Designer Launches New Line of Butterfly and Beetle Displays Adorned with Marbled Papers and Exotic Veneers

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Unlike displays created by entomologists, these designer-created butterfly and beetle displays use bookbinders' marbled papers and exotic wood veneers, for a look reminiscent of antique specimen prints.

One of today's most popular looks in interior design "brings the outside in" with textures, colors and materials evoking the beauty of nature. Botanical and natural history prints are seen throughout the pages of Martha Stewart Living, Traditional Home, and other flagship publications, and more and more often, so are insect displays. Yet rarely do these displays take center stage, instead being relegated to bookshelves and corner nooks as "curiosities." Working under the name Phyllidae, graphic designer Jennifer Caritas hopes to change that.

"Most displays are put together by entomologists or hobbyists who love insects, and they're targeted toward people who also love insects," says Caritas. "Rather than treating insects as scientific curiosities, the Phyllidae line treats them as beautiful objects. I choose the most exquisite beetles and butterflies I can find, and enhance their beauty by mounting them in elegant arrangements and matting them with handmade paper and exotic wood veneers. The final product is reminiscent of a d'Orbigny print or an antique specimen case."

The Phyllidae line is designed for wholesale and also sold retail online at Retail prices range from $60 to $220. Current displays include not only beetles and butterflies, but leaf insects and male stick insects, which, says the designer, "have the look of butterflies, but are more unique and interesting." Displays will change as insect species become more and less available, meaning that all Phyllidae displays are limited edition, a boon to those who shun cookie-cutter décor.

In addition to the larger, more elaborate displays, the Phyllidae line includes a number of small displays designed for gift giving. Each of these smaller displays contains one to two insects matted with marbled paper, and retails for $60.

Ms. Caritas has earned acclaim as a multimedia and web designer. Her interest in insects began four years ago, when her mother gave her a gift of two framed spiders.

"I loved the idea of framed insects, but wasn't able to find presentations that matched my style. Almost all of them had plain white backgrounds or double-sided glass, and if there was a label at all, it was pasted on. I couldn't find a reason why they couldn't be done more elegantly, so I thought I'd try it myself. After years of research, learning and experimentation, I developed the Phyllidae line."

For more information about Phyllidae, please visit our website at, or email us for photos.


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