Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Breakfast in a Bird Cage
Lately, I've been dreaming of a breakfast room decorated to resemble the inside of a beautiful bird cage. Never mind that I don't have a breakfast room in my apartment, but it's a nice fantasy nonetheless. What brought on this notion is the photo, above, that shows a wallpaper border of birds, ribbons, and bird cages. Would you believe that this border dates to the late eighteenth century? Part of the collection of the V&A, this border is believed to be of British origin and was possibly intended for use in a music room. (Brunschwig & Fils used to carry a reproduction of this border in their wallpaper collection, but I don't know if it has since been discontinued.)
For some reason, birds and breakfast rooms seem to go hand in hand, perhaps because birds' cheery songs often mark the dawn of each day. One of the loveliest rooms in Atlanta is the Goodrum House's octagonal breakfast room, painted by artist Athos Menaboni to resemble a bird cage. You can see a photo of it below. Wouldn't you love to take your morning Wheaties in such a pretty room? Then there is the very elegant breakfast room at the late Marjorie Merriweather Post's estate, Hillwood, that reminds me of a gilded cage, one in which I wouldn't mind being trapped.
On the other hand, if birds seem too animated for early morning repasts, you could always festoon your breakfast room with painted flowers and trellis, another pleasant way to greet each day. Although I doubt that I would take my breakfast room to such extremes, I do find designer David Barrett's morning glory room to be one of the most exuberantly decorated rooms in my recent memory. (See it towards the bottom of this post.) I don't know if the vines were real or not, but I like to think that they were. After all, that's part of the fantasy of such a fantastical room.
Architect Design, who identified the house as Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire, England.