365 Objects Of Design

Animal Magic by Abigail Ahern

22nd August 2015
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Right we’re going to have some fun today. It’s the weekend and we could all do with some light relief so I thought we’d take a look at Abigail Ahern’s range of animal lamps for Debenhams.

abigail ahern owl lamp

Now it’s fair to say they won’t be for everyone. I have a feeling that himself, who frankly isn’t as keen on Barry as one might have hoped, probably won’t be encouraging me to buy one. But, as you know, I like a bit of wit in an interior and I think if you had one of these just casually sitting in a corner, it could be quite subtle. Here’s Barry by the way:


The key, as I said with Elizabeth’s Cabinet a couple of weeks ago, is not to make a big deal of having such an unusual piece. It is the opposite of that film where she’s bleating on about not putting baby in the corner, that is exactly where you should put this. It will draw attention to itself anyway but that way it’s not shouting at every guest “Look at me and my witty decorating ideas”.

ahern bulldog lamp

I recently recommended the rather gorgeous teal-coloured toucan to a client – mind you she hasn’t told me if she’s bought it or not. I also visited another client recently who had bought the dog for her teenage daughter’s bedroom.

Not that they should be confined to children’s bedrooms which might seem an obvious choice for something so unusual. I would definitely put them in the main rooms of the house, it’s just a question of which one to choose.


Pelicans are one of my favourite birds and somehow this one actually looks better with a purple lampshade on his head than he might without it. Then again this pale grey hare with bright pink shade is fun and would lighten a dark corner even when not lit.

You can only just see the penguin in this shot but he would be good in a monochrome scheme as his metallic body would bounce the light around.

abigail ahern penguin lamp

My favourite? The toucan, which I couldn’t find in a lifestyle shot to show you how it would look in situ. So then I thought I would have to buy it (regardless of himself) and then I realised that the 11yo’s bedroom is being painted in a soft sky blue with a charcoal carpet and that he would totally nick it – so much for not in front of the children. And then Abigail sent me a picture. So here he is, in all his glory.


They’re around £85 by the way. And while we’re on the subject of Abigail, you should know that she has a new book out called Colour. She’s written about introducing her special brand of colour (the bottom of the lake swampy stuff as she calls it) into your home and been to visit some amazingly cool houses on the way.

Now I just have to figure out a way of smuggling the toucan into the house in secret… He’s called Alwyn by the way.


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  • Victoria 10th May 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I want a flamingo! Where can I get one? Kate Spade in Covent Garden has a woman walking a flock of flamingos. Sorry, a flamboyance of flamingos (I just looked it up). I love Kate Spade for her quirky pieces and find myself in need of a flamingo.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 11th May 2015 at 9:44 am

      I LOVE that it’s called flamboyance of flamingos Barry came from DZD which is on the Tottenham Court Road, in London, or you can buy online.

  • Fiona Duke 9th May 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I have a Barry at home but he’s called George in my house ! Always makes me smile when I see him at the top of the stairs.

    Love Love Love Abigail Ahern’s work and off to her colour workshop on Wednesday evening which should be packed full of her brilliant colour advice 🙂

  • poppy 9th May 2015 at 7:48 am

    I love Abigail Ahearn’s work, embraced the dark walls at home and love them. Going to have to see Barry today!

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