After my butterfly finds post last week, I have had a little voice in my head whispering to me over that small detail about the stuffed peacock in the Celerie Kemble designed apartment in the newest Lonny magazine. I had mentioned that taxidermy peacocks have been all the rage for some time now, but as trends go, they don’t do it for me quite the way butterflies do. Here’s the aforementioned bird in the dining room.

But why did it all feel so familiar? The article mentioned that Kemble had designed this space previously as a model apartment for the building’s developer, but that wasn’t it. I knew Kemble herself had a peacock on the wall in her living room, but it was definitely a different one.

She can’t be credited with starting the trend – for instance, here is Anna Sui’s NYC apartment resplendent with pattern and peacock from an autumn 2009 Elle Decor issue…

…and prior to that I can recall the one in Jeffrey Bilhuber‘s gorgeous place, featured in the New York Social Diary.

The recent September Elle Decor featured the San Francisco home of Alexis and Trevor Traina with their peacock filled dining room, which I was also decorated some time ago and shown earlier elsewhere. But I am getting off tangent and I don’t really mean to be writing a post about the trend of dead birds in decorating! If I was really planning on doing that, I’d need to get all historical on you…

Then it finally hit me! Kemble’s dining room, which I had featured in a previous post, was basically the same room. Maybe her clients live in the same building in a similarly laid out apartment?  After all, it is a big new building. And Kemble’s dining room had quite unusual display items too – a pair of samurai warrior armor. Do you remember these?

At the time of that post, I asked what you thought of the armor. So I guess today’s question is which do you prefer? Stuffed birds or stuffed suits?

And while we are talking about peacocks anyway, I simply cannot avoid getting all historical on you. I have to put in a pitch for the most extraordinary peacock related place in the world – James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room – the showpiece of the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. Recently restored to its original splendor…

…the curators have taken yet a further step by temporarily taking down the blue and white style porcelain that Frederick R. Leyland originally displayed in there and installing Charles Lang Freer’s (who later purchased the room and brought it to America) original collection of ancient Asian ceramics. In effect, the room has been rewound to 1908. Furthermore, on the third Thursday of each month, the shutters on the windows will be opened, allowing visitors to view the room in natural light. This is truly a special opportunity and not to be missed! The full history and further information can be found here and here.

Courtney mentioned it this summer and a few friends from the D.C. area wrote to me about it as well. I plan on making a pilgrimage (and when talking about the Peacock Room, that is the correct word) there this summer with the girls. Anyone want to join me?

Related Posts:
Thumbs Up or Down? Samurai Armor in the Home
Artist Spotlight…A Final Dose of Japonisme for the New Year
Artist Spotlight…Whistler, Hiroshige and the Best Coffee table Book of All Time

Photo credits: 1. Lonny September/October 2011, photo credit: Patrick Cline, 2 & 6. Lonny October/November 2010, photo credit: Patrick Cline, 3. Elle Decor September 2009, photo credit: Eric Bowman, 4. New York Social Diary July 13, 2007, photo credit: Jeffrey Hirsch, 5. Elle Decor September 2011, photo credit: Simon Upton, 7-8. Freer/Sackler website