Design Trend: Peacocks & Plumes

I can hear the collective groan now: "Put a peacock on it!" Birds as a design motif may have been knocked down a few pegs by that now infamous episode of Portlandia, but I don't think the avian creatures will ever truly fall out of favor. They're fascinating. And few birds, to me, prove as alluring as the noble peacock, with plumage so showy that it's long been a symbol of grandeur.

Peacocks played a small role in my personal history. I grew up in Arcadia, California, not far from Los Angeles. Arcadia's flamboyant founder, Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin, picked up a few peafowl on an 1880 trip to India and eventually imported 50 of the exotic birds to his vast ranch. According to an LA Times story about Baldwin, his peacocks made excellent watchdogs. I can attest to that, because by the time I grew up in Arcadia, a large population of peacocks freely roamed the city's Arboretum and nearby neighborhoods. They are a mighty sight to behold, but man, do they make a ruckus.

For the most part, I prefer peacock designs that aren't as loud or ornamental as their real-life counterparts. It pleases me to see so many peacock (and peacock-inspired) designs out there that would suit any kind of home decor, even minimalist. Like a peacock's magnificent tail feathers, these designs make a statement, no matter how subtle.

TOP ROW
• Dwell Studio Peacock Duvet in Citrine, at Velocity
• This mind-blowingly beautiful chair takes it cues from the peacock. By Dror Bershetrit, 2009, for Cappellini. Available at Hive Modern.
• Slightly abstracted peacock print pillows from lemidijapon on Etsy
• Peacock hand towel by Branch Homemade on Supermarket HQ.
• Hand-embroidered peacock pillow from Blue Leaf Boutique on Esty

BOTTOM ROW
• Upholstery grade Thomas Paul peacock fabric at Velocity
• Peacock bowl by Jonathan Adler, available at Cathedral in San Diego
• Van Dyke brown contact print of peacock feathers from Handmade On Peconic Bay

MORE PEACOCK POSTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY
Fine Feathers: A Brief History of the Peacock as Decoration
Emerging Trend? Peacock Fireplace Screens
All Things Peacock

Images: As credited above.