Dine out­side in style with these three themes,

In love with all things flora and fauna? If you want your in­te­ri­ors to flour­ish now is the per­fect time to get on board with the botan­i­cal trend, writes LES­LEY TAY­LOR

Gloucestershire Echo - - PROPERTY & LIVING -

SUM­MER is of­fi­cially here (on the cal­en­dar at least) which means there has never been a bet­ter time to in­tro­duce the flo­ral look into your home. Whether you’re a fan of the real thing or pre­fer to fake it, adding a touch of flora and fauna can have an amaz­ing im­pact. Plants and flow­ers – real or fake – can help boost pro­duc­tiv­ity and cre­ativ­ity, and some say they con­trib­ute to low­er­ing stress lev­els. They look pretty too, which is rea­son enough for me to get on board. Here’s my take on how to bring flower power into the home.

THE REAL DEAL

FRESH blooms look fan­tas­tic. Not only will they brighten up wher­ever they are placed, they can be used to cre­ate a dra­matic ta­ble cen­tre­piece in the din­ing room, a beau­ti­ful win­dow dis­play in the liv­ing area and even a stun­ning wel­come in your hall­way. But don’t for­got those corners of the home where flow­ers might not typ­i­cally be placed, the bed­room or bath­room per­haps. Even the small­est bou­quets will bring a new look to these rooms. If you’re not sure which flo­rals will work in these rooms, use flow­ers that com­ple­ment your es­tab­lished colour scheme as a start­ing point and as you grow in con­fi­dence, ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent blooms. Don’t worry about run­ning out of vases. Use pots and con­tain­ers that ex­press your per­son­al­ity. Love the in­dus­trial look? Why not make vases from old milk bot­tles or tin cans? If you’re a fan of all things vin­tage, an old teapot or al­chemist bot­tle would do the job per­fectly. Get creative and let your home’s ex­ist­ing in­te­rior in­flu­ence your flo­ral ar­range­ment.

AC­CES­SORISE

FOR some, the idea of flo­ral ac­ces­sories fills them with dread, en­vis­ag­ing chintzy flo­ral mon­strosi­ties with swathes of hideous pink petals in re­peat­ing patterns. To­day’s flo­ral ac­ces­sories are a lot more grown up and they are the per­fect way to add a botan­i­cal touch to your home. From bed­ding to book­ends, cur­tains to cush­ions, flow­ers are on al­most every­thing. The key is to shop around and find the de­sign that works for your home – and price point. If you’re a fan of all things grey – you may not want to over­whelm your scheme with a bright flo­ral pat­tern. In­stead, you could opt for a bed­spread in white with a sub­tle sil­ver flo­ral de­sign.

WALL-TO-WALL FLOW­ERS

ONE of the most ef­fec­tive ways of bring­ing the flo­ral look to life is through wall cov­er­ings. If you’re a par­tic­u­larly creative sort you could have a go at cre­at­ing your own wall art with pressed petals. Sim­ply cut the flow­ers you wish to frame and press them – ei­ther us­ing a spe­cial­ist flower press or be­tween the pages of a heavy book (just place them in a wax sheet to pro­tect them first). Then choose whether you want to frame them or cre­ate your own can­vas and away you go! If you’re not of the arty va­ri­ety, flo­ral wall­pa­per can trans­form a space. But if you want some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, a flo­ral wall mu­ral is the way for­ward. In­stead of a re­peat­ing pat­tern, a flo­ral wall mu­ral has a sin­gle fo­cal point which truly takes cen­tre stage. There is noth­ing sub­tle about a large, bold im­age and it will re­ally bring your wall to life!

Les­ley Tay­lor is the author of 10 in­te­rior de­sign books and has ap­peared on a range of net­work TV shows, in­clud­ing This Morn­ing, giv­ing in­spi­ra­tional ad­vice on Go all out with stun­ning flo­ral cur­tains, such as these Shang­hai Gar­den in Vi­o­let from De­sign­ers Guild Flo­ral wall art can com­ple­ment ex­ist­ing in­te­ri­ors home styling. Head to les­ley­tay­lor.co.uk for more in­for­ma­tion on her work.

Flow­ers shouldn’t just be con­fined to liv­ing ar­eas

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