When designing a room of any type, my schemes are frequently launched by a “main event” piece. It can be a dynamic fabric, wall covering, rug, or artwork. Oftentimes, this piece becomes the foundation for the entire scheme. In this case, the main event is a large-scale curvilinear printed fabric with so much movement and color. Once I have the starting point, coordinate fabrics, lighting, and furniture to complement and build out the scheme. This tried-and-true method works for me and the result is a well-balanced and intentional space.
For the past decade or so, interiors have been relatively staid with a nod to mid-century design and forms. This movement leaned toward clean lines, less color, simple forms and geometric prints and patterns. While my work does not follow trends, I wholeheartedly welcome back the multilayered complexity of colorful, multilayered, complex schemes. In this case, it’s a floral print that makes endless design ideas possible. If you are more conservative, choose a printed pillow to add some punch to a room full of solids or a brightly colored rug with swaths of color to support the rest of the room. Here I share the challenge of being brave. Designing a room that envelops with movement and color.
I imagined a bedroom full of this joyful yet soothing print by the storied American fabric house, F. Schumacher and Co. I fell in love first with its watercolor-like palette that consists of French blue, sage greens, and accents of deep raspberry. The blooms are crisply depicted and do not feel overly feminine or flirty. While you may imagine walls covered in flowers and leaves to be more suitable for a little girl’s nursery, I challenge you to envision this bouquet of greens and petals on the walls of a master bedroom. The printed fabric can be easily backed and hung as wallcovering so don’t limit it to chairs and draperies.
My vignette includes a light brown, burled wood dresser to offset the many colors in the print. With so much movement on the walls, a deep teal wool rug grounds the scheme and complements the print. A romantic and organically shaped chandelier dangles over the bed, and crisp, green-and-white table lamps flank the upholstered bed on wood and white nightstands. If this imaginary room has a place for a sitting area, a soft blue loveseat with pink pillows would sit happily against the printed wall, a spot for reading a good book on a snowy afternoon. Curtains can be matching in the same print or simple such as a solid creamy linen trimmed in green and blue. So they don’t compete my selection of accessories pulls more colors from the floral print.
I invite you to look again at the florals and “main event” fabrics that are all around us. The floral print here creates an interior garden that envelops in a way that is both sophisticated and timeless. This traditional European approach is age-old and adorns the walls of many an English country house and French chateau. But with the pieces that I’ve selected to accompany the floral, it can fit seamlessly into any American home.