Flamingos - the must-have bird in the home

Flamingos - the must-have bird in the home

That bellweather of British taste, John Lewis, says 'flamingo' has been one of the most popular search words on its website and sales of all things flamingo have been rocketing. Well, they are very beautiful so we've tracking down some quality, tasteful and eco friendly flamingo-themed homewares to lift the spirits over the winter months

Linen cushions by Rapture & Wright

Flamingos can be depicted in many ways, from haute couture refined to jaunty cheeky chappies. This Flamingo print on 100 per cent linen by UK design studio Rapture & Wright has them somewhere in the middle, elegant but friendly and affectionate. Hand-silk screened linen flamingo cushions £65.
*Click on images to see them in larger format

Flamingos are a bird beloved of the artist for obvious reasons. With their shrimp pink colour, long ballerina-thin legs and tutu-like bodies, they're pretty birds and can be imbued with many different characters. Comically haughty, snootily single-minded, cuddly and affectionate, eminently refined, fabulously faintly ridiculous, they're birds of a feather that flock together to create beautiful visions in pink.

Sanderson's Flamingo non-woven wallpaper comes in several colourways. £57 a roll
Promenade, oil on 'elephant hide' canvas painting by Sarah Elder. Prints 28x40cm are available, £150
Flamingos, print 30x40cm, £150. www.sarahelderart.com
Royal Flush: British artist Jeremy Houghton loves to paint flamingos. Prints of his paintings are available, £395 54x56cm
Flamingo cushion, £60, made from vintage French tapestry by upholsterer and upcycler Heather Linnitt of www.eclectic-chair.com
Elmer design, flamingo birds on a cream linen background - cushions from The Great British Ottoman Company, scatter cushions 45x45cm £45 or large 100x100cm £196. Wool backing, made in UK
Flamingos in flight - Dizzy Heights by artist Jeremy Houghton. Prints are available, 54x56cms £395
Organic cotton tea towel from Bristol-based Rolfe & Wills, £12, www.rolfeandwills.com

Who knows why, but according to John Lewis, one of the most popular motifs for homewares this year has been the flamingo, according to analysis of search terms keyed into its website.

British artist Sarah Elder - a former BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year - travels the world to paint wildlife and when in Africa she loves to stop and paint these fascinating waders. 'A fantasy of flamingos is how I think of of these stunning and elegant birds. Beautiful and blessed with such a gorgeous pink colour, they really are like ballet dancers - they pirouette, promenade and pose.'

Elder's original paintings cost in the thousands, but she does offer high quality prints of her Flamingo works at £150, and her Flamingos have also been transferred to lovely cashmere and silk scarves, which cost £150.

Another highly regarded British artist renowned for his paintings of birds in flight is Jeremy Houghton, and flamingos are a subject he returns to time and again. Original works in oil are probably not in many people's price range but he too offers prints of his exuberant and slightly abstract/impressionistic flamingo works, which include Dizzy Heights and Royal Flush. Prints 54x56cm cost £395.

There's a wealth of flamingo prints available - we like the brilliantly colourful and stylised designs of Bulgarian artist Slaveika Aladjova who sells on Etsy and whose prints start at less than £20; while Abode Living has prints of Dan Adams' (of I Ended Up Here) Colourful Creatures paintings, including his Flamingo. Print 42x29.5cm costs £20

Cashmere and silk Flamingo shawl, 70x200cm, by Sarah Elder, £150, www.sarahelderart.co.uk
Pretty Flamingo mats and coasters by Rachel Lee of The Animals Of, www.theanimalsof.co.uk
Perfect for a girl's bedroom, Felicity Flamingo from UK brand Scion's Guess Who? collection, non woven wallpaper, 52cm width, £28 a roll, Scion.uk.com
British textile firm Clarke & Clarke has a charming flamingo linen print in the Fougeres collection, £19 per m, 137cm width. www.clarke-clarke.com
Close up of Clarke & Clarke Flamingo 100% linen from its Fougere collection, £19 per m. clarke-clarke.com
Renowned British wallpaper brand Cole & Son has a lovely Flamingo range in several colours. Roll is 10.5m x53cm, £76
Close up of Cole & Son Flamingo paper from its New Contemporary collection, £76 per roll
Flamingo Party - organic cotton teatowel by Space 1a Design, £9.95. www.space1a.com
Pure cream wool hot water bottle cover with a flamingo motif, £40 at the Fine Cotton Company
This ceramic mug will perk you up in the morning - Flamingo print on turquoise, £9.95 by We Are Paper Plane on Etsy

Wallpaper

Wallpaper is a great way to bring flamingos into your life. Long established British manufacturer Cole & Son has a beautiful Flamingo paper, featuring beautifully drawn birds standing up, feeding and nesting. It's subtle yet endlessly interesting and the colourways are soft. Cole & Son uses high quality paper printed with water-based inks. The company does advise that the pink 66/6043 and orange flamingos 66/6045 will be discontinued at the end of December, though the other six colourways will continue to be produced. Around £76 a roll.

Young and fresh UK brand Scion has a pretty non woven wallpaper, Felicity Flamingo, part of its Guess Who? collection that's aimed at girls who love all things pink. Choose from a white or pale green background. £28 per roll. 

Rosa & Clara Designs has a modern Flamingo print on cotton. Cushions and lampshades are made by people at mental health social enterprise Working Well Trust in London. 40x40cm cushion £40. www.rosaandclaradesigns.co.uk
Fun stylised print for a child's bedroom, Flamingo from Colourful Creatures by Dan Adams of I Ended Up Here, available at Abode Living, £20, 42x2.5cm
Made in Stoke on Trent, bone china milk jug with flamingo design by Denise O'Sullivan, £35, at www.feefeelafouenterprises.com
Exuberant Flamingo print by artist Bulgarian artist Slaveika Aladjova, who sells on Etsy. Prints on Hahnemuhle paper from £16.39 + shipping
.

Fabric

Flamingo cushions, Roman blinds or curtains are fun too. And don't forget tea towels - just make sure you go for sustainable fabrics such as pure linen or organic cotton. For a very affordable and pretty 100 per cent linen fabric printed with delicate flamingos, British textile brand Clarke & Clarke's Flamingo design, part of its Fougeres collection, is understated and versatile. And it costs just £19 per m. You'll find modern flamingo prints on organic cotton teatowels at Space 1a Design (£9.95) and at Bristol based screenprinters Rolfe & Wills (£12). For vintage tapestry cushions with flamingos centre stage, look to the work of upholsterer, upcycler and cushion-maker Heather Linnitt of eclectic-chair.com.

Tableware 

We Are Paper Plane has some fun flamingo mugs and Fee Fee La Fou Enterprises has a milk jug by Denise O'Sullivan featuring a flamingo design on white bone china. The jug is made in Stoke on Trent and costs £35. Etsy and Folksy will yield forth plenty of flamingo mugs and jugs too.

From an interior design point of view, remember not to go overboard with a motif.. a few cushions on a plain sofa can look great, but if you go for a flamingo wallpaper, don't then choose flamingo cushions, prints and blinds!

.
.