By Kim Cook
We know that what brews in fashion percolates into decor. This fall, it’s floral prints loaded with depth and drama.
Anna Sui’s fall 2017 show was replete with deep, moody florals on velvet, silk and chiffon. Recent collections from Dolce &Gabbana, Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu have also featured them.
Now we’re seeing fall decor echoing the trend.
“These florals don’t hold back,” says designer Sara McArthur, formerly of Design Collective West and now principal of her eponymous firm in Highland, Utah.
“They’re modern, cool and edgy. They’re romantic and rock ‘n’ roll at the same time,” she says. “Florals, typically a feminine pattern, are transformed into more androgynous looks with the darker palette.”
Raun Thorp of the Los Angeles architectural firm Tichenor and Thorp says, “The most inspirational dark florals were in the (2017 Spring/Summer) Dries Van Noten runway show, by Azuma Makoto.” The Japanese floral designer encased dozens of exotic blooms in backlit blocks of ice to showcase the moody, ethereal floral prints on the clothes.
“The fabrics in this collection would be a great starting point for a room’s palette,” says Thorp.
Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen have dark floral carpets and cushions for The Rug Company. Westwood’s oversize rose and magnolia motifs have a painterly vibe. McQueen has placed a macro photo of a crimson poppy on a midnight background; the rug becomes abstract art for the floor.
“Reminiscent of still-life art from Holland and Germany in the early 1600s, there’s a surge of new still-life floral wallpaper in 2017, echoing the moody baroque vibes of the Old World,” says McArthur.
Flavor Paper worked with Manhattan floral studio Ovando and New York City’s Skot Yobauje Photography to create a digital-print paper called Elan Vital that’s atmospheric and hyper-realistic. Another pattern, Vivid Victorian, transforms a traditional floral print into something wild and dynamic as hotly hued blooms tumble on a sultry black damask background.
Cole &Son, the British fine wallpaper manufacturer, carries several patterns drawn from the midcentury archives of Fornasetti, the Italian design house known for witty, fanciful takes on 20th century iconography. They include Peonie (with bouquets in copper, burgundy and lime or red, magenta and orange); Pansee (with the flat-faced flowers rendered in broody metallics); and Frutto Proibito (in which monkeys cavort among fig tree flora).
“Who would think of Fornasetti for florals?” says Thorp. “They’re all done in dark and edgy color combinations that are more punk than prim.”
Cynthia Rowley’s Bird Watching design for Tempaper pares down a chinoiserie bird-on-flowering-branch motif to a silhouette of molten gold on an inky background.
Add some drama to windows with The Shade Store’s evocative Desert Flower pattern in one of four saturated hues, including deep orange, blue and black.
A modern version of Liberty of London’s rich Feather Bloom floral print graces a sofa, ottoman and swivel chair in a new collaboration at Anthropologie.
And from Italian decor atelier MIHO Unexpected Things, there’s a whimsical collection of easy-to-assemble little boxes and mountable fiberboard cupboards printed with patchwork florals. Shapes like hardcover books, beetles and fish add to the boxes’ eclectic charm; use them to stylishly stow keys, makeup (one comes with a handy mirror) or just as decor.