Sunday 24 September 2017

How to nail the the 'botanical' look - one of this season's biggest trends

NATURE TRAIL: This is not a trend for the minimalist – go all out with floral wallpapers, set off with natural accessories, such as the woven wicker lamp by cuckooland.com, and large containers of leafy foliage
NATURE TRAIL: This is not a trend for the minimalist – go all out with floral wallpapers, set off with natural accessories, such as the woven wicker lamp by cuckooland.com, and large containers of leafy foliage

Caroline Foran

One of 2017's most workable interiors trends is without doubt the 'botanical' look.

As the season begins to shift in the welcome direction of spring, the trend that has been inspired by London's House of Hackney has even more appeal. Bring a little bit of what nature has to offer inside your home and reap the calming benefits. Incorporating plenty of natural greenery adds an instant burst of energy to your home. Quite literally, you're bringing the space to life.

Woven basket, €22.99 - Large braided storage basket, H&M Home, www2.hm.com
Woven basket, €22.99 - Large braided storage basket, H&M Home, www2.hm.com

There are several ways to go green, whether you opt for a tall succulent (Ikea's offering is brilliant and affordable) that will live in a large ceramic plant pot on the floor - terracotta works best to enhance the 'natural' vibe - or whether you keep it petite, with an assortment of cactus terrariums; some hanging from the ceiling in a crochet knit, while others can take up residence on idle shelves. According to interior designer Cathy O'Donohue, "A few succulents dotted around the space will add some greenery and require very little care too." Other leafy contenders include banana, fig and cheese plants.

Taking part in the green revolution needn't cost the earth, says Cathy: "Cole & Sons wallpaper have a beautiful tropical print collection but if your budget is tight, you'll find plenty of tropical prints and artwork to frame and hang without breaking the bank. Etsy.com is my go-to place for buying prints.."

If you're going green, Yvonne Nugent, head of homewares at Harvey Norman Ireland, warns: "Make sure to keep your greens apart - too many and it can end up looking twee. Don't overdo it - a natural ground is key and textures also help; tactility is important in this trend."

Indoor gardening aside, there are several other ways to nail the botanical trend. It's all about bringing your colour palette back to mother nature. Think leafy prints on cushions (see Penneys), wall prints, rustic wood frames, bamboo place mats and wicker or rattan baskets for storage; even a vintage-style banker's lamp will lend itself to this uplifting aesthetic.

Soap dispenser, €34 - Palmeral ceramic square pump soap dispenser, houseofhackney.com
Soap dispenser, €34 - Palmeral ceramic square pump soap dispenser, houseofhackney.com

When embracing a trend such as this, it's always best to focus your attention on the more fluid nature of soft furnishings and accessories, in the same way you might treat your wardrobe - don't go nuts on a botanical print sofa that you might tire of come 2018. That way, when you're ready to move on, it's an easy, low-cost update. Another quirky botanical addition might be a tropical print shower curtain in an otherwise muted bathroom.

The final frontier of the botanical trend involves nailing your fragrances at home. Again, keep it simple with candles that offer a subtle floral scent - nothing too sweet - or a room diffuser (Voya's are best).

For the ultimate botanical ambience, treat your home to a luxurious Santa Maria Novella room fragrance. Pour a few drops of Vanda Suavis, €49 (made with plant extracts) to the terracotta ring and place it on top of a light bulb. The heat will gently release the fragrance and you'll soon feel like you're strolling the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.

Lampshade, €78 - Floral lampshade and gilt lamp, nextdirect.com
Lampshade, €78 - Floral lampshade and gilt lamp, nextdirect.com
Pot, €4 - Cactus ornament plant pot, Penneys
Pot, €4 - Cactus ornament plant pot, Penneys
Print, €22.42 - Cheese plant print, papermash.co.uk
Print, €22.42 - Cheese plant print, papermash.co.uk

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