Birds Of A Feather

One of my best friends and her mom really should start an interior design company. Their homes are similarly but stunningly decorated in modern shades of grey, brown, and cream with offbeat but rich colourful accents. They are the ladies I go to when I’m looking for design inspiration of my own, although even I’ve managed to surprise my friend with a few choice home décor items that have found a place amongst her fantastic finds.

For the longest time, I was afraid of Urban Barn. However, I was in an unfamiliar part of town (visiting a furniture warehouse sale on advice of the aforementioned friend) and decided to pop into one the other week, and was pleasantly surprised at how affordable their home accents are.

I could pick anything from their extensive line-up of goodies as perfect gift choices, but I gravitated towards this unique ‘Floral Bird Cutout Bowl’ as a great gift for the designer-to-be in your life. It marries practicality – as per the use as a fruit bowl in this image – with design, and perfectly fits in with the artsy, kitschy ‘look’ of the moment.

If you’re not feeling the white, the bowl also comes in vibrant apple green, both of which are priced at $45, which makes it a great pick for Mother’s Day, or birthdays. Other uses? Throw in some candles and make it a centrepiece for an outdoor dinner party. Grab some flower petals and fill it to the brim for a fragrant, spring-y table topper. Leave it at the front door as a catch-all for keys, cell phones, wallets, and all the other things that fill a guy’s pockets.

If you’re a little uninitiated to the ‘urban artisan’ look that is ever so popular, here are a few tips for seeking out pieces beyond the ready-made choices offered at Urban Barn and Urban Outfitters (especially if you don’t have either store in your city):

–          Birds are super trendy – owls and sparrows in particular dominate

–          Neutrals rule – particularly charcoal grey, milk chocolate, taupe, and almond cream

–          Accent with vibrant pops of teal blue, deep plum, and apple green

–          Search for homey, nature-inspired touches like weathered or crackle finishes, handcrafted details, and natural elements like twigs, feathers, leaves, etc. (see the above Urban Barn twig diffuser on sale for just $9 right now)

Urban Barn is located in all provinces west of Quebec, but I have no doubt you’ll be able to capture the shabby chic look in your own gift giving. Like I said, I could literally recommend dozens of their home accents, but this bowl in particular sang out to me.

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