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IN PICS | Eight spaces blooming with fresh ideas for floral decor

Wild and expressive, floral motifs offer an endless source of inspiration for your interiors no matter what your style

13 September 2020 - 00:03 By Mandy Allen/Bureaux
Black makes the bright accents in this room pop.
Black makes the bright accents in this room pop.
Image: Bureaux

1. BOTANY LESSONS

Framed botanical prints were the starting point for the colour scheme of this living room and remain its decorative focus. While colour pops at every turn, this is kept contained by the elegant presence of black.

STYLE NOTES:

  • Vintage botanical charts (and other scientific, technical, architectural and medical charts) align perfectly with contemporary interiors and can enhance a sense of nostalgia or be brought up to date in the context of furnishing and accents.
  • Primary brights that appear in the prints have been echoed in soft accessories and other furnishings.
  • Instead of the expected floral-on-floral theme, stripes put a fresh, 21st-century riff on things.
  • Black has great anchoring power: the sofa, metal legs of the coffee table, lamp shade and glossy drum stool show off the brighter hues to perfection while projecting a cosmopolitan personality.
  • A pot plant brings the botanical theme full circle.

GREAT IDEA

Create character through texture: vases, vessels, rugs, occasional cushion covers and lampshades are vehicles for adding tactility and a sense of layering.

Layer your artwork for a contemporary look.
Layer your artwork for a contemporary look.
Image: Bureaux

2. PRESS PLAY

The hobby of flower pressing gets a modern update as does the idea of layering artworks. And who wouldn't swoon for an azure blue velvet sofa to hold it all together?

STYLE NOTES:

  • This installation on a pine-clad wall was created by pressing flowers and leaves, spray-painting them white, sticking onto artist's quality paper and displaying in simple, contemporary frames - some overlapping for an informal effect.
  • These are juxtaposed with a vintage painting in an unusual mahogany frame.
  • A real posy of white flowers in a ceramic wall-mounted vase creates a sense of layering, while a vase, typically designated to a table top, is displayed playfully on the floor.
  • A velvet-upholstered French sofa and scatter cushions introduce a sense of opulence.
  • A floral rug, printed or woven, is a strong focus in a room and a brilliant way to establish a botanical theme while injecting pattern and colour.
  • Don't allow a floral theme to drag your home into the past: add contemporary furniture and objects to express modernity. In this case a footstool upholstered in chunky tweed and two contemporary side tables in glossy black and natural wood that echo the timber on the wall.

GREAT IDEA

Discover the lost art of flower pressing: Choose your flora and make sure it's dry. Place between two sheets of plain parchment or wax (sandwich) paper and put these face down in the middle of a coffee-table book. Weigh the book down and leave for a week to 10 days - longer if possible.

Spray paint the dried foliage and flowers white once dried and attach to paper using artist's adhesive, then frame for a dramatic display. Don't saturate your dried flowers with paint; spray them lightly to allow some of the colour to show through.

For a unique look, aim to mix rather than match.
For a unique look, aim to mix rather than match.
Image: Bureaux

3. THE SIMPLE THINGS

Potted blooms look sweet and fresh when set against a gallery wall of vintage floral prints.

STYLE NOTES:

  • The sinks in the bathroom are salvage finds and share a vintage provenance that give them an honest authenticity.
  • Junk shops, vintage markets and other second-hand sources can be a treasure trove for characterful objects. The floral theme gives the collection a sense of cohesion.
  • The juxtaposition of living flowers and faded prints is playful and characterful - the perfect antidote to boring interiors.
  • White tiles are a classic with a clean, simple appeal and are a cost-saving alternative to on-trend subway tiles.

GREAT IDEA

While a theme will pull a room together, you don't want everything looking too matchy-matchy. Playing with form, texture and size will remedy this, lending arrangements an informal, personalised finish.

Here, the terracotta pots and frames share an aesthetic language that is easy on the eye, but the scene also has a relatable, real-life energy thanks to their slight differences and an unforced composition.

Artfully clash prints to give your interiors character.
Artfully clash prints to give your interiors character.
Image: Bureaux

4. BED OF ROSES

A mixed bag of ethnic prints and a global decorating approach transforms this formal space into a bohemian rhapsody.

STYLE NOTES:

  • A classical four-poster mahogany bed gets updated with traditional shweshwe fabric on the headboard.
  • A mix-and-don't-match approach of clashing, eclectic patterns, colours and furniture provides contemporary allure.
  • The combination of the vibrant blue shweshwe, the crimson throw with its traditional floral print, a graphic screen-printed cushion cover in charcoal and yellows, and the tea-themed needlepoint scatter is irreverent and characterful.
  • The Indonesian side table is beautifully decorative, and its floral design forges a visual connection with the textiles.
  • The side table and a quirky lampshade alter the mood set by the bed and heavy drapes from sombre to boho chic.

