The Finishing Touch... Winning florals
Put a spring, not only in your step but in your home with this season's burst of botanical-inspired patterns. Think playful prints that inject a rush of fresh air into the room. Whether you're ready to go all out with bold jungle patterns or prefer a more muted, softer look, there is a floral find out there for every mood.
Interior designer Suzie McAdam (suziemcadam.com) explains that there are two kinds of floral prints on trend right now. She describes them as "bold and vibrant" and "bemused meadow".
Suzie explains: "With spring on the way, a playful mood is emerging and we're seeing prints amplified - they are being used big and bold with lots of vibrant intensity, abstract shapes and oversized proportions to catch the eye. I am a big fan of tropical prints at the moment."
The "bemused meadow" look, Suzie says, is inspired by softer springtime meadows.
"You'll see soft pink hues and muted tones, set against a clean white background; delicate repeated patterns of classic flowers take on a modern freshness."
To prevent floral patterns from appearing old-fashioned or fuddy-duddy, Suzie suggests you layer them.
"Pillows and cushions allow you to introduce prints into the home but in a subtle way," says the young designer.
"You can move them or layer them against bold, solid colours. Framed floral prints also work really well - for something different, blow up a print and place the image behind an old window pane - it makes a really striking piece.
"I also really like artful plant and floral arrangements in the home. It's such an easy way to bring lush greenery indoors - simply place planters or seasonal blooms in well-chosen spots around your home to inject an instant sense of freshness and life into a room."
Sarah Drumm of Dust interior store and design consultancy (Dust.ie) feels the key to getting it right when it comes to contemporary florals is to pick the right shade.
"Historically, delicate botanical patterns favoured muted pastel colours, whereas the vibrant strong colours used in floral prints today pack a more impressive punch.
"You need to make sure you choose a strong modern print with vibrant colourways. I feel you have to be more careful about the type of floral print you choose, rather than how you use it in your home."
Sarah feels that introducing this style of print into your home in the form of wallpaper can be particularly effective.
"A small space, such as a downstairs loo, is a great space to have a bit of fun with a bold pattern. I always love the look of running wallpaper right up onto the ceiling, as well as all four walls.
"House of Hackney do this very well - they have worked their strong floral patterns into all aspects of their interior range, from furniture, curtains and cushions to lampshades and towels."
Sarah's parting word of advice?
"To prevent a floral colour scheme looking too girly or dated, pair it with strong, dark, masculine colours, which will work well juxtaposed alongside the pretty florals."
Lizzie Gore Grimes is contributing editor to Image Interiors & Living magazine