|Christian Dior / Vogue|
No, not bugs as in an annoyance or bother. Bugs, as in the real thing, or at least, a facsimile of the real thing. I spotted this trend long before Christian Dior adorned this model’s sleeves thusly, but I kept it under my hat to see just how deeply the bug craze would invade home décor.
Up front, let’s exclude from the bug trend a few bugs that already suffer over-exposure. Buzzy bees, leaping ladybugs, and fluttering butterflies and dragonflies are, alas, all too trite for this emerging home décor phenomena. This time around, the sophisticated buzz is all about beetles and moths, ants and wasps, grasshoppers and crickets; even cockroaches, cicadas, centipedes and ticks. (Well, okay, maybe not ticks.)
Curiosity gives the bug new life
|Alex MacArthur Interiors|
The bug trend is actually a subset of the larger “curiosity cabinet” and “nature” trends. After all, what fits better under a glass dome, in a glass display box, or within the confines of a frame than a few strategically pinned bugs?
|One Kings Lane|
More than a few bugs works, too, depending on your tolerance factor. I love how these bugs in collector’s boxes pop against the stark white of the rest of this room’s décor, but I’m hoping for either strong latches or locks on those boxes, agreed?
|Via A Life Designed|
Framed bugs mix well with nature’s flora and fauna. And if you own an architect’s cabinet like this one, just think how many specimens you could collect to keep the display fresh!
If the real thing makes your skin crawl…
|Via Diagnoosi Sisustus Mania|
…opt for illustrations instead. This one has been turned on its side for a more casual look.
|Via Urban Comfort|
This grouping of three takes on a more formal appearance positioned over three, uber-cool midcentury modern chairs. And the box cameras and Viewmaster from the same era fit in with the observation-of-nature, take-a-closer-look theme. Something you would naturally do in a foyer, which this appears to be.
|Graham & Green|
This is probably the perfect place to mention just how well bug charts, posters and prints mix with other art.
|Graham & Green|
Unlike actual bug specimens, which we naturally prefer framed, boxed or otherwise confined, prints can be casually placed, sans frame if you like. I like the laid-back look of these, scattered across the gorgeous teal green of this console chest. Yes, a few butterflies did creep in…
|Love the Print|
…but it’s not a big deal as long as you don’t make a habit of it.
Bugs in the kitchen or bedroom? No problem!
Perhaps this bug print acts as a deterrent—so big it scares the littler cockroaches away? It’s worth a shot.
I know if I were a cockroach (no jokes, please), this big boy would have me running to the neighbors instead of setting up camp in this kitchen.
|Carter Kay Interiors|
Perhaps this gorgeous green beetle could do as much in the bedroom to scare off bed bugs. And perhaps you could get a pocket-size version to carry with you when you travel. Just sayin’.
In case your home has a lot of visitors, this bug couple standing sentinel in the living room might serve to assert territorial breeding rights and make sure any unseen critters leave the same way they came, pronto.
|Adore Home Magazine|
Because you never know what’s lurking beneath the surfaces you see.
So join the crawl!
|Thomas Loof photo|
Who says your bugs must stick to one-dimension?
|Making It Lovely|
Neither must they remain their diminutive life-size…
…or be lazy. These ants are a testament to industry, crawling this wall. It makes me want to get busy, too. (Or maybe just watch them from under the fur throw on that sofa and cheer them on.)
Do you think I could task these sticker ants with some of the housework?
Bugging beyond walls, floor and ceiling
Meet the bug pillow! How cute is it that the homeowner paired the beetle pillow with a Beatles pillow?
|Ivan Terestchenko photo|
Some bugs have it made ON the shade…
…while others prefer to linger in the light. I guess this one’s working on its tan, which explains all that bronze, huh?
These two crawlers assert their authority over this tray and protect it from winged invaders attempting to gain a toehold.
Whereas this sidetable trio is at-one-with amber…
|The Naturalist Melbourne|
…and this guy took a wrong turn into a vat of Lucite.
