How to Decorate with Flowers and Floral Patterns

Flowers are transformative. Whether it’s a humble bunch of daisies or an elaborate arrangement of orchids, there are gorgeous options for every style, budget and mood. The same goes for floral-inspired design elements. We’re constantly inspired by new and interpretations of botanical forms, so we’ve asked leading interior designers to share their favorite ways to freshen up a space with florals.

Vases in a variety of heights, shapes and colors makes for an unexpected display of peonies at this home by Ashley Hicks in the countryside of Oxfordshire, England. Photo courtesy of Ashley Hicks

Looking for a quick floral fix? For a dining room arrangement that puts the flowers in the spotlight, try designer Ashley Hicks’s favorite centerpiece technique. Hicks says he prefers using “small vases, old medicine bottles and shot glasses” lined up down the table with each flower in its own vase to get maximum drama. Each has its own personality which gets lost when they’re all bunched together.” The best part about this, of course, is that the more mismatched the vases, the better. This Adolfo Abjon Melancholia vase and this Tiffany & Co. crystal corkscrew vase are two of our current favorites subtle glass vessels.

Bold floral wallpapers are not to be feared, according to New York–based designer Fawn Galli: “Many people shy away from large-scale patterns, but large-scale florals are made for small spaces. They evoke a special feeling of being in a garden, something that is so successful in smaller spaces.” This powder room is proof of that notion. “I chose this wallpaper for a client who is an artist that plays with scale and perspective in her own work,” Galli says. “We wanted this bathroom to feel like a dreamworld.”

If you’re not ready to commit, try adding framed floral wallpaper panels, like these 19th-century pieces, to your powder room walls.

Katie Curtis designed this hallway for the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, which features a botanical wallpaper, rugs and lights. Photo by Phillip Ennis

For the maximalist, this pattern-friendly hallway by Katie Curtis successfully combines multiple florals — from the light fixtures down to the rugs — in a space that feels verdant and rich.

To create a slightly more pared-down space with these kinds of pieces, consider these Sputnik chandeliers and case pieces like this Syrian wedding dresser.

A brightly striped sofa topped with a floral throw in the focal point of this otherwise neutral Los Angeles living room by Nathan Turner. Photo by Coliena Rentmeester

Vibrant floral textiles, like this blanket in a Los Angeles living room in a family home designed by Nathan Turner, can transform an otherwise traditional space into something eclectic and cool.

This cheery Turkoman suzani bedspread would brighten up a neutral sofa or create a refreshing juxtaposition when paired with an antique kilim.

This quirky English home by Godrich Interiors features a sectional upholstered in floral fabric and eclectic lighting. Photo courtesy of Godrich Interiors

This vacation home in the West Country of England has a decidedly youthful vibe, and that was the goal. Megan Olivier, associate director of Godrich Interiors, says the clients wanted them to “create a fun environment” for their children. “It needed to be playful and reflect their personality,” she says, “as well as being ‘trashable’ for a busy family of five, with two dogs!” The custom sofa is based on a 1960s design and upholstered in a bold fabric from Imogen Heath.

For a twist on this style, try this Milo Baughman–style sofa with this Love Me Knot light fixture by Juniper.

A Marc Quinn floral artwork pops in the mirrored entry hall of this London home by Argent Design. Photo courtesy of Argent Design

In this mostly black and white Art Deco entryway by Argent Design, mirrored wall panels amplify the effect of a lively Marc Quinn piece depicting orchids and other flowers.

To create the look in a dining room, posit this Laurie Flaherty oil painting with a black and white, Deco-style table by Michel Amar.

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