Let It Bloom Gariella October 1, 2014 Lifestyle Floral prints can conjure up images of chintz and twee country cottages, but the truth is that floral prints are making a comeback in interior design as they are in fashion, although they do not look quite the same as they used to. An antidote to minimalism For many years now, there has been a trend to ‘minimalize’ the living environment and cut down on patterns and motifs. However, with the rise of vintage style that softens the look of a room, combined with the desire to create more personalised space, this minimalism is being replaced by mixing bold colour with bold patterns, and sleek lines with textures. This trend has come about largely because of the rising trend for homemade, one-of-a-kind decoration. Craftwork has become increasingly popular, and this enables people to design a home that is uniquely theirs. Creating a family atmosphere In contrast to the cool, austere lines of minimalism, florals add an element of softness and romance. Any family area that utilises floral patterns in its design theme makes for a welcoming and inclusive space. However, to avoid homes looking old-fashioned, floral patterns should no longer be used on certain types of furniture, such as round and tufted sofas, but saved for very modern items that are boxy and sleek. There has also been a change when it comes to the size of floral motifs. In previous decades, flowers were often depicted on wallpaper and fabric at their normal size, but contemporary designs are featuring them as oversized, sometimes up to 200% larger than they are in nature. In the bedroom and bathroom Some bedrooms can appear too masculine and floral patterns are a great way to feminise them. With beautiful wooden beds that can be considered gender neutral, try laying a floral patterned throw to add a dash of femininity, or use floral patterns on the headboard or a chair’s upholstery. A sleek, dark bathroom can be feminised by hanging a floral patterned shower curtain, or by framing a section of floral wallpaper and hanging it on the wall in place of a picture. Balancing patterns and plain Those people who want to get creative with patterns should remember that to prevent overwhelming the senses with too much variety, it is advisable to keep patterns and plain colours within the same tonal ranges. Do not try to mix primary colours with pastels, or bold colours with subtle ones, as this will just appear confused. If using more than one pattern in the same room, remember to have different sizes for each pattern so they are not competing with one another. The general rule is that the pattern used on a larger area, such as a wall, should be less busy than that used on smaller items, such as a cushion or bedding. However much pattern is used in a room, there should always be plain spaces dotted around for the eye to rest upon. These spots will also help to highlight and separate the floral patterns. Those who want to use floral patterns, but still have a mostly gender-neutral room, should mix the florals with checks or stripes.