What will be the next "put a bird on it!" decor trend?

Three Little Birds - Vintage Burwood Plaques
Do these birds make my writing look too trendy? Photo by Love That Vintage, used by Creative Commons license
If you've heard of the IFC tv show "Portlandia" (the not always funny but pitch-perfect skewering of West Coast hipsterism), then you've likely seen "Put a bird on it."

This skit impeccably captures the ubiquitous indie-design trend of, well, putting a bird on everything. EVERYTHING. Baby clothes. Ash trays. Pillows. Wedding invitations. EVERYTHING gets a bird.

We've seen trends like this before. In the '90s, anyone remember the celestial trend? Or the sunflowers trend? In the '80 we had a lot of unicorns. Going back farther, who remembers the owls and mushrooms of the '70s?

Of course, once the trend has been identified, that means creatives everywhere are already trying to put their finger/fingerprint on the next visual meme.

I have my prediction of what it will be/already is — do you have yours?

I predict tentacles, but Cat says that's already come and gone. She says crystals and minerals.

So, what's YOUR prediction? What will be the "putting a bird on it" of 2012?

  1. If you like it then you'd better put a bird on it.

    27 agree
    • i really thought that was where this was going lol

      3 agree
  2. I'm not cool enough to know the trends of the future, but can I just say…if you you don't put a bird on it, for God's sake at least put a mustache on it!

    18 agree
  3. I'd say mustaches, but those have already come – and, unfortunately, haven't gone yet.

    13 agree
  4. I say vines. Or hydrangeas. lol but I suck at predicting future trends since I can't stand 98% of them.

    0 agree
  5. I'm so out of touch, I wouldn't even pretend to know. I'm tempted to say mason jars. I've been seeing a lot of them of late. If that's the case, then I'm sure there will be more "country" kitsch to come with it.

    But more like modern country, not the old version with gingham and dried flowers.

    0 agree
    • Owls have come and gone, at least in Australia.

      4 agree
    • I see owls and trees EVERYWHEERRRRRRRRRRRRE! Which I don't mind but it's a little creepy like a blast from the past.
      I think general WOODLAND stuff is gonna start popping up.
      Or penguins. There's been a lot of those too.

      0 agree
  6. In Japan right now it's matryoshka dolls. They're on EVERYTHING, from wall clocks to condoms lol.

    12 agree
  7. Oh lol! Thanks for almost inspiring me spit coffee on my work computer ;D I just saw only the title of this on my facebook feed and just about died. That sketch just about ruined me. I remember the unicorns! I still have a trunk with unicorns on it – maybe it will be cool again some day. I'm kind of wanting to see birds with mustaches – combine the two trends du jour! I think that would be fun, but maybe I've just done way too much paperwork today. If this is true about the mason jars then, excellent! I have been using those for for my bathroom things for years already, yey! :D

    3 agree
  8. I am not nearly hip enough to know what's next. But I'm gonna wing it and say ferns. Ferns are the new birds.

    5 agree
  9. I agree with the crystals thing. I definitely have been seeing a lot of mineral/rock jewelry coming across my tumblr dash lately. Maybe it will spread to decor as well. Other than that, I'm not too sure.

    0 agree
  10. There are so many trends coming and going I can never keep track. Things that have come and gone: Vines, russian stacking dolls, filigree, chandeliers, ferns, deer/elk/moose, squirrels, roses, leaves, starbursts, and so much more I can't count…

    Then there's stuff that's come and stuck around: mustaches, octopuses (octopi?), birds, sakura, clocks, dandelions…

    Or stuff that's come and gone, then come back: owls, mushrooms, crystals/gems, butterflies…

    I'm predicting bugs are next. Like the housefly, firefly, bumblebee (although the bumblebee is already starting to get huge).

    2 agree
    • I agree with the bugs. Dragonflies, butterflies, and fireflies have been all over the place. . . unless the birds eat them first =p

      0 agree
  11. Man, if it's mason jars then I just hope that I can afford real glasses at that point…

    0 agree
  12. Random Geometric shaped prints , accessories and fashion is everywhere. I'm gunning for fruit and Carmen Miranda themed fashion! (there have been a few fruity inspired collections this season).
    I like the idea of more Insects too!

    0 agree
  13. Giraffes are popping up all over etsy – maybe we're headed in that direction? But "slap a giraffe on it" isn't nearly as catchy.

    0 agree
  14. Dunno, but my husband and I are birdwatchers so I'm thrilled to have the option to decorate with all things avian!

    1 agrees
  15. It may not be the next trend in the line, but steampunk is breaking into the mainstream. Right now, in the steam community it's "stick a gear on it and it's magically steampunk!" so I'm betting within the next year or so it'll be "stick a gear on it, now it's cool."

    Or has that happened?

    7 agree
    • Yup, barf up some gears on that s*** annnnnd done. Mind you, I'm typing that whilst making flowers out of ties to attach to my next steampunk outfit. So, it's not that I don't love me some steamy gears.

      1 agrees
    • hey you're right! it is starting to be more known as a style. I see random gears on stuff in stores now too sometimes.
      AND HOW O HOW DO YOU MAKE FLOWERS FROM TIES??????????????????????????????? ;)

      0 agree
  16. Bunnies! Or maybe thats just wishful thinking.

    7 agree
  17. Bicycles. On everything. Wait: maybe that's just my fantasy and not a legitimate prediction? :)

    2 agree
  18. Pandas! Although I think that trend is already peaking, but I'm still a fan.

