Fabulous Florals: A Guide to Floral Furnishing Styles

Fabulous Florals: A Guide to Floral Furnishing Styles

The History of Floral Interiors

Florals were used to decorate interiors by the ancient Egyptians, who depicted flowers on pottery and from the time of the Greeks and Romans, who loved to bring flowers and foliage into their interior dwellings.  The depiction of florals evolved with each era, from the Renaissance to the Victorian eras, and subsequently Art Nouveau.

In recent years, the very distinctive floral interior looks of each decade such as Laura Ashley in the 80s has given way to a less formal approach to floral interiors where modern florals may be matched with classic country floral designs.

Nowadays it is not unusual to see florals mixed with stripes and even tropical florals have made their way into our homes, whether or not we live in the Tropics. More recently, the lockdown years inspired an increasing trend to bring the outdoors in, as homes became our sanctuary and reflected our need for calm.

Come with us at Fabrics Galore on an exploration of the different types of floral interiors and find inspiration for how to use florals to reflect your own style.


Traditional Floral

Think of English stately homes and you’re almost guaranteed to find a floral themed living room or bedroom. We are talking classic florals such as rose prints in a formal and often symmetrical arrangement. These traditional floral prints often suit large rooms where the print can be appreciated in a sweeping setting such as full-length windows.

The finest example of this is perhaps Standen House and Garden in Sussex, a holiday and retirement home built by the Beale family in the late 19th century combining the architectural genius of Philip Webb and the designer William Morris.


William Morris Sitting Room


At Fabrics Galore, we stock some of William Morris’s most iconic prints such as Strawberry Thief and Golden Lily all of which would achieve this traditional floral look.

William Morris Strawberry Thief    William Morris fabric Golden Lily

William Morris Strawberry Thief and Golden Lily fabrics


English Country Cottage Floral

The English Country cottage look epitomised by Laura Ashley in the 80s has evolved over subsequent decades and the recent Cottagecore trend mixed florals with ginghams and even stripes.  It is a cosy look, often quite simple and comfortable rather than symmetrical and formal. Vintage florals are often popular in this decorative style.


Floral country cottage interior


At Fabrics Galore we stock these classic Laura Ashley Burdett  and Rosemore  fabric prints to help you pull off the English Country cottage look.


Laura Ashley Burdett    Laura Ashley Dark Green floral fabric

Laura Ashley Floral Fabrics


Tropical Floral

A tropical interior is where you can embrace big, bold florals in dramatic colours like bright pinks and oranges found in tropical plants such as the Hibiscus and Bird of Paradise.  The bright florals are softened by dark greens and browns of the jungle with relaxed furniture in bamboo or rattan. These richly coloured tropical interiors are thought of as modern but actually date back to the 1800s when the British Colonial style saw homes filled with local furniture and tropical plants.


Tropical Floral Interior


Our fantastic Maison Thevenon fabrics feature palm prints and brightly coloured tropical florals to help you achieve the tropical vibe indoors. Combine Palm Springs with Rainbow Tree to create this look.  

Palm Leaf fabric    Tropical floral furnishing fabric

Tropical Floral Fabrics


Farmhouse Floral

A farmhouse floral interior is a less chintzy version of the Country Cottage look featured above and brings a healthy dose of countryside charm indoors. The aim is to create a cosy relaxed feel. Think of fabrics featuring wildflowers, sunflowers, daisies, and wheat stalks. The farmhouse floral aesthetic is more likely to combine florals with gingham and you can incorporate vintage farmhouse finds such as old milk churns and upturned crates.


Farmhouse floral    

Cath Kidston fabrics


Cath Kidston is the British fabric brand to create a relaxed farmhouse style. Think Vintage Bunch paired with Mid stripe in Chalk.

 Cath Kidston Floral fabric Vintage bunch    Cath Kidston chalk stripe fabric

Cath Kidston Vintage Bunch and Chalk Stripe 


Retro Floral

The bold bright florals associated with the 60s gave way to a more muted floral palate in the 70s; however, both decades featured more abstract floral designs where nature was a source of inspiration, but its interpretation resulted in bold graphic designs.

Orla Kiely talks openly about her love of her childhood family kitchen which was both welcoming and very retro with the ubiquitous olive green formica and orange ceiling.


Orla Kiely interior


At Fabrics Galore we stock many versions of the classic Orla Kiely stem design


Modern Floral

Modern floral interiors push the boundaries of traditional floral decor. They often feature unique shapes, and clashing colour combinations. or even incorporate non-floral elements like foliages, grasses, or leaves.


Modern Floral Interior


Alexander Henry is a master at reinventing florals and always manages to keep his designs modern. Frida’s Garden in  cream and black are wonderful examples of the modern tropical vibe.


Frida's Garden Furnishing fabric    Frida's Garden Black furnishing fabric

Alexander Henry Frida Kahlo Canvas Weight Fabrics


 Discover your floral fantasy

We hope you have enjoyed our walk through the different floral interior styles which demonstrate the sheer versatility of florals to create a very different interior look. Browse our collection of  furnishing florals to discover more.

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One stop fabric shop

Welcome to the Fabrics Galore London online store, packed full of beautiful fabrics to inspire your next dressmaking, patchwork quilting, craft or home furnishing sewing project. We stock a huge range of different materials alongside designer fabrics from Liberty, Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely, Laura Ashley, William Morris and Alexander Henry. We source the highest quality fabrics, so whether it be a cotton, linen, viscose, chambray, jersey or wool, we have you covered.Check out our dressmaking fabric for something with drape, fabulous Liberty cotton lawn prints, quilting fabrics for patchwork inspiration or the home furnishing section to pimp your pad. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get sewing!

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