Tuesday 27 June 2017

One-legged wonders

Designed to add interest to small spaces, House of Hackney's Art Deco Menagerie series features animal motifs on striped and leopard backgrounds. This flamingo fellow is available in Macaroon Green, Macaroon Pink and Lavender from Dust.ie (€199 per roll)
Designed to add interest to small spaces, House of Hackney's Art Deco Menagerie series features animal motifs on striped and leopard backgrounds. This flamingo fellow is available in Macaroon Green, Macaroon Pink and Lavender from Dust.ie (€199 per roll)
Rug, €1,496, Against a backdrop of grey, this handmade wool tapestry is both graceful and modern; maoliosa.com
Print, €45, Claudine O'Sullivan, aprilandthebear.com
Towel, €18, From Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, this brash beach towel would work just as well in a bathroom as on a beach; debenhams.ie
Artificial Flamingo, €40, Make a statement with this half-metre tall flamingo friend; dust.ie
Lampshade, €75, This elegant pattern is also available as a cushion and proceeds go to science research and education programmes; nhmshop.co.uk

Amanda Kavanagh

Once the reserve of naff American garden decorations and pool party companions (as immortalised in songs by Electric Six and Katy Perry), flamingos are making a kitsch comeback. Maybe it's because they remind us of holidays or maybe they're part of our lust for all things retro, but something about them just inspires joy.

Dublin Nail salon Tropical Popical has been an early advocate of using this long-legged wading bird in interiors and their popularity is growing and growing.

At January's Maison & Objet Paris, the theme was 'Wild' and flamingos were inescapable. Interpretations ranged from the very literal (free-standing ornaments), to web-footed feather lamps, to motifs on ceramics and lampshades.

Irish online art and interiors store April and the Bear are flamingo fans, featuring them in their new tropical island themed collection, alongside their obvious companions -pineapples, parrots and palm leaves.

Creative director Siobhan Lam explains why: "The tropical trend is a super fun one that evokes palm trees and hot summer days. Who doesn't want to have a hint of that in their home?"

Playfulness is key.

"For me, the main appeal of tropical is the bright bold colours and the off-kilter and kitsch motifs you get to play with like flamingos, palm prints and cacti," she says.

Part of her flamingo collection is an illustrated print from artist Claudine O'Sullivan, who favours a traditional technique with vibrant colour. "There is something incredibly sweet about Claudine O' Sullivan's Flamingo art print," Siobhan says.

"I adore that it depicts a new courtship, but what really draws me in is Claudine's attention to detail and intense colour palette of pinks and reds."

The beauty of a print is that it can add a splash to any wall and can be moved around to suit your whimsy. "This print would look fantastic in a bedroom or bathroom, basically any room that could do with a pop of fun colour," she advises.

It's not a subtle look by any means, but going big reaps rewards. Flamingo wallpaper is a bold and beautiful statement, and you don't have to go hot pink either - House of Hackney's Flamboyance comes in pistachio green, as well as muted pink and lavender.

For those who don't relish the idea of living with flamingos forever, this trend lends itself perfectly to soft furnishings and accessories that can be added or removed with ease. Perfect while we wait for summer…

Amanda Kavanagh is editor of Image Interiors & Living magazine

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