Travel inspiration: Javanese Birdcages

So as I mentioned earlier in the week, we started off our Indonesian adventures in Java and spent a couple of days in the old Dutch colonial town of Yogyakarta.

It was an interesting stop off en route to Bali and we enjoyed checking out the antiquated Dutch architecture of the place, but the main take away for me were the gorgeous GORGEOUS bird cages hanging from practically every roof eave and terrace.

Now I have to say that I’m no crazy animal lover (c’mon, half my ancestors were tough old farmers) but the sight of birdies locked in little cages does distress me slightly, so we didn’t go check out Yogya’s bird market, but instead oogled the (empty) wares in town.


So anyway, putting this into a design context, they instantly reminded me of our stay at Anouska Hempel’s Blakes Hotel

…where she liberally scattered them all over the lobby area, to gorgeous effect.  And I thought I’d take a looksee at some more birdcage inspiration today.

I really am totally enamoured with this collection of hanging cages, but wholly dislike the rest of the scheme – just imagine the ceiling and walls are an inoffensive shade of white please!

This minimalist look gets a big thumbs up:

As does this romantic shabby chic-esque vibe:

And these next two images show how a collection of bird cages in a commercial setting can work really really well – the first more edgy combined with concrete and sleek white lines, the second more light and whimsical with the addition of painted branches and oversize mirrors.

Or how about incorporating them into event design?  LOVE this cute setting:

(credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 )

And here’s my bird cage shopping guide – whether you incorporate these into an interior vignette or string up a bunch outdoors, I hope one of these specimens will tickle your fancy!

Get all glittery with Restoration Hardware:

Cox & Cox tone it down with a more industrial chic look:

Inject a vibrant splash of colour via Cococozy:

Or an interesting Pagoda style via Golden Lotus Antiques:

Yep, this pic may well be the epitome of twee but sack off the lame flowers and string up a couple of Confetti’s budget cream puppies and you’re all set.

Or lastly, go for an exotic bronze vibe with Zentique’s take on the trend:

So which is your fave…?


  1. They are so effective, you’ve found some great images it must have taken you ages to source? I love the bar area with the mass of lit ones, gorgeous. Such a statement.

    Do they eat the birds in Indonesia or are they just for show ? Apologies for a probably dumb question! x

    • Elly says:

      Ah thank you Sam, I’m glad you like!

      Nope, don’t think they eat them in Indo – not a dumb question though, I know they do eat them here in Hong Kong…eek!

  2. Sarah Cov says:

    Morning morning! Really like that setting with the table above…need to put that in my wedding collection of ideas!!! Where did it come from? Are there more pics?? xx

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