Floral prints are a classy addition to any space. However, they have the reputation of being a type of pattern associated with older home styles. Country kitchens tend to use florals on wallpaper. Victorian styles have floral prints on everything. Even retro spaces sometimes go for funky and artsy floral prints. But if you want a modern space, you don’t have to give up on florals completely. You can incorporate florals into the most contemporary spaces.
With a few tips, anyone can start working with florals. The trick is understanding how to work with them in terms of pattern, color, texture, and scale. Then you’ll be able to purchase decor items like floral-patterned bedspreads, furniture, wallpaper, and vases to place this pattern in your home with ease. And by learning how to strategically place the right items, this task should only take a few hours on average.
At the core of the floral trend is the fact that it is one about patterns. And when it comes to floral prints, you have a wide variety of patterns from which to choose. Which is part of what makes decorating with florals such a daunting task. But when going for a more modern take on floral prints, you basically have two ways to go about it: big and bold for a statement look or smaller flowers for a more accented look.
If you go for a big and bold print, you’ll want to find a style that veers towards creating an accent wall using wallpaper. The print should have close-ups of big, detailed flowers. Use that print on one wall, while keeping the rest of the walls solid colors to not overpower the space. You can see an example in the photo above.
The other option is going for prints with smaller flowers. In order to keep it modern, however, try to find prints that are more abstract. Older country homes were known for smaller floral prints with a natural flower design. Going even slightly abstract will keep the look more modern. Smaller prints work well on accent items, like pillows and vases.
Like the point above, you can typically go two ways with floral color in a modern style: bold and sassy or neutral.
If you go for a bold color, use it as more of an accent item. For instance, you might do one wall with bold flowers while leaving the other walls neutral. Combining florals with neutral tones will also impart a more modern sensibility. You can also incorporate the colors from the floral print into the rest of the room as smaller accent pieces, like the flowers on the table in the photo above. Another option is to use bold flower prints in items like throw pillows, which will work as smaller accents themselves.
The other option is to go for neutral prints. These usually feature some type of gray or black flower print over a white background. That will give you the neutral color and stark geometry of more modern spaces.
Another key way to play around with floral prints is to incorporate them into the room’s natural texture. For instance, you might place florals on a tufted headboard, a throw pillow with a fringe around the edge or a geometric vase. Flower patterns already have plenty of visual texture to them, so they’re a natural fit for already textured items.
Another way to work with florals is to use them to create texture in a monochrome space, which is a popular color scheme in modern homes. For instance, you might use a neutral floral wallpaper to get some visual texture, like in the photo above. More high-contrast neutral spaces also do well with neutral-colored floral patterns for added visual texture.
Another key aspect to look at is the scale of the floral print you are using in terms of the room as a whole. For instance, if you are using wallpaper or a bedspread with a floral print, that means the print is on a larger scale. Or you might just have some small floral accents on the headboard, meaning they’re on a smaller scale.
If your floral print is of a larger scale, you’ll want to design the rest of the room to have a clean look using solid colors so that nothing clashes with the floral print. But smaller-scale floral prints can get away with being used across similar items throughout the room, like different pillows or vases in the chosen print.
And remember, half of picking a floral print is how it speaks to you. If you feel one has a more modern vibe but can’t quite explain why it might just be the pattern for you.