Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fresh Spring Florals
When I arrived home from work yesterday I was delighted to find that my Cambridge Satchel Company Batchel had arrived. Needless to say it is totally gorgeous and I am very proud. I am going to give it its first outing today and what better to put in it than Elle Decoration’s Spring Edition. I also decided to customize my beautiful batchel (satchel with a handle – so a cross between a satchel & a bag) with my favourite  Designers Guild cobalt wallpaper:  
yukata cobalt


So anyway, let’s talk about
Spring Florals:

I am feeling full of the joys of Spring. What with early flowering trees blossoming and the odd sunny day thrown in, the change in light quality and its increasing presence at this time of year, I am turning my sights to fresh florals. I truly long to freshen up interior tattiness, spring cleaning out the old and brin
ging the outside back in.

Certain fabric collections are currently grabbing my attention and I am actually dreaming of florally led room sets.

Florals are in every magazine too: from the of-the-moment painterly soft-edged florals of Sanderson’s 
‘Colour for Living’ collections:
mandarin flowers above........ poppies below

To the painterly brights that Tricia Guild has consistently produced for Designers Guild and that are currently standing proud in her ‘Kimono blossom’ fabric and ‘Kasuri’ wallpaper collections:

There are florals to be found in all their glorious freshness in the latest modern country designs from Jane Churchill and in the elegantly classic florally-led offerings of her parent company, Colefax & Fowler. These collections are placed alongside coordinating stripes and geometrics that I long to reinvigorate my upholstery with, and wonderful textural fabrics to add depth to any scheme.

. . . Jane Churchill 

Colefax & Fowler's Haslemere in Old Blue:

Zoffany’s small scale floral prints from the new ‘Poesy’ collections of fabrics and wallpapers are perfectly formed.  These intricate embroidered fabrics are able to stand in their own right as the centrepiece of a room, or could be layered with larger floral or textural geometric patterns for further interest.

Rosette Trellis Wallpaper  

By the by Zoffany’s paints provide the perfect backdrop with their depth of colour provided by the rich pigmentation found in this product
and the colours are glorious too:

Retro florals are also big news and Villa Nova has stepped up to the mark here with the ‘Garland’ fabric from its 'High Society’ collection of lively geometrics:


       Retro's to go too in Harlequin’s 'Daphne' fabrics from their 'Tempo' Collection.

Then there is Baker Lifestyle's garden-inspired 'Opera' Collection:

As holders of a royal warrant and with a pedigree stretching back to 1884, GP&J Baker have indulged in a little Country House magic with Baker Lifestyle’s ‘Opera House’ collection inspired by the gardens of Hampshire’s 18th Century West Green House.

Putting together these florally-led schemes is definitely the enjoyable part of spring cleaning, since Floral schemes should engage all the senses, perhaps leading the eye through a florally draped window to the garden beyond. 

As the year progresses and our gardens fill with flowers, so we should bring these inside to scent our rooms and bring a floral scheme to life.

Take Nina Campbell’s ‘Montacute’ Collection (Osborne & Little). Nina has always been a stalwart of pretty English florals (I still remember falling in love with a Nina floral pillowcase when I first popped into her shop in Conduit Street) and this collection typifies her signature style, incorporating clean colours in soft blowsy bouquets.

Witness these room schemes (courtesy of Nina’s ‘Montacute Presentation’):

In the room below the floral is in the wallpaper. Upholstery has been kept neutral to balance the scheme. In the breakfast room on the right the floral is in the curtaining. This has been tempered by using a coordinating pink on the leading edge of the curtain. Walls are kept neutral. Stripes are fantastic for grounding and unifying a scheme, as witnessed in the coordinating stripe used on the dining chairs. Finishing touches by way of bright pink napkins, a pink handle on the decanter, even pink handled cutlery, and a superb fresh flower bouquet pick out and announce the fresh colours from the curtains. The clever layering of all of these things adds up to a perfectly balanced scheme:

...These lovely notelets 

champion Nina's florals too:

And again look at these pretty room schemes:

To the left:
Because this just-picked-from-the-garden floral has a gentler feel in terms of colour palette and design, it is used to great effect on both walls and at the windows without overpowering the room. Warm wood floorboards literally ground the scheme, assisted by a dark neutral on the skirting. Fresh white paint is used at the window to reflect light. The scheme is layered and built around the floral. A simple chair slip cover in a soft ashes-of-roses pink complements the brighter pink in the patterned paper & fabric. A cream piping adds definition and ties the scheme together.

To the right: 
the floral transfers to the upholstery as well as the window treatment, in a lilac & white flowered colourway of the same fabric. Again the warm flooring grounds the scheme. Walls are kept simple in a coordinating stripe that provides the perfect backdrop. A gorgeous beaded trim defines the roman blind as does a complementary gimp braid on the elegant Louis style occasional chair. As a finishing touch a vase of fragrant sweetpeas layers scent into the scheme.
      There are so many beautiful       trimmings to choose from.These
      are the finishing touches 
      that take a scheme from 
      lovely to spectacular
Osborne & Little trimmings

There really is a floral out there for everyone ...

Other florals I love:

Andrew Martin
  Botanist from the Inventor Collection

Enjoy the Spring . . .


  1. Love the satchel! I've got the same exact one, and I personalise my satchel with cute prints as well - right now it's of a russian doll :) Am loving the wallpaper inspiration as well xx


  2. Thanks Peaches, from one proud satchel owner to another. So many lovely things out there and need more time to explore them! X x



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