As the Chelsea Flower Show rolls into town and bursts forth with floral wonder (23-27 May 2017), we dig deep to show how you can brighten your space with inspiration from nature’s beautiful bounty throughout the year.
1 Dark arts
There’s no denying the power of flowers but creating a look that’s cool and chic takes skill, so how do you avoid channelling the chintz? Decologist Lizzie Lester offers her advice. ‘Floral prints on dark backgrounds upholstered onto modern linear furniture rather than traditional shapes will create a contemporary feel,’ says Lizzie. ‘Plain walls and floors will give floral fabrics space to breath and allow them to stand out.’
2 Subtle beauty
Florals don’t have to be big and blousy, those who prefer a subtle take can opt for neutral shades and small or embossed patterns. ‘Restrained colours or monochrome shades are a great way to introduce florals,’ says Lizzie. ‘It brings a modern edge to a classic style.’
3 Statement stems
Rather than using repeat patterns, a single image makes a striking statement. ‘A graphic illustrative print on a white wall is super cool and evokes a soothing feeling of space,’ says Lizzie. ‘It’s anything but fussy so looks clean and contemporary.’
4 Culture clash
If you’re more ‘intrepid adventurer’ than ‘English country gardener’, a couple of brightly coloured Chinese lanterns are a fun take on florals. ‘They create an eclectic feel, and if you’re unsure are less of a commitment,’ says Lizzie.
5 Modern romance
Against a clean white backdrop bold blooms look fresh and vibrant. ‘For a balanced scheme stick to no more than two big patterns that share similar tones,’ advises Lizzie. ‘Focus on one or two key shades within the prints and mix with plain or block colours to unify the look.’
6 Blissful bedtimes
Pale shades create a feeling of peace so they are great for bedrooms. ‘Cooler tones and less saturated prints look calm and chic,’ says Lizzie. ‘Don’t be obsessed with matching this look, the addition of some pretty bed linen in an otherwise simple setting will make a bold statement.’
7 Play with scale
‘Flowers are uplifting and there is no reason that florals shouldn’t work across the seasons,’ says Lizzie. ‘A simple print in a dark hue against neutral tones is a stylish way to introduce this trend. Mixing the size and scale of a print will create an interesting dynamic.’
8 Go faux
For a low-maintenance option that’s easy to change and rearrange, faux flowers are the way to go. No longer obviously artificial, today’s blooms are beautifully hand painted with fine silk petals that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Ideal for areas with little natural light, these life-like floral stems will give a room an instant lift.