From chintz to petite florals, blooms are currently abuzz in the design world. Although florals have waxed and waned in popularity since they were first introduced in the 1700s, style influencers like Gucci have embraced them as of late, placing them squarely in season. Shaking off any one-time stuffy connotations, vintage florals are playing edgy and eclectic this time around. To get the fresh floral look, read on!
THE MUSE: DOROTHY DRAPER & GREENBRIER
Interior designer Dorothy Draper was a well-known fan of chintz, and in the early 1950s she famously decked out West Virginia’s legendary Greenbrier Hotel in it. For the hotel, Dorothy opted for a mix of bold and dainty florals grounded in a spring-centric palette of yellow, green, and pink. Proving that florals need not be shy, she used them in excess and mixed them with other classic patterns like cabana stripes and black-and-white checkers.
If Dorothy Draper proved florals needn’t be wallflowers, Gucci—the endlessly crushable Italian fashion house—has proved they can be outright edgy. Over the past few seasons, Gucci has placed florals in heavy rotation, turning out femme floral frocks with a Victorian-meets-Rock-n’-Roll edge. These dark romantic-leaning florals have inspired us beyond the wardrobe, and have us pining for everything from floral bedding (and beds) to floral wallpaper.
3 WAYS TO WORK IN VINTAGE FLORALS
If you’re not completely sold on florals quite yet, a floral pillow can be an easy way to court the trend without full-on committing to it. Try capping each end of a sofa with a floral pillow, or create a sweet moment on a modern bed courtesy of a single floral pillow. To keep the look from straying into the saccharine, opt for a floral print backed on a saturated hue like crimson, hunter green, or even black.
A fearless statement piece like a floral sofa can go a long way when it comes to making an impact in a room. To keep an upholstered floral piece feeling fresh rather than old-fashioned, opt for a large-scale floral print with a good deal of movement and negative space. In a room otherwise filled with streamlined silhouettes in subdued neutrals, a single piece of chintz upholstery can steal the show. Still afraid the look might run a bit too prim? Try a more scaled-back piece like a floral upholstered lamp shade.
3. Chinese Deco Rugs
Taking a page from Gucci’s jewel-soaked palette, we’ve fallen for Chinese Art Deco rugs. Deeply dyed and strategically strewn with blooms, Chinese Art Deco rugs are a chic and, best of all, unique. With a penchant for unusual color combos (think magenta and emerald, or lavender and navy), Chinese Deco rugs feature just the right amount of eccentricity, perfect for kicking any of floral’s lingering stuffy vibes.