Birds were popular in decor during several periods throughout history, and are just as popular today. Check out the trend’s roots and how it has evolved throughout the ages:
Early 17th Century
In the beginning of the 17th century, the Chinese started printing ornate designs fit with birds and flowers onto panels of rice paper. This type of pattern soon became wildly popular in Europe, where designers imitated the designs and classified it as chinoiserie.
Victorian Era & Art Nouveau
The Victorian Era saw many technological developments, including a four color printing machine invented by Charles Harold Potter that could make 400 rolls of wallpaper per day. This allowed for mass production of machine-made wallpaper and fabric patterns. In Charles Voysey, one of the most prominent pattern designers of the time and whose work was an inspiration for the Art Nouveau philosophy, created hundreds of pastel patterns with flattened shadows of birds for manufacturers. These became very common in Victorian homes.
Macramé owls became a must-have decor item during the 1970s. The L.A. Times Home magazine even featured a DIY owl wall-hanging kit in 1977, causing millions of people to purchase and hang them in their homes. Today, sleek playful versions of the owl are being used in wallpaper and home accessories.
Today birds are trending once again. Although all types of patterns that pull from the past are making a resurgence, more modern versions of bird fabric & wallpaper are available. Most bird patterns are paired with solid fabric or used as accent walls, allowing the design to be featured without overwhelming the room it is in.
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