Design trends: exotic peacock and jewel shades

Bold peacock feathers are appearing on fabrics and furnishings, while the jewel shades of turquoise, emerald and purple are lending a gorgeous glow to glassware and ceramics
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The peacock, the proudest of birds, has been strutting its stuff, with iridescent feathers on wallpaper at Osborne & Little and Sanderson, and on luxury furniture fabrics at Boeme. The jewel shades of turquoise, emerald, sapphire and purple are lending a lustrous sheen to velvets and silks, and a gorgeous glow to glassware and ceramics.

Peacocks have been a symbol of wealth, beauty and rebirth since ancient times. The artists of the Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveau, über-trendy at the turn of the last century, used a peacock as their motif, and you can see it on buildings and in archives all over Europe. The birds strutted in the gardens of aristocrats and their feathers were a mark of opulence, even decadence.

Says Rebecca Craig, head of design for the Sanderson studio: “The peacock feather is organic, a symbol of natural beauty, able to carry vibrant yet sophisticated shades. People are definitely getting bolder in their use of colour, and this trend will continue into the new year.”


Cushions from left to right are: Padua malachite shaded wool, £60; Kashgar jade cotton sateen, £79; Fergana jade embroidered silk, £90; Orsoglio cobalt striped satin, £65. All by Designers Guild, 267/277 King’s Road, SW3 (020 7893 7200;


Peacock wallpaper (above left) by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little is £98 a roll (020 7352 1456; Jewel-coloured glass is cut by hand then polished to a high sheen for these faceted vases (above right). Prices range from £34 to £44 at West Elm, 209 Tottenham Court Road, W1 (020 7637 9150;


Peacock decoration (above left) with real feathers and a clip to attach it to branches — or wherever you think it will look pretty — £5.95 at Rigby & Mac ( Cushion (above right) with peacock feather pattern, £39. Bed throw in Henna, £46 a metre, both from Sanderson (0844 543 9500:


This chair (above left) is upholstered in the striking Paon design from Boeme ( A dazzling flower vase (above right), £1,650, from renowned London-born glassmaker Bob Crooks (


The classic Baroque Bourgie table lamp, designed by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell, now comes with its intricately cut base in jewel colours. Price £196 from


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