Wednesday 21 February 2018

Interiors: Take it to the max

Ellie Cashman wallpapers are dramatic and commanding - both adjectives you want to hear when experimenting with this area of maximalism; elliecashmandesign.com
Ellie Cashman wallpapers are dramatic and commanding - both adjectives you want to hear when experimenting with this area of maximalism; elliecashmandesign.com

Anna Shelswell-White

Nothing is braver and has more impact than embracing darker hues in the home - and we're not just talking about bolding it up with soft furnishings - walls, floors and ceilings are all getting in on the action. Oversized prints are hot property while rich navy, dark grey and nearly-there black shades are turning our living rooms into cosy places to hibernate for winter.

This new love for all things rich and dark is all very well, but it runs the risk of looking a little funereal. Thank goodness, then, for the simultaneous rise of big, bold florals which add colour, humour and a dramatic punch to the maximalist look.

Pouffe, €928, amara.com
Pouffe, €928, amara.com

Remember the Devil Wears Prada quote sarcastically muttered by Meryl Streep? "Florals, for spring? Groundbreaking," says the tough-as-nails editor.

But it's safe to say the season's favoured floral is a different type of bud altogether - it's a move away from the sweet, summer sprig to a darker, more exotic look, making it ideal to play with over autumn and winter.

"With any high-impact pattern, to avoid overkill, I'd recommend using this type of print in small amounts and balancing it out with solid colour," advises stylist Louise Dockery of Paper & Moon (paperandmoon.com). "I'd also use some smaller-scale and simpler patterns like stripes or smaller floral prints, so the contrast isn't too shocking," she says.

"Many people hesitate to use florals because they consider them to be too twee," continues Dockery. "By using dark, moody tones you counteract this."

Small floral jug, €17, marksandspencers.ie
Small floral jug, €17, marksandspencers.ie

So, what else can you do to achieve a look that's mature, high impact and completely different to the flowers we see in bloom each year? "Stick with organic, wild flowers and think Dutch masters, not flower power Barbie," Dockery says. "Because it's quite a luxe, almost gothic style, choose furniture and accessories that match. Velvet, jewel tones, antique crystal and metallics are all perfect accompaniments to moody florals." Handy advice as we've already been seeing these elements filter into Irish homes as we approach 2018.

Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine

Botanic Plaid Blanket, €149, boconcept.com
Botanic Plaid Blanket, €149, boconcept.com
Dark green cushion, gucci.com
Dark green cushion, gucci.com
Floral tapestry wallpaper, €175, aprilandthebear.com
Floral tapestry wallpaper, €175, aprilandthebear.com

Sunday Independent

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