I was recently given the honor to design a bathroom for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Designer Showcase Home. I can't wait to show you the before and after pictures as you will not believe the transformation! As soon as I walked into this bathroom, I knew that a fabulous wallpaper would be a must to transform this space. The question was what design to choose as there are so many amazing options! Would I go for a bold geometric? Or stay on the softer side with a lovely feminine print? The answer was easy as the home was a beautiful historic house in the heart of downtown Charleston and will be used as a wedding venue in the future. I opted for a beautiful peach Anna French wallpaper full of scrolling and birds.
The bird has been used in decor for many years and dates back to the early 17th Century when the Chinese started printing ornate designs placing birds and flowers into panels of rice papers. This design became popular in Europe where the design was imitated and classified as chinoiserie.
During the Victorian Era, new machines able to print up to 400 rolls of wallpaper a day afforded a mass production of wallpaper and fabric patterns. Charles Voysey, one of the most well known pattern designers, created hundreds of pastel patterns incorporating birds in many of those patterns. These wallpapers and fabrics became a staple in many Victorian homes.
As time moved forward, the bird stayed strong in the home, evolving into the once famous owl design in the 1970's (think Macramé owls) and then coming back in the well known chintz wallpapers and fabrics in the 1990's. Today, you will see birds in contemporary patterns as well as classic designs. Here are some of my favorites.