Florals have made a comeback, but with a modern edge that can’t be denied. Your grandmother’s old, ostentatiously ornamented big flowery wallpaper went out along with the smell of mothballs!
Chintz is becoming the latest rage — its popularity has once again resurfaced. Originally imported from India and known to be a glazed calico textile with flowers as their main point of attraction, it was primarily used in curtains, wallpaper and furniture.
Back in the day, the same floral fabric was used throughout the room or parts of the house. For example, the sofa would be matched to the curtains, then repeated through some carefully placed pillows. Obviously, this had to be carefully planned; otherwise it could look like a busy disaster.
The focus of florals have been more subtle in recent years, but they never really left. Now in present day, they are more pronounced and make a statement.
*A special note for those with nostalgia in their DNA: Many of the floral patterns today were inspired by those of yesteryear. Many who own or like to buy older homes have decided to stay with the design integrity of that house, so older floral designs are also becoming more popular.
A Little History
Floral design and décor have graced civilizations with rich symbolism and beauty from as far back as 2686-2160 BCE. The evidence can be seen in Egyptian paintings and sculptures. At that time, the symbolism had more of a religious undertone.
For example, bas-relief carvings of lotus blossoms and buds placed in vases were found in the Tomb of Perneb, and in the tombs of Beni Hasan a carving of a large heavy-headed lotus flower can be found.
The language of flowers and floral design is symbolism personified. Not only does the type of flower used or represented have a meaning, but there is significance in how it is placed, where it is placed, quantities, and of course in its physicality (example, whether it is a bud or heavy-headed flower being used).
Fast-forward to modern civilization. We have now adorned our floral décor (i.e. wallpaper, pillows, bedspreads and even exotic murals) with more symbolism to accommodate our creative nature. Many interior designers, as well as savvy consumers, will travel to exotic faraway locations just to find mysteriously beautiful and inspiring products with unique designs.
Our Top Favorite Floral Textile Companies
Jofa: Lee Jofa is a high-end fabric house specializing in unique luxurious designs and style. They are one of several brands owned by Kravet Inc., which include Kravet, Groundworks, G.P. and J Baker and Brunschwig & Fils. Kravet started out as a small family-owned fabric house and is now a global leader in the industry.
Pierre Frey: Their designs are best described as Parisian chic, very eclectic and inventive. Perfect for those who want to break the mold.
Bennison Fabrics: This English company specializes in hand-painted fabrics based on 18th and 19th century English and French textiles. All of their designs can be made into wallpaper.
Tulu Fabrics: Elizabeth Hewitt is the designer and owner of Tulu. Her designs are captured in this statement, “Tulu is fig trees, tin cans, tigers, turquoise tiles and tulips.” The brand exemplifies storytelling through art and design, and is perfect for the adventurous, inventive minded person.
Schumacher Fabrics: This is an American family-owned business that was established in 1889. The company is a valuable resource for designers and those who are passionate about enhancing the beauty around them. They pride themselves on tradition and legacy, but are very progressive.
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