Bug craze has even bitten high-end designers
|Barry Dixon for Arteriors|
There’s the Mosquito Bench by Barry Dixon. But if that’s too subtle for your tastes, don’t give up shopping just yet.
|Maximo Riera / Lorelei Sims / Wild Design|
Try (clockwise from upper left) the Beetle Chair by Maximo Riera, the Black Widow Spider Chair by Lorelei Sims, or the Mosquito Armchair from Wild Design. Even if they make you squirm too much to sit in them yourself, any one would be a good item to keep around for not-so-welcome guests. Of course at holidays, with extended family coming in, you might be in a quandary about just who to direct toward that special seat.
And last but not least, meet the hand-carved Wardrobe Bug by Janis Straupe.
Did I say last? I misspoke
|Porter Paints / Abnormals Anonymous|
|Wheeler Fabrics / Duralee|
|Laura Zindel Design / Peking Handicraft / Foxy n Foxy|
Or you can buy pillows ready-made. There are lots out there, but these were my favorites: the Goliath Beetle Pillow by Laura Zindel Design (left), the Peking Handicraft Hooked Beetle Pillow (center), or the Vintage Insect Cushion (right).
Artists are, perhaps, the buggiest of all
|Laura Zindel Design|
Laura Zindel, who sells the aforementioned pillow, leads the buggy pack with her stunning pottery. This is just a sampling; follow the link to see her full collection.
|Tobikker Art / Swanborough Prints / Rakla|
Etsy is a great source for vintage bug prints and more. Clockwise from upper left: “Picasso Bug” is a print of an original watercolor by Tobikker Art, as is the pair of walking sticks from Swanborough Prints, whereas the grouping of three bugs is an original watercolor by Bulgarian artist Rakla.
|Sue Brown / The Old Launderette|
Another artist, Sue Brown, adds bugs to enameled spoons, while The Old Launderette sells hand-drawn bugs on spherical ceramic ornaments. The former would look beautiful as a wall display or gathered bowls-up in a pitcher. The latter would look edgy but sweet in a gorgeous bowl, placed as a centerpiece.
|Humayrah Poppins / Michael Cook / My Soul Design / Access Art / Julie Alice Chappell / Insect Lab|
These furniture-makers, potters and painters are joined by other artisans: Humayrah Poppins, who embroiders not-so-traditional bugs from traditional sewing and jewelry-making materials (left top); Michael Cook, who incorporates actual bug parts, like these iridescent beetle wings, in his embroidery (left center); and My Soul Design, which specializes in nature-themed soft sculptures, including bugs (left bottom).
Paula Briggs and Sheila Ceccarelli share instructions on making this bug sculpture (right top) at Access Art. Julie Alice Chappell constructs “computer bugs” from junked computer parts (right center). And Mike Libby of Insect Lab, makes bug models that only look as if they should “work” (right bottom).
Artist Wesley Fleming goes one step further and sculpts exquisitely detailed bugs from glass before framing them singly or in a collection.
Or, try these ideas on your own
|Simon Brown photo|
Interior designer Kit Kemp creates bug collections with plastic bugs to hang in some of the rooms in her hotels. The key to making a statement with ordinary items, she says, is in the framing, as this photo illustrates. Read more about “Making Pictures Shout” in this previous BoHo Home post.
This plastic bug collection (left) is inexpensive and suitable for framing a la Kit Kemp, while these colorful bug clickers (center) would be fetching displayed in either a frame or on a tray where they could actually be played with by guests. The three-dimensional hanging insects (right) would also add some insectuous personality to any boho abode. (Note: This paragraph contains affiliate links.)
|Escher is Still Alive|
Or consider concocting your own bugs from plants and other natural and found materials, then mount and frame. Bugs like these would look especially smashing sandwiched between two layers of glass.
Want more inspiration?
Check out this time-lapse video of “In the Midnight Garden,” an all-bug installation last year in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, by insect artist Jennifer Angus. You’ll be astonished at the extent of bug beauty and desperate to get some of it in your very own home.
And, as always, I hope you’ll either subscribe to BoHo Home using one of the services at the bottom of this page, or follow my blog with Bloglovin.