My Mum has recently bought some floral curtains and wants to redesign her living room around the pattern in them. It brought up a question about how much is too much when it comes to floral decor?! In her opinion – you can never have enough…whereas I sit on the other side of the fence. It got me thinking about the use of floral patterns in interior design and what the ‘rules’ are and where can you break them with great effect.
If I’m honest, what I’ve found is a confusing array of advice, vague anecdotes & a one size definitely does not fit all conclusion. A common piece of advice is that the smaller the floral pattern the more vintage the feel, and the larger, the more contemporary, but of course with exceptions. You’ll find that with all design advice there are exceptions!
When it came to my mums floral pattern in the curtains, I took the swatch of fabric and picked out all the colours which were what drew her to that particular design in the first place and started to play around with mood boards. She’s got a large, lovely, floral, faded-look rug already in place that compliments the curtains so I took the approach of sourcing pieces that could create additional colour accents in the room. The most striking colour in the swatch is a dark, almost burnt orange colour, alongside different shades of green and a hint of blue.
The existing sofa is a pale shade of green similar to the background colour in the fabric and so what is missing in the room are nods & compliments to the more bolder colours in the design. Here is where the experimentation comes in! I’ve sent her on a mission to source cheap items (that she still actually likes) in the bolder colours of the colour palette I shared with her. Once they arrive, placing them around the room will give her a sense of whether those colours speak to her in a positive way and she can start to visualise a space with those tones in. If not, Mum, just go ahead and drape everything in the curtain fabric! I mean, afterall, it’s about whatever makes you happy in your home X
Here’s some inspirational uses of floral design to draw from: