Floral designs are perennially popular in interiors but this year they've really been blooming, with Asda reporting this week that sales of its floral-patterned homewares increased by 150 per cent in the last weeks of July.
In part it's an ongoing reflection of interiors following catwalk trends. Floral patterns have been big in fashion this summer and look set to continue to dominate into autumn and winter. Valentino, Kenzo, Miu Miu and Jonathan Saunders were among those showing bold floral designs for autumn/winter 2012.
This season's floral look is darker and more moody, channelling the gothic vibe that's also set to be a big trend in the coming months. At home, that means choosing patterns that are strong, abstract and painterly. Forsake delicate prints and opt instead for big, bold images. Look for colours that go beyond pale pastels into darker shades such as violet, berry, inky blue and grey.
"Floral prints are muted and sophisticated this year," says Asda senior textile designer Concetta Gallo. "Designs are leaning towards botanical florals with details such as birds and fauna or sketchy, etched flowers that look hand-drawn."
Textiles – be it rugs, curtains, cushions or bed linen – are a simple way to bring florals into the home but you can also find interesting designs on wallpaper, crockery, and lighting. Choose contrasting floral cushions with different scale flowers and varied textures for an eclectic look. On larger items such as lampshades, bold graphic florals work well. Botanical and scientific drawings are also a good way to add a slightly moodier floral vibe to any room.
1. Finest fabrics
This season, aim for darker, more soulful shades, like these Giverny and Lisanne fabrics from Harlequin. £44/metre, harlequin.uk.com
2. Ace of lace
These lace table linens with have a subtle pattern and soft hues of grey and rose that will work especially well with vintage tableware. £108, rascc.net
3. Blue heaven
We like the abstract and painterly effects of this Janice Tchalenko tableware. From £4.50, johnlewis.com
4. Stand up and be counted
This Porcelain Garden range by Sanderson combines flora and fauna to give the designs a more botanical feel. We like this cake stand. £38, portmeirion.co.uk
5. Light work
Channel a slightly darker vibe with this plum floral candle from £4, asda.com
6. Bright sparks
Bold painterly floral designs in deep colours are right on trend. Bluebellgray cushion, £80, johnlewis.com
7. Leaves on the line
This print of a 1935 underground poster, Kew Gardens by Kraber, is bright, prickly and perfect for this season. £9.95, ltmuseumshop.co.uk
8. Petal perfection
These botanical-style prints from the Natural History Museum have a touch of Gothic, making them a great choice for this season. £15, nhm.ac.uk
9. Dark materials
The dark background to this Nina Campbell penrose floral print cushion means it feel anything but twee and girlie. £70, johnlewis.com