Floral patterns have a perennial appeal in homewares but this season they're the wallflowers of the interiors world. Instead, plants, insects and other natural motifs are taking over our homes, with everything from fabrics and wallpapers to lighting, artwork and ceramics crawling with life.
According to Theo Williams, the head of the design studio at John Lewis, botanical motifs draw on our national obsession with gardening. "It's about rediscovering the pleasures of life's simple things and reconnecting with nature," he says. "There is a nostalgic element and a feeling of nurture to this trend."
The cute graphics that have dominated natural designs in the past few years – endearing foxes and fairytale forests – are on the way out and in their place come naturalistic prints. Realistic bees, butterflies and dragonflies flit across glass- and enamelware; biological drawings of herbs, ferns, fruits and wild leaves climb over bed linen, textiles and wallpapers.
The trend has a casual, quirky charm. To get the look, combine blocks of pale colour with simple modern pieces and add a touch of vintage: a cluster of vintage botanical prints above clean-lined contemporary furniture works well. Or choose wallpapers with a realistic natural design and offset the pattern against minimal wood floors. If you're feeling bold, select a print from Surface View's Royal Horticultural Society collection (surfaceview.co.uk) and cover an entire wall. In the bedroom, a white iron bedstead and botanical-patterned bed linen is a feminine way into the trend.
If you love flowers, you can still buy into this look. Eschew über-feminine or chintzy designs and instead choose patterns that are more reminiscent of botanical art, with a focus on realism and details.