Summer, with its balmy breezes, has us thinking tropical lately, and we trust that six months from now, when many of us are all snowed in, we’ll have more than a few wistful escapist daydreams then too. Whether you dot your interior with seasonal touches of your favorite equatorial emblems or you’re known to leave a figurative trail of flamingo feathers everywhere you go, we think you’ll be inspired by this sampling of 6 flamingo motifs.


Flamingo 1: Studio Duggan Ltd, original photo on Houzz


1. Pink, the happy color of grazing flamingos, is a surprisingly versatile though underused burst of color that looks so fresh against gray and white. This flamingo-printed wallpaper goes even further toward giving the otherwise serious workspace a playful character.

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Flamingo 2: Eclectic Bathroom, original photo on Houzz


2. Cultures in the tropical locales where these pink birds dwell often favor bold, saturated hues. Here, the bubblegum pink and cerulean blue in the rug go together like flamingos and water — bathwater, in this case. The room has the vibe of a Costa Rican lodge, with its wooden-beamed ceiling and wide-louvered shutters.


Flamingo 3: CM Natural Designs, original photo on Houzz


3. Introducing a flamingo motif via a pillow, painting or wallpaper is a fantastic way to glamorize your black-and-white decor with a little Palm Beach style. It also makes for a more mature take on the old hot-pink-and-black teen dream.

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Flamingo 4: The Home, original photo on Houzz


4. These colorful creatures make a splash in any palette. They pair well with a variety of other brights, like the turquoise and yellow seen here</a>, but are equally endearing against a more subdued palette that would benefit from a little jolt of color. Take away any other element in this room, and the painting still works.


Flamingo 5: Twinkle and Whistle, original photo on Houzz


5. Those plastic birds that sometimes strut across lawns are either tacky and campy or hip and ironic, depending on whom you ask. Whatever your stance on bright pink lawn ornaments, you have to admit that the flamingo motif makes for absolutely charming outdoor pillows. In fact, plenty of retailers and artisans have caught on and are making flamingos their signature pattern of the summer.

Fun fact: Jennifer Price devotes an entire chapter of Flight Maps, her look at Americans’ quirky image of nature, to our beloved plastic flamingos.


Flamingo 6: Just Fabrics, original photo on Houzz


6. A little harder to find, but packing a potentially big design payoff, are flamingo-themed fabrics. Like any other tropical motif, they range from classy, like this shade, to cloying. But for those who want to add a special little something to, say, a guest bath, flamingos are a great way to put a smile on your visitors’ faces.