Huffpost Chicago
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Tate Gunnerson Headshot

Home Decor Trend Report: Snakes Slither Hither

Posted: Updated:

2009-04-07-images-3379213874_f840b1a3de.jpg

"Get those mother#$*%^@! snakes off my mother#$*%^@! design blog," Backgarage.com* diva Katherine Raz suggested as an opening line when I told her I was working on a post about the number of snakes I've recently spied in homes and design boutiques. But I can't say #$*%^@! in the first paragraph of a design blog. Besides being . . . well, profane frankly (sorry Katherine) and tacky, it wouldn't be true, because I happen to like those mother#$*%^@! snakes.

As is so often true in this neck of the woods, Scout owner Larry Vodak was prescient; I bought a framed vintage snake print at the Andersonville chic urban antiques boutique months ago. Now snake stuff is beginning to show up at the more forward-looking places, most recently at Jayson Home & Garden, who are sporting a line of one-of-a-kind vintage prints and snakeskin accessories.

While in Western cultures the snake may forever be associated with Satan, women and original sin** (which sent us, God's perfect experiment, careening off in the wrong, but often fun, direction), snakes aren't reviled in other cultures. In fact, according to the prominent website Love-Astrology.com, the Chinese revere snakes for their beauty. The Chinese also believe that women born during a "snake" year (1905, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001) are destined to be style mavens. "They are accessory nuts as well and will no doubt have cupboards brimming with bags and scarves, all of course, designer," says the site. "They wouldn't, couldn't have it any other way."

Continued . . .

2009-04-07-images-2462001461_9e985cb223.jpg

According to another daily read ;-), Tattoo Design Shop (.com):

"The mystical orubus, a snake biting its tail, is a tattoo using the snake to symbolize eternity or the cyclical nature of life . . . can be easily combined with other symbols, like hearts, stars, and religious symbols, to bring even more mystery and drama to the design."

Mixing snakes in with other symbols (or accessories) is good advice whether you're talking about beautifying your bicep, the small of your back or your living space. Like birds, deer and squirrels, the snake trend, I predict, will continue to slither hither.

If you made it to this point without skipping ahead, you may now feel free to peruse the photos below for ideas, inspiration and also, below the photos, more expository remarks.

2009-04-07-images-3380818755_d0bfa46e00.jpg

2009-04-07-images-2643773909_da9abaf464.jpg

Jayson Home & Garden is offering an array of snake-inspired accessories:

2009-04-07-images-HG135243_alt2.jpg

2009-04-07-images-HG134332.jpg

* Back Garage - Design first, second hand. Isn't that the best tagline ever? I'm very jealous of your tag, Katherine. Mine (a design blog about people) is kind of groan-inducing, but I think it's better and more accurate than my first, "when design takes priority, the result is often Strange Closets;" tags shouldn't reference their own title lest they go blind. The tag line "a design blog about people" is certainly way better than another early contender, "where artists and designers hang together." Ugh! I did, however, sort of like another option, "Everybody's got their skeletons," but I realized it might put off potential Open House candidates.

** I prefer New Sin or Sin Zero to the original variety, but I'm in the minority. For those who weren't indoctrinated, Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, Beezlebub, Madoff, whatever you call him, disguised himself as a serpent and seduced Eve into eating an apple from the "tree of knowledge", a long tale (pardon the [admittedly clever] pun)*** that conveniently gives men the ultimate excuse for everything. It's kind of brilliant [albeit sleazy at best] in its patriarchal execution. The story also essentially villifies education.

*** Here's a punny story; during a recent dinner party conversation, there was near unanimous agreement that puns are "cloying" and "annoying" (you'll no doubt be shocked that I was the lone defender). Assuming that the mix people at this dinner party is representative of the general public (granted, that's a dangerous assumption to make of the motley crew), there's a good chance you feel the same way.

But what if the pun is unintentional? I believe that calling attention to one's puns is very annoying and sort of self-congratulatory (about something that doesn't even demonstrate much, if any, intelligence [which is why I do it, to prove I'm at least a tiny bit smart]).

But are puns still annoying if one did not mean to pun or at least didn't chuckle and say, "pardon the pun"? Are puns OK if one just puts the amusing word switch-a-roo out there like a little gift to the world without calling attention to it like some sophomoric kid? For example, when writing a post recently, I used the word "punny" when I clearly meant "funny," which is pretty good, right? But I felt no need to clue readers in about how clever I am. Doing so would have felt smarmy.