When we talk about floral decoration we often think about traditional chintz and something belonging exclusively to country cottage interior.
But florals keep coming back with reassuring regularity, in interiors as well as in fashion since these creative areas increasingly overlap.
There are some basic rules when decorating with florals to make it successful and contemporary.
Do not mix print styles
Do mix floral with geometric patterns
The bold floral pattern can mix well with geometric pattern such as checks and stripes, as long as rules of scale and balance are observed.
J.Woodward – Board done for Dragons of Walton Street, with their fabrics and furniture
Mixing florals and geometric patterns creates a sense of playfulness in this girl’s room, while keeping the colour palette calm by using pastel lilacs and pinks.
Colefax and Fowler Gentle Florals Collection
In spite of the large floral pattern used for the curtain and cushion fabric, sticking to a neutral colour palette has created a peaceful atmosphere for this room.
Keep it balanced
If you have a big surface in the room covered by floral pattern, such as full and heavy floor length curtains or wallpaper, be more restrained with the rest of the decoration.
Houzz.co.uk – April Force Pardoe Interiors, Home Office
Draperies often provide the initial inspiration for a room design and they serve as the attention-grabbing statement piece in this room with their large-scale floral pattern. Everything else is in plain or muted colours to balance it perfectly.
Houzz.co.uk – Incorporated
Everything is very plain and streamlined in this modern kitchen. The splash back of floral fabric laminated behind the glass creates a focal point.
Two different floral patterns can look harmonious if there are:
a) Different scales
Houzz.co.uk – Anthony Baratta LLC, Florida Classic
The differing scales of the floral on the wallpaper and the bed linen are united by colour to create a peaceful bedroom environment.
b) Against a neutral background
Houzz – Tamar Schechner/Nest Pretty Things Inc
A wide range of floral styles, colour palettes and scales against a plain white sofa creates a sophisticated and inviting look.
c) Repeated colour as the unifying element
Houzz – Kimball Starr Interior Design
The orange unites the different patterns and styles in this mixture of contemporary and Moroccan.
- Mix &Match
Offset a particularly flowery piece with something non-floral or textured fabric in a neutral colour. It is important to match the colour(s) in the floral pattern to the common accent colour in the room or, at least keep in mind complementary colour.
Houzz – http://www.clarke-clarke.co.uk/collection.php?hdnCollectionID=182
The strong floral on the wall and cushions is balanced by the plain coloured velvets of the sofa and the pink cushion.
Houzz – Kingsley Belcher Knauss, ASID
The harmonious look of this traditional bedroom is achieved by repeating similar shades of green to pull the different patterns together.
- Go Bold
One way to avoid the “old granny” look is to take a more graphic and bold route with florals. Choose florals in a bold, unexpected colour combination or black and white to make things stand out. Using large graphic prints makes a space look contemporary.
Houzz – Space Grace & Style, Newtown Home
Bold look created by contrasting a decorative floral against a bold stripe. It is all pulled together by limiting the colours to black, white and gold.
Houzz.co.uk – ceramicabardelli, Tuli-art
A large-scale pattern on ceramic tiles makes this contemporary bathroom outstanding.
Houzz.co.uk – Mia Karlsson Interior Design, Family Home – Hampstead
The large-scale digital flower print in restful shades creates a dramatic effect in this kitchen without being overpowering.
Don’t be afraid to be bold and go for a large-scale pattern or colour with florals. The right balance is key.
If you are still not a big fan, but don’t want your room to look cold and uninviting, keep florals limited to small surfaces such as cushion fabric.
Houzz – Camilla Molders Design