Designing with flowers

Whether you use flowers from your garden, a florist, a farmstand or a supermarket, Wares columnist Cami Weinstein writes, bring them inside and enjoy them in your home.

The first days of spring usher in warm air, sunshine and flowers. I start to go through my seed and bulb catalogs and gardening books. I love gardening.  I can’t say I am the most successful gardener, but every spring I am at it again, pouring over catalogs and visiting local nurseries; hoping that this year more of the flowers that I plant will bloom and that the deer will forage in another yard and leave mine alone. Alas, this never happens. Spending time in the garden is relaxing and watching those buds grow and open into beautiful, colorful flowers never fails to enchant.  

This year there is an easy way to bring outdoor flowers into your home. Floral patterns are back in a big way in interior décor. They have not been this prolific since the late 1980s. Some of the floral patterns are just as traditional and beautiful as they were years ago. Many have been reimagined in colors that are compatible with current design trends. Some of the newer versions offer large- scale patterns that make a bold, modern statement, one that is being used in contemporary interiors as well.  

Whether your design is modern or traditional, there are a few things to consider when adding these floral patterns to your home to keep them from feeling dated. Since these large floral patterns have such an effect, it is best to limit them to certain areas of your home or one room.  Consider using a bold, floral graphic wallpaper on a focal wall. It will energize your room and add style to it, especially if you don’t have much in the way of personal artwork.  Or consider doing your powder room in a bold floral. I would do all four walls and maybe the ceiling to really elevate your design and create a jewel box powder room with that wow factor. Some of the patterns are in the style of photorealism. These are also a fun choice. 

With the ease of digital wallpaper, murals are making a comeback, too. These scenic wallpapers often depict floral and fauna scenes, and the ability to scale and print them easily can make for a dramatic and affordable solution for homeowners to get a custom look.

One of the easiest ways to transform a room is to bring your garden inside. When I garden, I try to concentrate on flowers that can be cut and brought inside to fill my many vases.  I collect vases in various sizes, styles, materials and colors to complement the flowers I fill them with.  Sometimes I put several vases out on my dining room table and fill them with flowers. This creates a focal point in the room. My favorite cut flowers make for loose seasonal bouquets that can change a room, infusing it with color and life.  

Sometimes filling the room with one color of flowers in a pale shade can calm a busy space while a riot of colorful flowers can energize a completely neutral one. The best thing about changing your rooms with flowers is the energy they create. They keep your room/s from becoming static.  Flowers are such an important part of my décor that rarely does a week go by without fresh flowers infusing my rooms.  

Not only do I use flowers but budded branches and large leaves.  The branches can be very dramatic and usually require a larger, heavy vase. Going all green is fun as well. Think grasses, leaves, pine branches, ferns and seedpods, which can all make dramatic arrangements.

Whether you use flowers from your garden, a florist, a farmstand or a supermarket, bring them inside and enjoy them in your home. And if you are walking around New York City, you may glimpse the handiwork of Lewis Miller, the designer who creates floral flashes — giant bouquets of flowers in unexpected containers, filling trash cans and old phone booths and ringing around lampposts. These surprising floral flashes are doing what flowers have always had the power to do — surprise and enchant us, coaxing a smile and reminding us that poet John Keats was right when he wrote in “Endymion,” “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

For more on Cami, call 203-661-4700 or visit

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