The potency of petals

June 3, 2014

Harlequin boutiqueThe Sixties were big on flower power – and these days we’re recognising all over again how potent a petal can be.

The Victorians used flowers to send messages – honeysuckle meant devotion and red roses were for love, just as they are today.

Flowers have a versatility of form, shape and colour that’s enormously useful for interior designers, who are currently turning them into the necessary accessory for any room.

Floral patterns are big news in fabrics and wallpapers, and with care and creativity you can turn your hand to simple floral arrangements to complement your décor and finish your room to perfection.

Planning is crucial – does your room need a tall, strong, centrepiece, or a sweet, gentle presence to add softness to the background? Ask for expert advice from a florist and choose the sculptural – such as delphiniums – or the gorgeously rounded, such as peonies.

Jessica Zoob chairDelphiniums look divine as elegant single stalks in a grouping of tall vases, while full-bodied flowers such as hydrangeas look marvellous in a simple glass jar on a well-scrubbed kitchen table.

We’re not the only ones to be inspired by flowers recently – designers and artists have been turning to these organic lovelies for colour and shape.

Artist Jessica Zoob has been translating her extraordinary domains of colour and texture to textiles, shown to great advantage in the Breathe Velvet Wild Flower limited edition chair from Barker and Stonehouse.

The chair features bright, scattered brushmarks printed on velvet, and is visually stunning while at the same time practical.

Another floral treasure from Barker and Stonehouse puts a fantastic spin on a design classic – designers Timorous Beasties have put their incredibly distinctive stamp on the Blotch couch from the Ercol Originals range; it’s abstract, but distinctly floral in tone.

New Matrix MaxThere’s also plenty of choice for walls if you decide to go for floral. We absolutely adore the Harlequin Boutique wallpaper from Fishpools, which manages to be both delicate and dramatic at the same time – no mean feat.

Fishpools also have a wonderful acid-yellow rug called New Matrix Max that shows what a graphically-strong theme florals can be.

In the bedroom, too, florals can add a real dash of style. I love Occa’s Catriona quilt with its bright pink and purple poppies – such a summery look for a sunny room.

Don’t feel intimidated if you think you don’t have flower-arranging skills. Look at books and magazines for tips, such as our lovely room shot of Bensons for Beds Lima walnut bedroom furniture – the floral displays really add extra style.

You can also find instruction videos on the internet – and you can always seek professional help. It’s well worth making the effort if it means you get the full power of the flower in your home.

Catriona-quilt

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