Floral or botanical inspired patterns have been a regular and much loved feature in design, fashion and interiors for hundreds of years. Their graceful yet exciting forms and beautiful array of colours lend themselves perfectly to decoration and have been modified and adapted throughout the years to suit the latest tastes and fashions. During the nineties and early noughties, however, where interiors were heavily minimal, muted and pattern free, floral designs were looked upon as somewhat chintzy and old fashioned. Over the last few years, however, perceptions, tastes and ideas have reversed. We have seen a surge of bold, bright and heavily floral wallpapers and fabrics alongside more dainty and elegant florals marked by the likes of Kath Kidston, Sanderson and Laura Ashley. Combining these fabulously patterned pieces with more contemporary and clinical pieces now within our homes does not, however, need to be as difficult as you may expect and furthermore, can create a charming contrast to the more minimalist pieces.
The easiest way to introduce some floral into your design schemes is through either soft furnishings or decoration. For example, a feature wall in a bold, floral pattern creates a natural and hugely effective contemporary focal point behind a bed, fireplace, dining table or bath tub. For light and spacious rooms, your choices of colour are vast and varied as you can afford to more daring with your pallet. For darker or smaller rooms, choose wallpapers with a light background to maintain the feeling of space. Use the colours within your wallpaper and introduce them into your scatter cushions, curtains, wall art and lighting to create a more cohesive design.
If you would prefer a less intrusive, subtle or more temporary addition to your design scheme, why not consider introducing florals into your curtains and soft furnishings? A simple eyelet heading curtain or roman blind in a bright botanical fabric creates a contemporary compromise with clean, strong lines and bold yet flowing pattern. As with wallpaper, ensure the fabric you choose complements the size and current scheme within your room. Again, to create balance, use this fabric or a coordinating plain or stripe for scatter cushions and upholstery in other areas of the room. These more simple plains and stripes will help to keep the look modern and fresh inline with your contemporary finish. Furthermore, why not frame small swatches of the floral fabric in a collection of coordinating frames for a novel and attractive focal point?
Whatever your choice and to whatever extent you want to retain your contemporary edge, there will be a floral or botanical style to suit you. Whether it be a complete design makeover or just a handful of floral additions, if the correct pattern is chosen for your room and colour scheme, these can create a charming and attractive addition to add depth to your schemes and give character back to what otherwise can be somewhat sterile and lifeless. Remember, your home is for people and for living within; enjoy, embrace and promote colour and pattern and use them to give some soul to your home.