Tangled up in blooms - luxe florals have overgrown the runways and crept into our homes
EDITORIAL & CONTENT
Interiors have gotten stiflingly luxurious and I’m delighted about it. Where once was (yawn) the airiness of geometric shapes in pastels and gold, now there are florals, florals, florals, in every bloody colour under the sun. And Cath Kidston’s been nowhere near them - we’re talking petals with punch.
Though bolshy patterned surfaces have been making their way back into our homes for the past few seasons, it’s generally been more foliage-based (tropical print overload), and in an accent capacity, rather than the current overbearingly floral wall-to-wall. Now we’re vibing full chintz over large surface areas, in bold tones, made contemporary by extreme mismatching, ironically weird situations and juxtaposition with sleek furniture shapes. So, you might place your chintzy cushions on an iconically now Croisette chair, upholstered in mustard velvet, rather than the overstuffed, pelmetted variety which would have appeared in the chintzy memories of your youth (sneaking into your nana’s good room for a forbidden play with the porcelain figurines). That’s not to say that your good room shouldn’t be wallpapered in chintz, because of course it should - just make sure it clashes wildly with the cushions… and that they both clash with the curtains. But where the modernity really lies is in the fact that the florals themselves are very traditional, almost purist reproductions, when compared with the kooky reimaginings we’ve seen before. And (though I’m very aware that this is my cognitive dissonance speaking) they’re so much the cooler for it.
A number of high fashion brands - top buzzers Gucci, Preen, Richard Quinn, Emilia Wickstead, and Luisa Beccaria - launched their first home collections in the last two years, very much on a chintzy bent, which has reached full throttle, this season. The florals in these home collections mirror beautifully what’s happening on their respective runways - almost as though the approaching chintz in fashion proved just too perfect a symbiosis for designers to resist setting up a home line. Like, just by wearing a Richard Quinn floral gown (as I generally do), while lying on one of his dreamy eiderdown quilts, I’m becoming the chintz on chintz aesthetic… possibly even as cool as House of Hackney founder Frieda Gormley, who’s about the best incarnation of living your brand.
One of my favourite parts of this trend is how it’s given my beloved floral illustrators a legit new (commercially attractive) medium; namely ceramics and fabric. Stephanie Fishwick, who illustrated Gweneth Paltrow’s wedding stationery, recently sold out of a delicately delightful tableware collaboration with Moda Operandi. While two of my faves, Nordic textiles brand Projekti Tyyny (who makes the loveliest cushions and quilts from classic Liberty fabrics) and Max Made Me Do It (a custom illustration studio by London Irish gal Carol Maxwell) have joined forces in a line of floral embroidered linen cushions and pillowcases with the scalloped edges of my dreams.
From my interiors & lifestyle column for Irish Tatler, November 2019 edition