live large and embrace the blossoming trend for dramatic blooms.
This season’s flower fixation is anything but common or garden variety. Right now, it’s all about dark, dramatic florals in full, blowsy bloom. ‘Spring brought fresh sprigs, bouquets and painterly blooms, which then moved into greenery and all things botanical,’ says Karen Thomas, head of design home at Marks & Spencer. ‘For autumn, this mood has intensified into bold statement florals – layered, clashing and eclectic.’
To dabble in this blossoming trend, Ellie Cashman of Ellie Cashman Design suggests starting small. ‘Pick out a fabric and upholster a chair, make some accent pillows or stretch it over picture frames.’ Resist the temptation to play it safe by painting accompanying walls in a light colour as this will lessen the impact. Instead, find a mid or dark tone within the pattern and match that. Be bold and splash the colour across woodwork and even the ceiling. ‘This creates a cohesive scheme with ample wow factor,’ insists Alissa Sequeira, marketing executive at Surface View.
If wallpaper is your starting point, a feature wall will add depth to your space without much
commitment. ‘Alternatively, use dark florals on all walls to blur the boundaries of the room and create the illusion of infinite space,’ advises Paula Taylor, colour and trend specialist at Graham & Brown. Build your confidence by looking for a design that uses pale whites and pinks as a contrast to the dark background. ‘The presence of softer tones within the pattern helps balance the moody appeal,’ explains Poppy Godley-miller, marketing and design manager at Galerie Wallcoverings. ‘It also allows you to introduce other aspects of white and neutral furniture pieces to the room.’
Cultivate a cohesive look by taking a couple of colours from the wallpaper and carrying them through to furnishings and accessories. ‘Don’t forget to add more masculine, edgy pieces to your scheme as it offsets the floweriness and looks far cooler and less one dimensional,’ suggests designer Abigail Ahern. And introducing statement materials such as suede, cashmere, wool, knit and silk is a good idea, too. ‘Dark prints tend to lack movement, so you need to pack a punch through texture,’ adds Ahern.
Want to be extra bold? Then channel the maximalist trend by juxtaposing dark florals with a contrasting print (think stripes or even an animal motif). ‘The best way to execute this decorating choice is with one print on the walls and another within your textiles,’ suggests Joa Studholme, colour curator at Farrow & Ball. Go on, live large.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP left Dark Angelica mural by Michael Angove, from £65sq m, surface View; the Floral Chic Collection wallpaper,£49.95 a roll, Galerie Wallcoverings; dial up the drama with a black floral motif wallpaper and display a big, colourful bouquet in front for impact; shocking Pink coloured emulsion,£18 for 2.5l, Crown; Adventurer Absolute matt emulsion, £43.50 for 2.5l, little Greene; Green smoke estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball; statement floral square cushion,£22.50, Marks & spencer; an adventurous mash-up of dark florals kept in check by shades of grey prevents the riotous pattern in this living room from overwhelming the space
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Farrow & Ball’s Railings floor paint sets a dramatic stage for the top-to-toe painterly blooms that envelop this space, while glints of copper and gold add an opulent touch; Ottilie four-seater sofa upholstered in Botanical Print velvet and available in Peppermint, Petal or Nightshade (shown), £2,528, love your Home; Venetian Floral mural, £150 a roll, Graham & Brown; Vintage pink and cream dark floral mural, £36sq m, Murals Wallpaper