Decorating With Florals & Botanicals
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Foster spring’s sweetest blooms to take root in your home without the fuss of potting soil or shovels.

 

From enchanting chintz to clean block prints, flowers are in bloom year-round in Southern homes, demonstrating that decorating with florals and botanicals is truly timeless. There’s a certain forget-me-not charisma in faded floral artwork, and I am personally a collector of many. I have found some of my most cherished pieces while knocking around antique stores and vintage shoppes. For an understated nod to florals, consider some of the unpretentious patterns represented here for everything from walls to throw pillows to everyday objects. Life is not as much fun though without a few charismatic designs here and there. Foster spring’s sweetest blooms to take root in your home without the fuss of potting soil or shovels, and explore decorating with florals and botanicals this spring.

 

Photo Credit Courtesy Brian Woodcock

 

Florals brighten any room and nearly every mood, so surrounding ourselves with botanical details is uplifting and good practice.

 

I was recently asked by a good friend to help consult on the design for a home she and her husband are building, as well as the outside garden room. I don’t do interior design for a living anymore, but still relish the opportunity to get in knee deep, especially when the client, or in this case my friend, and I share similar tastes. Many of the wonderful furnishings and lighting and wallpapers that were brought in during this project I am sharing here as a kind of ‘best of,’ as my friend and her husband asserted they were leaning toward decorating with florals and botanicals. Many, if not most, are florals. Florals brighten any room and nearly every mood, so surrounding ourselves with botanical details is uplifting and good practice.

 

Photo Credit Courtesy Lucas Allen
Fabrics & Pillows

Fabrics and textiles are the easiest way to introduce and cycle in/out different ‘seasons’ of florals and botanicals into your home. The style is timeless. From slipcovers to throw pillows, search for understated tones with either small or no patterns that will elevate and compliment a lesser number of larger, bolder patterns. Nothing livens up a basic single-tone chair like a vividly patterned pillow with a touch of texture.

*featured Blue Jacquard Graminee Floral Tapestry pillow can be found here

Tapestry and lumbar pillows play with texture and with size and are entirely whimsical.

Overstuffed pillows scream comfort, many assembled of fine materials such as linen and down.

I adore plush linen pillows for chairs,

…and also linen floor cushions for ‘just laying around.’

Artwork & Prints

From bold blooms to chic blue-and-white, floral and botanical artwork and prints means you’ll have flowers in the house year-round. I choose to mix and match with faded antique prints and bold and colorful hand painted single blooms. I also have little aversion to layering prints on prints, however am always careful to choose both bold and diminutive patterns when layering. For example, a botanical framed print with a substantial gold frame hung or layered over a bold floral wall covering.

I always look for prints that go together, but sometimes will find a lone standout which I cannot pass up.

Gilded frames, especially ones that show some bumps and bruises, are my favorites. I try to include an array of both wide and narrow frames in a grouping.

Groupings of MANY of the same size framed prints are a stunning focal point on a well lit wall. A great way to assemble a large collection like this is to create your own by collecting, identifying and pressing flowers from your yard and garden. The Latin names hand printed, along with the flower framed, is a very Victorian-minded type of ‘botanical specimen’ collection.

Wallpaper

Nothing cheers up a room like planting a vertical garden and enveloping it in blooms. Wallpaper is in. In fact, I seldom agree that it ever goes out. There are a couple of thoughts on wall coverings and wallpaper. They are not created equal. Consider a focal wall to install a pretty paper or fabric on, while either painting or installing a neutral wall covering on the others. This is especially helpful if a room is small. And if you are set on installing a pretty paper or fabric on all of the walls in a small room, take into consideration the natural light you have coming in. This may help to determine how dark a color or how busy a pattern you select.  Ask for samples. Hang them on the wall(s) and observe them many times throughout the day and in different light. Once you’ve arrived at a pattern, be sure to order as much as you will need to complete the project up front, as this ensures that all of the rolls will be from the same dye lot. The same goes for fabric.

Wallpaper and wall coverings transform a room in a way that paint cannot…

Personalized Note Paper

What a wonderful gift to give to somebody who still appreciates the art of letter writing, or even as a gift to yourself. Beautiful, bright colors are expressively reminiscent of Paris gardens. These gems may be personalized with a name in some cases, or monogrammed with initials. Exquisite. 

Lighting & Lamps

My college bestie and fellow designer Holley would always remind me to focus on lighting when we were working a project back in the day. I hope she will be pleased that I am imparting that advice onto readers of NEA! Sconces, chandeliers, and lamps with whimsical flowers and leaves are huge in the home design world. Boost the curbside appeal of your nightstand and add a pretty chintz lamp, or install a botanical canopy of sorts over your dining room table with a blooming chandelier. And do not just think small, think BIG. Large luminaries can become a focal point. Consider not only how they look from the inside, but also when being viewed, illuminated, from outside. Lighting sets moods, paints a picture of the space it’s revealing, and tells a story way beyond simple illumination. 

Sometimes, understated says more than not….

Colorful and endearing.

                       

Everyday Objet d’Art

Add a bit of whimsy and blooms in unexpected places by introducing everyday Objet d’art. Mix and match sizes and textures when deciding placement. But always have fun! Children’s rooms are not to be ignored…from the tiniest gingham florals to cotton block prints, the nursery and play room is a fantastic place to start decorating.

There is a way to introduce florals and botanicals into just about every room in just about every way…

 

 

 

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