GREAT IDEA

Make the bed the focus of the room by layering it. Begin with the basics: a duvet and pillows in a neutral tone. Add colour and pattern with scatter cushions of varying sizes, and a printed or colourful throw to make a style statement. A solid colour blanket at the foot of the bed will add to the look.

This fresh take on a feature wall features a colour-washed paint effect, which is easy to DIY.
This fresh take on a feature wall features a colour-washed paint effect, which is easy to DIY.
Image: Bureaux

5. THE DARK ARTS

A dramatic, colour-washed feature wall can carry off an equally dramatic installation of flowers, statement vases and artworks. Flowers, which by their nature are objects of opulence, are displayed in customised vintage vessels that have been stacked together to form an old-new object.

STYLE NOTES:

  • Jewel colours provide pops of eye-catching colour.
  • A wall-mounted shelf is the ideal spot for an out-of-the-ordinary floral display.
  • Pressed flowers and leaf fronds as well as bird nests have been spray painted white once flattened and dried, then attached to heavyweight paper using artist's adhesive and framed - minus the glass - as intriguing artworks.

GREAT IDEA

For this brush-stroke distressed feature wall, pick a contrasting colour to your existing wall (ideally neutral white). Using a rolling brush, start by painting the top section of the wall as you would when applying a solid coat of paint. As you approach a quarter of the way down, start working in a lighter hand with the roller until you have light, imperfect strokes that have a smudged, chalky finish.

This hand-painted mural was inspired by de Gournay’s chinoiserie wallpapers.
This hand-painted mural was inspired by de Gournay’s chinoiserie wallpapers.
Image: Bureaux

6. DARLING BUDS

This bohemian bedroom is defined by a playful mix of prints, statement walls, quirky flea-market finds, classic pieces and a sophisticated colour palette interjected with pops of colour.

STYLE NOTES

  • Wall spaces given over to florals is a game-changer. In this bedroom, the imagery is a hand-painted mural inspired by interior brand de Gournay's chinoiserie wallpapers.
  • Layer your floral prints: try traditional renderings combined with quaint country blooms and more abstract prints.
  • A kimono or tunic becomes a design piece, adding vibrancy and pattern. Tiger and leopard print add a fashionable edge.
  • The floral theme is continued through small visual details: the flea-market oil painting and the ornate mirror frame have a thematic connection to the textiles and wall mural.

GREAT IDEA

Your walls are the perfect canvas to express your passion for flowers. Options include a single wallpapered wall; printed wall panels, or large-scale prints made up of botanical and floral imagery. Scour second-hand book shops for lucky finds featuring floral and botanical drawings and paintings, and cover an entire wall for a customised collage installation.

Who says you have to cover the entire armchair in a single print?
Who says you have to cover the entire armchair in a single print?
Image: Bureaux

7. GENTLY WORN

A mix of vintage-inspired fabrics takes on a fresh energy when set against a crisp white backdrop paired with contemporary and rustic furnishings, multiple fresh flower displays, framed botanical artworks and whimsical decorative details.

STYLE NOTES

  • To keep faded florals on the right side of contemporary, layer an assortment of colours and prints that are connected by a botanical theme and harmonious colour palette.
  • A romantic mix of country posies have been displayed en masse and in vases of different sizes and colours, establishing a mood that is effortless and unpretentious
  • A fresh backdrop acts as a canvas allowing you to play with proportion, colour, form and pattern. Texture is another way to convey character: rough with smooth, reflective glass with scuffed wood, hand-crafted with mass-produced and flea-market finds with organic natural ephemera.
  • Create interest through small details.

GREAT IDEA

Photocopy floral fabric onto paper stock and use it in craft and customisation projects. Here a vintage book of poetry (on the metal stool) has been covered in floral printed paper.

8. MAGIC REALISM

It may be impermanent, but this living painting will make a stunning installation for a special seasonal gathering.

STYLE NOTES:

  • Paint an old, ornate frame the colour of your choice. Stretch a piece of sturdy neutral fabric across the back of the frame and use a staple gun to attach it. Paste a floral image onto the back of your self-made canvas.
  • Using an art knife, carefully cut out the top half of the glued-on picture and fabric, then fold it down so it looks as if it is spilling out of the bottom of the frame.
  • Attach a large piece of oasis to a tray with strong glue, then mount the tray onto the wall. Position the frame over the oasis, which is sticking through the opening in your canvas.
  • Form your arrangement by placing flowers in the oasis and work until it appears that the "painting" and flowers are one.

GREAT IDEA

The Rjiksmuseum and The British Library are two public domain sites where you will find free-to-use work by the Old Masters, more contemporary imagery, as well as scientific sketches, paintings and illustrations that you can have professionally printed.

Photos: Greg Cox and Warren Heath via Bureaux.


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