Lucy Cunningham on how to incorporate print at home
Whether it’s large-scale prints, tiny ditzy embroideries or even murals, incorporating florals and fauna into your schemes is a wonderful way of inviting the garden into your home and surrounding yourself with the calming properties of nature.
Here, interior designer Lucy Cunningham who is known for her refined English aesthetic, tells us three of her favourite ways to layer print and pattern, and decorate with florals, together with some insider tips and advice…
Fabric walls and ceilings
We love wrapping walls and ceilings in fabric – it's one of our favourite and more unexpected ways to decorate. Dating back to the tapestry hung rooms of the Middle Ages and silk wall hangings in grand 18th century houses, fabric walling has historically been very popular and it’s definitely seeing a contemporary resurgence - we’re doing more and more with our clients. Adding a layer of tailored elegance, fabric walls also lend warmth, softness and textural interest to a room. We’ve recently been wrapping entire rooms in fabric (walls and ceiling) but choosing to do one or the other is just as effective.
- Fabricing walls and ceilings is a specialist skill so don’t try this one alone and always have the specialist measure up the space for you.
- Fabric wrapping (walls & ceiling) with the same print works really well in smaller rooms but in larger living spaces, if you are keen to fabric the entire room consider two different complementary fabrics. i.e. a silk or linen for the walls and a floral design for the ceiling.
- If you’re nervous, start small. We recently fabriced a tiny cloakroom ceiling – its so unexpected and adds such charm to this secondary small space. If a whole wall or ceiling is too much for you, you can find beautiful antique floral textiles online which look wonderful hung on a wall.
- Trims are an amazing way to finish the wall, they frame the wall really beautifully and you can have a lot of fun choosing from hundreds of different styles. You could even do a different trim on the top and bottom of the walls.
- Yes you can fabric a bathroom but obviously you need to avoid walls that come into direct contact with water and ensure that the room has excellent ventilation.
Soft Furnishings & Upholstery
Upholstery and soft furnishings such as cushions and curtains are easy and well-documented ways to use florals in your schemes. You can scale up or down depending on how brave you feel – from a few accent cushions to curtains that match your wallpaper.
Tissus d’Helene has the most wonderful fabrics, including incredibly beautiful floral fabrics from Pukka Print and Nicole Fabre. We also love Chelsea textiles, which has a beautiful selection of tiny floral embroideries.
- Don’t be scared of using print on print but try playing with scale, e.g. a small floral or embroidery for the inside of a tester will look wonderful with a larger print on the outside.
- Florals don’t have to be busy – if you prefer a more pared back look there are some really lovely gentle prints which can gently lift a more neutral space.
- A room can look a little too corporate and glossy if everything is brand new and you can find wonderful antique textiles online – Suzan Deliss always has a fabulous selection of Suzanis and Robert Kime always has beautiful textiles. There are also great finds to be had on Etsy and at antique markets. I recently upholstered my ottoman in an incredibly intricate antique suzani and it adds such character and warmth to the room, it’s the first thing guests comment on.
There is so much opportunity to be creative with wallpaper and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune – think about just covering a ceiling, using it to back shelving or in a cupboard for a pop of unexpected colour.
- Wallpaper doesn’t just have to be used in main living spaces, secondary spaces such as cloakrooms, entrances and hallways are fantastic places to use wallpaper, they give these spaces personalities and character of their own.
- Yes you can absolutely use wallpaper in a bathroom (obviously avoiding the shower) but as with fabric you will need to ensure good ventilation and think about a glass or perspex backsplash near sinks or baths for longevity.
- If you particularly love a print but find it too expensive you could buy one roll or a drop and have it framed to hang on the wall – like a piece of artwork.
- To match with a paint colour you can either colour match the background or if the paper features lots of colours you can choose a complimentary tone from one of these secondary colours.
Tips on decorating with florals at home
Fabrics & Ceilings
If you’re nervous, start small. We recently fabriced a tiny cloakroom ceiling – it's so unexpected and adds such charm to this secondary small space.
Soft Furnishings &. Upholstery
Don’t be scared of using print on print but try playing with scale
Be creative with wallpaper and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune – think about just covering a ceiling, using it to back shelving or in a cupboard for a pop of unexpected colour
incorporating florals and fauna into your schemes is a wonderful way of inviting the garden into your home
LET'S PLAY FAVOURITES:
Flower - Ranunculus or Anemones
Scent / Fragrance - Diptyque Do Son (a refillable solid perfume)
Travel destinations – Marrakesh and Mexico
Place in England - Cotswolds
Book - SJ Axelby’s Interior Portraits
Wellness ritual - Diet Coke and rose
Colour - Amber
Autumn/Winter essential - Le Hood - recently launched by my talented friend Carolyn Asome
Music - Maverick Sabre
Season - Spring
Restaurant / Meal - Villa Mamas, London
Era or decade - 1920’s
Guaranteed laugh - My colleague, Monique
Lucy Cunningham Interiors is a decorative design studio. Greatly skilled with print, layers of the unexpected set Lucy’s refined English aesthetic apart. The contemporary and the classic are blended seamlessly and skilfully, with longevity rather than passing trends in mind. With a portfolio ranging from charming farmhouses to sprawling country estates, townhouses and commercial spaces, Lucy Cunningham Interiors offers a tailored, flexible service ranging from full project management to lighter touch decorative support.
Go to LucyCunningham.Com and follow @lucycunninghaminteriors