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Article courtesy Billy Roberts
www.billyrobertsdesign.com

There it was. I was at Starbucks getting my daily Chai Latte and staring back at me was this little sock puppet owl. It had a feeling of yesteryear and grand mom sewing it up just for me. I realized the owl a bit ‘odd’ having nothing to do with coffee, so I wondered what was going on? Starbucks is keeping up with the trends in American culture. Not unlike Madonna attaching her image literally to the likes of Brittany Spears to keep up with the younger generation. Starbucks is keeping pace with cultural trends to stay current and fresh. This is a great example of a trend becoming interwoven into fashion, art and interior design.

Depending on where the owl got his hook in American minds; I believe it to be from the Harry Potter series and his trusted snowy owl, Hedwig. Or possibly another avenue inspired by the recent Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibition called “The Owl in Art and Nature.” An entire exhibit dedicated to the wise bird that is showing up everywhere, like the sculpture below entitled Passage, by Sachiko Akiyuma:

Whatever the case, the owl has inspired everything from lamps and fabrics to wall papers. Award winning San Francisco industrial and furniture designer Rick Lee recently released his fun night owl lamp made of a poluamide polymer perched atop a steel tripod.I too like the owl for the wisdom, rarity and comic relief it provides. My friends pointed out to me that the owl reminded them of their parent’s macrome in the 70’s. Did you or your parents ever macrome an owl like one of these?Which brings me to the conclusion that the owl and all things associated with it should be used in very light proportions because like all fads, they are a hoot for only a short while.

Design tip from Billy: Don’t run out and buy the latest trend to keep your living spaces current. In fact, I advise you to try to stay away from all trends in design as they will loose their luster in a year. Then they become closet clutter and wasteful spending in hindsight. Instead focus on your individual style and choose items that have meaning to you.