Birds of a Feather – why we’re all flocking together to love flamingo prints


Frivolous, ridiculous, and alarmingly beautiful, flamingos are funny birds – so stupid that they have to be actively helped by zookeepers not to break their own legs. And yet they also sum up one of the main trends for interiors this year: happiness. Representing exotic holidays, sunny climes and happy times, they are everywhere on the high street right now, covering cushions, lamps and even wallpapers like this Flamingo print from Graham and Brown. Their popularity comes down to a vaguely scientific equation. In times of recession, colours such as yellow are the biggest sellers, as people subconsciously associate it with sunshine, and therefore cheerfulness.

The theory goes that whilst we can’t change everything going on outside us right now, we can make our own spaces more joyful places to live in, by using these fun prints, quirky products, and humorously-shaped designs to make our interiors something to smile about. That means cushions covered in animal motifs, side tables in the shape of poodles, mugs which look like puffins, sideboards covered in fluorescent green leopard print. Yes, forget the conventions of good taste that have been drummed into you by interiors magazines for ages, this is about filling your home with odd little products that you just so happen to love.

So try to get as much as enjoyment as possible from your decorating this year – buy things that you find irresistible because they lift your spirits, rather than because you necessarily need them. Use bright colours that fit together in a similar palette, such as oranges and yellows, pinks and purples, blues and greens, reds and burnt umbers, and the unusual shapes will happily sit together. They will be mood lifters, and conversational pieces that will instantly become talking points. And above all, they will be fun.

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Pip McCormac, Guest Editor

View all posts by Pip McCormac, Guest Editor