    0 agree
  19. I'll still be putting a bird on it till kingdom come.
    Ohdeedoh suggested giraffes, but I can't see that being as big as birds. Chevron is as big as birds maybe right now? I don't know.
    But for the future?? No idea.

    1 agrees
  20. Plaster casts of animal skulls, painted white or any other crazy colour you can think of.

    1 agrees
  21. Fruit! Especially citrus fruit. I've already seen a lot of lemon motif prints on fabric.

    1 agrees
  22. I was going to say giraffes, too, but I really wish it was bunnies! Let's make that happen! Also rocks/minerals/crystals, which I wouldn't mind at all.

    0 agree
  23. I work in the home decor industry, so I get to see what the buyers are finding and coming up with.
    The released theme for this season has been "Country Fair" and "Americana."
    Gingham, Mason jars, straw hats, baskets, pigs, roosters, picket fence, semi-garish colors, strawberries, denim, and other picnic odds and ends. I think people are wanting to remember how their grandparents made it through the Great Depression ok, and it gives them hope. Plus, it makes vintage finds and hand-me-downs acceptable so that the thrifty can stay haute as well.

    6 agree
  24. I think it's already started but I predict there will be more damask, fleur de lis, and other patterns that used to be associated with granny's wallpaper. That and other subtle throwbacks to Victorian – steampunk, feathers, and hats (esp after the royal wedding).

    2 agree
    • i live in louisiana right now, and there are fleur de lis everywhere! it's almost ridiculous. from bird baths to purses, front doors to bumper stickers…it's all about the fleur de lis.

      0 agree
  25. I say lace patterns and doily looks will come back, as well as grasses. For an image I'm going with giraffes and beetles.

    0 agree
  26. Have Gingko leaves and Darth Vaders (not necessarily together) come and gone yet?

    0 agree
  27. Sea life? Anatomical organs other than the heart? Heirloom vegetables? I am not hip enough to know, but it is fun to imagine.

    1 agrees
  28. I'm from near PDX and that show makes me want to move back…

    For decorating themes, I am sort of enjoying the birds while they're here. And mason jars being in style means that more stores stock them. I'd love to see ferns on more things. Or mastadons.

    0 agree
  29. my future trend prediction: Indian stuff.. feathers and headdresses and dream catchers will enslave us all muahahaha

    2 agree
  30. definitely gears/ steampunk lite. and vintage nautical- old ships, anchors, seahorses, etc…

    1 agrees
    • Nautical is definitely huge, but doesn't that happen every summer to some extent?

      0 agree
  31. Monograms, bees, and pictures of ordinary household items (cups, books, etc).

    0 agree
    • Oooh I like the household items thing. Interesting. If I had any artistic skill I would be writing this all down to incorporate these motifs.

      0 agree
  32. Apologies if someone has already said this – way too many comments to read during my lunch hour – but Babushkas – they're everywhere!! …and I love it!!

    1 agrees
  33. Ariel, I LOL's for real when I read your prediction, because we're alreay into tentacles at my house along with other geekery ;)

    0 agree
  34. I think Steampunk will become an even bigger trend than it already is. Look at Restoration Hardware – they don't say steampunk, but all their stuff definitely has that vibe.

    My person hope is that the next "Bird" is "velociraptors" (or any kind of dinosaur).

    1 agrees
  35. That bird is nowhere near done yet. It's been around through the year of the owl, the year of the giraffe, the year of the rabbit, peacock, and this, the year of the Russian nesting doll. Next year, I believe, will be the year of the whale, and that bird will keep showing up on everything. It's a perfect symbol for freedom and simplicity and people are gonna wanna keep looking at it until this economy picks up, or we all get used to it. Either way, it's gonna be a while.

    1 agrees
  36. Anything even remotely French. Bonus points if it's vintage.

    0 agree
  37. Bunting is all over the place on Etsy. It has that twee vintage flavor it seems all the hip kids are excited about these days, so I say it'll stick around a while.

    0 agree
  38. Narwhals. I'm starting to see them pop up everywhere!

    1 agrees
  39. According to regretsy, barnwood is big now!

    I remember when butterflies (especially with sparkles) were EVERYWHERE around 2000. Gah. I still can't bring myself to buy any clothing with even a butterfly silhouette on it.

    2 agree
  40. I remember when my old high school friend "put a bird on" the back of her neck- permanently. I think she's already started to regret it.

    0 agree
  41. Dala Horses. They're similar to Bubushkas with the folky vibe.

    0 agree
  42. I actually think the Portlandia 'Put A Bird On It' sketch extended the life of the bird trend and made birds cool again.

    I wasn't a fan of birds until I became a Portlandia fanatic, now I like and want bird items because they remind me of my new favorite show. By mocking birds ,they made birds cool. Now birds mean Portlandia to me.

    0 agree
      • There is something so oddly appealing about them…

        I live and work in a pretty interesting indie/bohemian/etc neighbourhood in Ottawa ON. At the health food store where I work, I have noticed some people with things like fish bone shaped earrings, a wallet, an awesome long flowy skirt with fish bones decorating the bottom… And for some reason they totally caught my fancy! lol

        I suspect my mad kitty love has something to do with my taste for this emerging trend :p I remember playing with little toy cats as a child and fish bones as accessories for them to nom.

        0 agree
  43. Vote 1 CICADAS!!!!
    Their lives ephemeral, like any trend. And their forms varied and strangely fascinating.
    I could also go for fish bones, even tho' that was a "thing" here ( Melbourne, Australia) in the '90's.

    0 agree

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