Dark flo­rals

Living Etc - - CONTENTS ⁄ ETC -

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

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