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Dark Romance: How Florals got a Gothic Makeover

7th June 2021

Interior designers have moved towards a darker side of décor with gothic floral patterns. As they get in touch with their romantic sides, florals have seen a dramatic transformation.

Pretty petals and delicate daises are being pushed aside by large scale blossoms set against dramatic shadowy backgrounds. These are being combined with the recent trend of jewel-like tones. Colours such as midnight blue, emerald green and ruby reds are contrasting with washed out pinks to create powerful bouquets that don’t hold back!

Gothic Home Decor
The Main Dining Room at Pearl's Place, Somerset UK as listed on uniquehomestays.com +44(0)1637881183.

A Brief History of Gothic Floral Patterns

Gothic florals can be found dating back as far as the 17th century during a period known for Dutch Golden Art painting. Cut flowers were entering consumer culture and as their popularity grew amongst the wealthy, painters reacted. Ruysch and Rembrandt responded by producing meticulously formed flower arrangements set against dark, atmospheric backgrounds.

They typically featured a dazzling array of flowers that in real life could never actually bloom together. These fantastical florals were far beyond the reach of any fine green fingered botanist, making them ever more sought after.

Dutch flower paintings was all about showing off; both the artist's skills and the collectors wealth1. Long after the real-life stems had withered away, these paintings remained on the walls of the rich and successful, for all to admire.

We can next see the popularity of Gothic florals during the Victorian era. Britain was at its most powerful and the full effects of the Industrial Revolution were being felt by many. Mass production created affordable products allowing people to indulge in new luxuries that had previously been unavailable to them.

William Morris Wallpaper

William Morris Wallpaper at Stanmore Hall william-morris.com.

Duysch Painting

Rachel Duysch (1664-1750) Flowers Still Life www.ngv.vic.gov.au.

Abundance was key to interior design as rooms were styled to bursting point in rich materials and dark woods. With a passion for contrast and opposing colours, moody florals were again in bloom with the Gothic Revival heavily influcing interior fashions.

Nowadays design houses such as Liberty and House of Hackney are re-sowing the seeds for Gothic florals. They combine old styles with new vibrant colours and quirky florals. These new hybrid designs appeal to all ages and tastes. This trend is once again growing in popularty and we've picked the gothic floral patterns that we think you'll love.

 

Gothic Floral Patterns

You might not think it at first, but dark florals are incredibly versatile. The finished look of a room can be dramatically affected by the pieces you choose to style alongside them.

For a fresh and modern feel, choose large scale, brighter coloured florals with lots of contrast. Offset the darkness with minimal furnishings and create light by pairing it with white or grey. Flood the room with natural light and opt for exposed wooden flooring that will help to reflect light back around the room.

For a classic, Gothic feel choose more traditional flowers in muted tones. Look for designs with a painterly, antiqued effect to give that older, rustic feel. You can opt for a slightly smaller scaled motif or mix and match with patterns and size across both wallpapers and fabrics for an over-elaborate scheme. Heavy set furniture with ornate carved detailing and bold upholstery will add weight to your room and will help to keep things moody alongside low lit table lamps. Finish things off with wrought iron or brass features to generate some Neo-Gothic grandeur.

 

Dark Floral Wallpaper Designs

Gothic floral wallpapers are attention grabbing and will play the lead role in your room's interior. From high resolution printed wall art to softer painterly strokes, they can be hung as a feature wall or adorn all four walls for maximum designer impact...

Dark Floral Fabric Designs

Gothic floral fabrics must be tactile, glamorous and ooze decadence. Choose plush velvets or heavy cottons to create lavish upholstery pieces and weighty curtains. Adding fabric lampshades with excessive trimmings will help to create the perfect romantic atmosphere to show off your Gothic inspired florals...

Complete the Gothic Floral Look...

We've picked out some of our favourite home accessories to complement your Gothic floral interiors. If you think that this is the look for you, but you are not sure where to start, you can contact our design team who can help you to create the perfect floral home...

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How to Use Large Scale Florals

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Choosing Mural Wallpaper for Your Home

Murals open up a whole new realm of possibilities. Transforming walls from being simply a patterned surface into almost anything... the limit is your imagination!

References

References: Victorian Interior Design: National Trust. Dutch Age Golden Painting: Wikipedia. The 10 Most Important Old Masters in Dutch Painting: Culture Trip.