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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Design Inspiration: Peacocks

I’ve long been in love with peacocks, and luckily, peacocks have long been design inspiration for fashions and interiors. These rare birds were collected by royalty and aristocracy as pets. Their tail plumage and intense blue bodies have been glorified in both the fine and decorative arts for centuries.

The 1920s and 1960s both saw a resurgence in the peacock as a design icon. Today we are experiencing another design trend inspired by these regal birds. Peacock inspired designs can take the form of color palettes, feathers and replicating the shape of the famous “eye” on the tail feathers.  The entire bird or just a single feather can be used in patterns for wallpaper, area rugs and fabric.


Peacock inspired color palettes are beautiful and sophisticated examples of jewel tones and contrasting colors. The blues and greens are contrasted with yellows, purples and browns on the feathers. The rich blue is balanced by the deep, rich chocolate brown. Acidic green, or chartreuse, paired with purple and accented with teal or rich blue is a strong but beautiful palette for a living room or bedroom.

The shape of the peacock “eye” can be replicated in graphic patterns in every color. Taking the shape of the tail feather and eye and stripping it of the classic colors of a peacock makes the shape feel very graphic and modern.  Abstract or realistic, the “eye” is as much of a design icon as the color palette inspired by peacocks. Peacocks are a design inspiration that can work for most interior styles. 

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