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

Updated Oct 12 2015
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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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! πŸ˜€

  4. 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. 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.

  6. 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).

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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??????????????????????????????? πŸ˜‰

  11. Bicycles. On everything. Wait: maybe that's just my fantasy and not a legitimate prediction? πŸ™‚

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

    • 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.

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

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

  18. 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.

    • 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.

  19. 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!!

  20. Ariel, I LOL's for real when I read your prediction, because we're alreay into tentacles at my house along with other geekery πŸ˜‰

  21. 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).

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

      • 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.

  27. 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.

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