How to introduce floral patterns into your home
Floral designs are a wonderful way of brightening up our homes for the summer. From pretty and romantic to classic or contemporary, floral designs are a timeless favourite that never go out of fashion.
Florals are back in fashion in interiors after many years of a more neutral aesthetic and perhaps as a joyful celebration after two years of lockdowns and uncertainly. You can use just one floral pattern in each room or go for it and mix it up for a more maximalist style. Floral designs are perfect for bringing a bit of summer into your home, but they work well at any time of year.
Florals add joy to a space
From pretty delicate designs to full-on bold botanicals in clashing colours, florals can be modern or traditional. The joy of using florals lies in the way they can add energy, life and joy to a space. Using a statement floral wallpaper or a bold fabric changes the whole look of the room and turns it from bland to beautiful.
In interior design there are many different ways to use florals so don’t be scared - you can use them in any room. Think about gorgeous floral inspired Moroccan tiles in your bathroom, a stunning geometric floral wallpaper in your living room, pretty chintz bedding, a vintage look Persian rug in the kitchen and floral cushions everywhere!
Know your florals
It’s hard to talk about florals in general terms because, like flowers, each pattern has its own personality, style, size, and colour. There are four main groups – small florals. large florals, vintage florals and bold modern florals. Which floral pattern you choose will determine the overall feel of your room.
Small florals - Ikea might have told us to ‘Chuck Out Your Chintz’ back in the 90s but chintz fabrics are having a moment. Fans of Grandmillennial style are using traditional Victorian designs and mixing them with 60s furniture and 70s prints for an eclectic thrown together style that looks effortlessly cool. These pretty designs work well in country-style schemes and small rooms where large prints may overwhelm.
Florals are back in fashion in interiors after many years of a more neutral aesthetic and perhaps as a joyful celebration after two years of lockdowns and uncertainly.
Large florals - If subtle prints are a little too safe, make a statement with bold, oversized blooms. Large floral designs in vivid colours work well in a contemporary setting. Choose a bold floral curtain fabric as your starting point, then pick out an accent colour for accessories such as cushions, rugs and textiles. Go bold with vivid florals or be brave with botanicals which are a fresh take on a floral fabric. Keep the rest of your room natural with wood flooring and white walls to really make the patterns sing.
Vintage florals - Vintage florals often have a prominent, neutral base colour which let the florals stand out. Design wise look for 1950s prints featuring romantic bouquets and blossoming roses, Op-Art graphic designs from the 1960s or 1970s inspired psychedelic florals.
Bold modern florals - Bold, energetic, and often oversized, these graphic florals feel fresh and adventurous and complement modern interior schemes. The imagery can be abstract, painterly or hand drawn. Modern florals are ideal in spaces with clean lines and neutral furnishings. The trick is to keep the rest of the room pattern-free and use texture instead. This will allow the floral fabric to be a feature of the room.
How to use florals
Getting the balance right when using florals is vital to a room's success. Using florals takes careful planning and a good eye to create an overall effect that expresses personality and creative flair. I have three rules:
When you are using lots of florals, you need to create some areas of solid colour to break up the design. I find painting one wall an accent colour will bring your florals together.
Try not to use two intricate florals together or your eye won’t know what to look at first. Mix a complex floral with a simple chintz for instance.
Choose a theme. This might be a colour but it could be a type of flower or something like an Asian or English country look. This means your floral choices tell a story and look cohesive rather than thrown-together.
Where to use florals
The great thing about florals is they can work in any room – a living room can be instantly softened by a soft blooms and a bedroom will look romantic with pretty chintz. Introducing a dark and moody botanical wallpaper is the perfect way of injecting a sense of drama to your space.
Window treatments are one of the easiest ways to introduce floral fabrics into your home. What’s beautiful outside your window can be beautiful on your window so florals make the perfect choice for window dressings. Make a statement with bold floral Roman blinds. You need less fabric for a blind than you do for curtains so you can splash out on a more expensive fabric to really make a statement
When using florals for curtains, the size of the design is a key thing to consider when choosing your fabric. Large floral designs suit full-length curtains, particularly ones with high ceilings. Small more delicate floral designs suit light bright spaces like kitchens or bathrooms or smaller spaces with lower ceilings like an attic bedroom.
Upholstery is another great place for florals. Larger designs work best on larger pieces of furniture. They make a statement while the pattern is fully visible.
To ease yourself into decorating with florals, try upholstering just one armchair or footstool or use scatter cushions with a dramatic pattern.
Wallpaper is having a moment and a great place to try out some bold floral patterns. Whether you paper a whole room, cover one wall, or frame a small piece as art, wallpaper is great way to transform a room in a few hours. Forget everything you thought about floral wallpaper designs, modern designs are chic and striking rather than fussy and old-fashioned. Want florals on your wall, but don’t want to commit to wallpaper? A decorative wall panel makes a pretty, yet dramatic, statement.
Cushions are one of the easiest ways to add floral patterns into your home. If you tire of them or change your scheme they are easy to replace.
Floral carpets get a bad rep but rugs can be real statement pieces. Rugs and runners are beautiful and functional and work in both traditional and modern decorating schemes. An eye-catching floral patterned rug grounds a space and if you choose the colours carefully can pull a whole room together.
Art is a great way to add pattern to your space without the commitment of investing in curtains or cushions. A picture can always be changed and adapted as your tastes evolve.
A matching floral duvet and pillows will bring life to a neutral bedroom. Floral bedding doesn’t have to look old-fashioned. It’s all about the choice of pattern and how you style it. Pair floral bedding with contemporary lighting and mid-century modern bedside tables and it will look quirky rather than dated.
After years of minimalism, it’s now time to decorate your home to the max, living with things that give you pleasure and make you happy! The key is to mix up your designs and layer up floral cushions, furniture, upholstery, wallpaper and paintings for a cool lived-in look.