This season’s flower fixation is anything but common or garden variety. Right now, it’s all about dark, dramatic florals in full, blowsy bloom.
‘Spring brought fresh sprigs, bouquets and painterly blooms, which then moved into greenery and all things botanical,’ says Karen Thomas, head of design home at Marks & Spencer. ‘For autumn, this mood has intensified into bold statement florals – layered, clashing and eclectic.’
To dabble in this blossoming trend, Ellie Cashman of Ellie Cashman Design suggests starting small. ‘Pick out a fabric and upholster a chair, make some accent pillows or stretch it over picture frames.’
Resist the temptation to play it safe by painting accompanying walls in a light colour as this will lessen the impact. Instead, find a mid or dark tone within the pattern and match that. Be bold and splash the colour across woodwork and even the ceiling. ‘This creates a cohesive scheme with ample wow factor,’ insists Alissa Sequeira, marketing executive at Surface View.
Try to find the right balance. If you decide you want to keep the look contemporary, use pattern in only one or two places. ‘Make sure you keep lighting moody, and use directional lighting to highlight key areas of the room and focus on the pattern’, advises Abi Boura from Love Your Home.
If wallpaper is your starting point, a feature wall will add depth to your space without much commitment. ‘Alternatively, use dark florals on all walls to blur the boundaries of the room and create the illusion of infinite space,’ advises Paula Taylor, colour and trend specialist at Graham & Brown.
See Also: How To Decorate With Wild Florals
Build your confidence by looking for a design that uses pale whites and pinks as a contrast to the dark background. ‘The presence of softer tones within the pattern helps balance the moody appeal,’ explains Poppy Godley-Miller, marketing and design manager at Galerie Wallcoverings. ‘It also allows you to introduce other aspects of white and neutral furniture pieces to the room.’
To make sure to get it right first time, pick a palette. ‘There are a couple of colour schemes that work well alongside dark floral designs,’ explains Anna Fell of Murals Wallpaper. ‘One is a palette of rich, luxe colours such as gold, cherry, black, midnight blue and emerald. The other is more suitable for toned-down florals – grey, nude, dusty pink, violet, copper and even some accents of dark-toned wood.’
Cultivate a cohesive look by taking a couple of colours from the wallpaper and carrying them through to furnishings and accessories. ‘Don’t forget to add more masculine, edgy pieces to your scheme as it offsets the floweriness and looks far cooler and less one dimensional,’ suggests designer Abigail Ahern. And introducing statement materials such as suede, cashmere, wool, knit and silk is a good idea, too. ‘Dark prints tend to lack movement, so you need to pack a punch through texture,’ adds Ahern.
Ahern is also an advocate of being brave. ‘Don’t assume only large rooms can handle dark florals. The best thing you can do in a small space is take the attention away from its size, and choosing bold, dark florals does just that’, she explains.
Want to be extra bold? Then channel the maximalist trend by juxtaposing dark florals with a contrasting print (think stripes or even an animal motif). ‘The best way to execute this decorating choice is with one print on the walls and another within your textiles,’ suggests Joa Studholme, colour curator at Farrow & Ball.
Go on, live large.
Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, showcases the world's very best homes, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. it was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip McCormac.
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