creepy and beautiful. They're from a wonderful relatively new shop in New York called Still House and are hand crafted by Ria Charisse, who is the daughter of a geologist.