Floral patterns are available for almost every surface in
the home, from floors to ceilings, walls to windows.
• Ceramic tiles featuring floral designs are produced
all over the world, most notably in Italy, Spain, Mexico,
Portugal and Holland. Hand-painted floral designs in soft
pastel shades dominated the look at Chicago's Interna-
tional Tile Exposition last summer.
• In vinyl flooring, everything's coming up daffodils and
irises, and colors are richer than ever. Armstrong Floors'
new collection includes a host of floral-inspired patterns
in bright jewel tones. An important new manufacturing
process involves stenciling on colors layer by layer to cre-
ate a handcrafted look and depth; the design can then be
copied onto cabinets and walls using the typical stencil
• Silk floral arrangements, as well as dried and pre-
served versions, are more sophisticated and more popu-
lar than ever. Large, dramatic sunflowers are the rage, and
silk versions are still showing up everywhere.
From Motif Designs Vintage Rosie II collection: "Mary Rosie" and "Big Leaf Stripe."
• In wallpaper, the big, bold patterns of Victoriana are
enjoying a huge revival. "Everything old is new again," is the way
Lyn Peterson, president of Motif Designs fabrics and wallcoverings,
describes the trend. Motifs "Vintage Rosie II" collection is pure nos-
talgia, inspired by fashionable crepes of the '40s, flea market finds and
family heirlooms. Likewise, the "Victorian Romance" collection from
Sunworthy Wallcoverings seems sprung from the pages of an E.M.
• For textiles and wallpapers, designers and manufacturers are
drawing floral inspiration from across the globe. One collection based
on a sense of history is Brunschwig & Fils' new Thoiry Collection,
inspired by European and Asian designs company executives found
in the 428-year-old Chateau du Thoiry-en-Yvelines, near Paris. Among
the collection's cotton florals are a rustic red-and-gold Compagnie des
Judes pattern based on a tattered hand-painted chair covering found
in the attic; and a more refined Fleurs d'Angelique, taken from an em-
• In the bath, floral motifs are being incorporated into ceramic tile,
faucet trim, even the sink bowl and countertops. One stunning ex-
ample from Kohler is the Fables & Flowers pattern, inspired by 19th-
century European botanical drawings. Its deep-red tulips seem to sprout
from the drain itself and fill the entire sink bowl. A crackled white back-
ground pays homage to the design's antique roots.
When it comes to mixing patterns, just about anything goes. An im-
portant new direction is mixing florals with stripes, checks, or (gasp)
plaids. Even Laura Ashley, the utterly tasteful English company built
on a floral -only reputation, is doing it. Its time to break all the old rules,
says London's Nick Ashley, "conceptor" for the company founded
by his late mother.
"The emphasis is on informality and homeyness rather than con-
STYLE • SPRING 1993 •