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.
Photographs by Cybelle Codish

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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