Hoot, Hoot: Mid-Century Modern Owls

Owls and mid-century design. The link between them is not obvious. One is a solitary, nocturnal bird and the other is most certainly not. However, you may be surprised. Owls were an extremely common motif in mid-century modern furniture and accessories, with their popularity continuing to this day.

From wearable accents to carvings, these birds can be found anywhere from the 1950’s onwards. And while they had fallen out of style for a time, they have re-emerged as a major trend in the last few years. The birds typically act as accessories or as subjects for prints. Pictured in shades of brown or a fanciful mix of unnatural colors, they range in size from small to large, though they are almost always used as a statement piece.

Get inspired – use owls to keep up-to-date, while still staying true to your vintage aesthetic.

The most traditional way of introducing a decorative owl into your space is with owl figurines. Ranging from life-sized to miniature, these pieces are generally also the most retro looking. Large ones show best alone, while smaller collections show best in groups of odd numbers. Keep to the classic brown palette or be unexpected with a modern gold or silver plated one.

Prints are a very practical way to show off your love of the feathered species. The best part of using art is that it is very temporary, as it can be moved and stored depending on your mood. It also creates a lot of visual interest considering the relatively low cost of prints. Pick strongly mid-century influenced graphics in a variety of colors to get the biggest impact possible.

Another way to use owls to update your home is by choosing themed dishware and glassware. It can be a smart touch to your kitchen or dining area that will add some playfulness to your kitchen or dining area. Salt and pepper shakers are typical but plates, cups and even candlesticks work delightfully. You’ll smile every time you sit down to breakfast. Try it on a Rove Concepts Noguchi Table – you may be surprised how well they match.

However, owls are pictured most commonly on wearable accessories like scarves, jewelry and clothes. Gorgeous and fashionable, these prints and metalwork are charming and a little kitschy, but always in a good way. Put on earrings or a silk tie to see for yourself.

Whether you fully embrace your antiquing ways or pick up something new, be sure to see whether an owl would fit into your home.


Posted in Inspiration, Latest trends.

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