Not your grandmother’s flowers
By Sunshine Menefee
Decorating with florals gives even some seasoned designers trepidation. But it doesn’t have to. While it may conjure up memories of old furniture and tiny flowers everywhere, today’s florals are fresh and invigorating. There is such a wide variety or prints that florals fit into almost any decor. If you’re unsure about how to tackle this design dilemma, keep reading for a few tips on how to use florals in your home decor.
1. Dip your toe in
You don’t have to go all in with the first try. Just a small amount of flowers is going to breathe life into a room. Bring in a few floral accents to a room to just get a feel for how you like them. You can always commit to more later. The great thing is that florals are so classic that you can find a ton of great accents for any room. Focus on colors that are already in your home, and find a few throw pillows that will coordinate. I guarantee you’ll love them!
2. Mix it up
Today’s designs are all about making everyone feel welcome and an overly floral room says,”No boys allowed.” But you can still bring fresh florals in by mixing them with clean lines and masculine patterns for balance. It’s all about what you pair with a floral print. Pair of floral sofa with a striped rug to bring harmony to a living room. In the dining room, mix solid curtains with a floral rug. Most fabric and wallpaper manufactures offer complete collections of mix and match patterns to make it even easier.
3. Mix large and small
I’ve never actually read any rule that says you can’t mix florals. Even if I did, it would be so outdated that it wouldn’t be pertinent anymore. Trust me when I say you can and should mix florals. A large pattern on the draperies isn’t appropriate on a small accent pillow. The key is proportion. Typically, large pieces require large prints. A tiny print on curtains, might get lost. But put the same print on a pillow and you’ll be able to see the pattern clearly. To keep the design rhythmic, choose one large pattern and two smaller patterns for accents around the room.
4. K.I.S.S. it
For a modern approach, keep the details simple and modest. Unless you’re going for a Laura Ashley room, ruffles are a no-go. For a classic, romantic look, stick with skirts on furniture. But to update the same sofa, choose a large pattern and nix the frilly details. Clean lines are essential to creating design that isn’t over the top girly.
5. They aren’t just for furniture
You don’t have to commit to covering an entire piece of furniture to get that floral freshness. Bring an energizing pattern in with wallpaper. Find a piece of artwork you love and hang it on a wall painted in a color pulled from the print to really make it pop. Treat guests to a relaxing and beautiful brunch by serving on floral plates or using a floral tablecloth. Lampshades are even an unexpected option.
Another big factor for the freshness of floral patterns is color. Vintage patterns focus on soft, pastel hues while modern ones are bold and bright.
7. Let’s hear it for the boys
There isn’t a single man in my family that would willing choose a floral print for any design element. But, in the right patterns and placement, my husband has learned to appreciate the delicate balance needed to create an inviting home. There will never be an antique rose print gracing the bed, but I do bring in some soft features in the pillows. In the open space of a living room, floral draperies are just the right touch of softness. Find patterns that are larger and more graphic to make a pattern more gender neutral.
So throw out any old ideas you had about stuffy florals. Today’s patterns are easier than ever to use and bring in an invigorating style to any decor.