Monochrome Magic: Using Black and White Bird Prints to Amplify Your Home Decorating Style

November 30, 2023

Monochrome Magic: Using Black and White Bird Prints to Amplify Your Home Decorating Style

In the world of interior design, the potency of black and white is unparalleled. These timeless colors, effortlessly chic and endlessly adaptable, lay the foundation for countless decorating styles.

That doesn't mean the decorating is over. Combining a monochromatic interior with the enchanting world of bird prints has the power to transform a space, infusing it with character and a touch of nature's charm while maintaining the aesthetic. In this blog post, we will explore how incorporating black and white bird prints can amplify your decorating style with just a few easy changes - like hanging an audacious bird print as a focus or a gallery wall chock-full of more retiring birds. 

Combining Simplicity with Texture

How does the monochromatic magic happen? Easy! By focusing on contrasting tones, black and white bird prints create a striking visual impact without overwhelming the space. Think clean and crisp lines. But clean and crisp doesn't mean flat and forgettable. The simplicity of the color palette allows the intricate details of the birds' plumage to take center stage, drawing the eye and adding a touch of refined elegance.

Take, for example, Olof Rudbeck's black-throated diver. The monochromatic color scheme creates a sense of drama and contrast, while the intricate details of the bird's feathers add texture and dimension to a room. This technique is especially effective when used in spaces with minimal decor, creating a bullseye effect that commands attention.


Olof Rudbeck's Black-Throated Diver

 Rudbeck's Black-Throated Diver

Rudbeck's diver is certainly not alone in its ability to command attention. Most black and white bird prints showcase not just the birds themselves but also shift focus to texture rather than color, capturing the subtle gradations of light and shadow.


Audubon Gyrfalcon on watercolor paper

Audubon's Gryfalcon isolated on a white background 

Vintage or antique bird paintings are particularly adept at detail since their original purpose was to meticulously represent the natural world. From Audubon's works to Victorian-era paintings, black and white bird prints are a treasure trove of texture and detail.

Blending Modern and Traditional Styles

Black and white bird prints are endlessly versatile, making them suitable for both modern and traditional decorating styles. There are the obvious choices, of course - bold and abstract bird prints for a modern look, paired with sleek, minimalist furniture. Classic and detailed prints of birds in their natural habitat to complement traditional styles, like the Audubon print below.

Audubon's great blue heron

 Audubon's Great Blue Heron

But there's a lot a real estate between those two obvious choices. Modern abstract prints can add a touch of whimsy to a traditional space, while classic bird paintings can lend sophistication to a more contemporary setting, like Rudbeck's Snowy Owl shown below. 


Rudbeck Snowy Owl in a modern white kitchen

Rudbeck's Snowy Owl  

The key is finding the right balance between bold and subtle, classic and modern. A large black and white print of a soaring eagle paired with sleek furniture gives an instant modern edge to any room, without being too overpowering. On the other hand, a vintage bird print with its delicate lines and intricate details can add depth and character to a modern space without feeling out of place.

And don't forget about other forms of decoration. The Eames House Bird shown below is an iconic piece of mid-century modern decor. It adds a touch of whimsy and personality to any room, while still being an elegant nod to nature through its black color and silhouette.


eames house bird

Eames House Bird

Bringing Nature Indoors

A significant benefit to incorporating black and white bird prints into your decorating style is their ability to bring nature indoors. Whether you live in a bustling city or on an idyllic farm, bird prints can add an element of tranquility to your home.

A series of black and white bird prints hung above a cozy reading nook can transport you to the serenity of a forest, while a bold print of a perched owl in the living room adds unexpected charm and character. With their natural subject matter, bird prints create an effortless connection to the outdoors, even in the most urban of settings.

Add Greenery

Adding greenery in the form of indoor plants is an excellent way to balance the boldness of black and white bird prints and introduce a more natural aesthetic to your living space. Plants not only add a splash of color but also bring in a textural contrast against the monochromatic theme, softening the starkness of black and white.


black and white room with greenery

Photo credit: Victor Hoffman 

Choose bold, architectural plants, such as a fiddle-leaf fig or monstera, which can hold their own in a room dominated by strong black and white motifs. These plants serve as natural sculptures, adding a lively and organic element to the space. On the other hand, smaller, delicate plants like ferns or succulents can be used to add subtle nuances to the room, enhancing the natural theme without overwhelming the existing decor. 

Versatile Options

Black and white bird prints offer lots of options for incorporating them into your home decor. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gallery Walls

By layering different sizes and orientations of bird prints, you can create a multi-dimensional effect that adds visual interest and depth to your walls. This is particularly effective in larger spaces, such as living rooms or dining rooms, where a gallery wall brings balance to the room.

A gallery is not just a platform for displaying black and white bird prints; it can also be a creative way to incorporate and blend both modern and traditional art styles, and add pops of color. By strategically placing contemporary abstract bird prints alongside classic ornithological illustrations, you can create an eclectic mix that bridges these distinct art traditions. 


Gallery wall featuring birds

Statement Piece

Make a bold statement by selecting a large-scale bird print and displaying it as a standalone piece on a blank wall. This creates a captivating focal point that instantly grabs attention.


Olof Rudbeck's black-throated diver in a black bathroom

Rudbeck's Black-Throated Diver in a monochromatic bathroom

It would be hard indeed to miss the black duck shown above - it will draw in any guest who enters the room and the white background provides a welcome respite from the overall dark tones of the room.

Why Wait?

Incorporating black and white bird prints into your home decor is a surefire way to amplify your decorating style. With their simplicity, natural allure, and versatile appeal, these prints capture the essence of elegance and add a touch of whimsy to your living space. So why wait? Let these enchanting artworks take flight and transform your space into a haven of tranquility and grace. Have a look at our collection of avian art and get inspired today. 


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