A Bouquet of Advice

Blooming landscapes can make us nearly swoon. Bringing the loveliness of flowers indoors requires thoughtful consideration, however, as these former Detroit Home Design Awards Rising Stars explain.













1 “Too much of anything is a no-no.” — Jimmy Angell

2  “Mario Buatta [of floral-chintz fame] is a great talent with a real skill for fearlessly layering different patterns and mixing pattern scales. Though this is not personally my style, I have respect for it and I have done it for clients who enjoy an active aesthetic. For me, the different patterns can, at some point, become busy. I want people to escape to, and relax in, the rooms that I do, and I think that layering multiple patterns can sometimes combat this. Conversely, I actually like a room with a single-floral or toile pattern when it’s used absolutely everywhere. Though specific, I think this is timeless and classic.” — Stephen Knollenberg

3  “I like floral arrangements that] look effortless, like something picked out of the backyard before the guests arrived.” — Michelle Mio

4  “Europeans tend to use traditional floral prints in bright color palettes or in black and white. This gives a traditional look a very fashion-forward look. Designers Guild does a fabulous job of accomplishing this.” — Dayna Rasschaert

5 “Floral colors don’t have to be super bright and intense. For example, think about a dusty rose or soft yellow [that] would almost come off as neutrals.” — Charles Dunlap

6  “Embroidered textiles are great because they have depth and bring a homespun, folk-art feeling to a space.” — Charles Dunlap

7  “I don’t use floral often, but I appreciate stylized flower images: block prints, primitive, and over-scaled.”  — Jimmy Angell

8  “If [Mario Buatta floral] is what the client is looking for, then it’s our job to be sure it’s done well. Otherwise, the tsunami of florals just becomes a hot mess.” — Jill Schumacher

 9  “I love flowering branches. I like to mix hydrangea with roses randomly and tight. I recommend several small, simple vases rather than large hotel-ish productions except for branches.” — Michael Coyne

10  “Since they’re found in nature, both men and women are attracted to flowers and floral designs.” — Dayna Rasschaert

11  “I love to use simpler patterns on a linen ground for Roman shades.” — Jimmy Angell

12  “I use botanical black-and-white photography quite often. It provides sculptural shape, which is a great contrast to boxy rooms and furniture, but it never comes off as the clichéd floral landscape that we all see on those advertised ‘starving-artists’ sales. My favorite botanical photographer is Karl Blossfeldt, and we have a local photographer, Lisa Spindler, who does amazing botanical work.” — Charles Dunlap

13  “Personally, I find an intensely floral room too chaotic. If I want to be in the garden, I go outside. I had a client once who had this type of room to be re-done, and every time I set foot in it, I felt as if bees were swarming!”  — Charles Dunlap

14  “If the floral design is more traditional, perhaps you layer it with a second, more contemporary pattern, such as a horizontal stripe. This will give it some edge.” — Stephen Knollenberg

15 “I am always attracted to very meaty flowers. I love the fullness and romantic quality of peonies and ranunculus.” — Dayna Rasschaert

16 “I prefer floral patterns that are ‘washed out’ and subtle, almost antique looking. I’m also a fan of bold, large prints in wallpaper, such as ‘Lily’ from Cole & Son. Imagine how dramatic it would be as a focal behind a solid-color sofa.” — Charles Dunlap



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