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BRIANA: Ready for another super smackdown DEFEND THE TREND hot topic!? The word is BIRDS. Robins, owls, pelicans, seagulls, hummingbirds, what have you.

We know where Portlandia comes down on the issue, but what say you, design elite? Are they still hot or not? Or to put it in magazine terms, are they “wired”, “tired” or “expired”? Is there a particular bird you’d like to see go extinct in the design world? Are there some you’d like to see MORE of?

Penny for your snarks.

MARIANNE: I was ready to jump in all “thumbs down,” but if someone gave me an Eames House Bird, I’d put him on my mantle and name him Fred.

eames bird

LILI: Every time I think I’ve seen enough birds to last me a design lifetime, one or two pop up that I think are cute. I’m done with them on bed linens. But I can’t say I’m over them in bookshelves:

emily henderson shelf

Except for owls. If I never see another owl figurine, it will be too soon.

FARIMA: Birds in real life = Scary (I have slight ornithophobia). Birds in design = Cute, because they can’t fly (or give you the evil eye). Vintage birds are definitely my favorite.

bird illustration

BRIANA: I’m on the fence. I’ll say that I’ve had my fill of chickens and ducks because my mom had that classic ‘80s country motif thing going on. And I’m all “HOO HOO” is not over the owls at this point? But I still kinda like parrots. I blame Anna Spiro.

parrot figurine

And blackbirds or ravens. (Hello, Eames beauty.) Maybe it’s my inner Hot Topic-shopper talking?

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: [The trend is] Expired. I love a good aviary-ish fabric print or a bird-related oil painting, but I’m sick of bird silhouettes. Owls are nostalgic and fun, especially in an early 1970s way.

LIZ: Unless it’s designed by Charley Harper, you won’t see a bird inside my house.

charley harper bird

LILI: I will admit that I bought all of these Breezy Singers when DWR was selling them about 10 years ago. They would’ve scared you bird-a-phobes since they sang when you walked by.

breezy singers

GRANT: I like birdies in design — but I say “absolutely not” to hoot owls. My grandmother had this clock in her kitchen when I was growing up. I haven’t been the same since.

owl clock

BRIANA: Yeah, the duck phone I included as a link? Pretty sure we had that exact same model. Try talking into a duck butt for your formative years. It does something to you.

duck phone

MARIANNE: That explains so much.

KAYLA: I love birds in design and otherwise. However, my grandparents were strangely obsessed with ducks, so when I was little and would visit, all I had were these duck figurines to keep me occupied for hours. (I feel your pain, Briana.) And if you know me at all, you know I love owls and will always love ‘em.

One thing I can’t handle, though:

antonios birds

Sorry, Antonio.

LIZ: I also have birds-on-a-wire fatigue. We know: They sit there! They don’t get electrocuted! But I wish the endless wall decals would. In related news, just, no.

ABBI: I am sitting in a random house in Pennsylvania — Kellie Clements from Design Star is doing a design consult. The home owner is really open to all the suggestions, but just totally freaked at the idea of getting rid of some of her chicken figurines and paintings. She loves them. People be crazy about their birds.


LIZ: Okay…these are pretty amazing. I guess my bird-hating ways only go so far.

We’ve chirped enough about birds. Now, tell us how you feel…


30 Responses

  1. […] Would you put a bird on it – do you like bird decor | hgtv Would you put a bird on it like the characters from portlandia? tell us what you think of the bird trend in home decor on hgtv's design blog.. […]

  2. petmusings says:

    you what I don't like? Some random people generalizing about the whole design of a room based on a very wide range of possibility's and types of Birds to accent the big picture. Just because you have an opinion, or because you are on a show as a designer does not make you, A) a maven over other people's domain and B) the end all be all of an accent decision. This is the result of a poor editor or columnist who doesn't know how to raise the topic in a more productive way.

  3. indimenticabile says:

    OWLs have seen their daze. Vamoose, scat, hoot on down the road……

    but for the rest…….to quote Shakespeare in Love:
    " You must LOVE the little birds to give them THIS to perch on"
    Perch on little birdies!

  4. […] LEANNE: Monograms are the Southern version of “Put a bird on it.” […]

  5. inside bets says:

    You are so cool! I don’t believe I’ve truly

    read through something like this before.

    So nice to find someone with a few genuine thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website

    is something that is required on the web, someone with some originality!

  6. Esther says:

    Enough with the birds and antlers as well!!!!!

Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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