Thursday, May 9, 2013

April Showers Bring Forth May Flowers

Today I'm excited to introduce on of my new design contributors, Jessica Mugavero of the blog Color the Burbs. She's put together a beautiful, inspiring post to share with you today. Enjoy!

“I must have flowers, always and always.” – Claude Monet 

My sister and I spent many a spring morning under my Nanna’s covered porch, swaying on her swing while eating raspberries and listening to the birds that would perch in her backyard in Milford, PA. She would listen attentively to our stories of school and friends as she sewed dresses for the Raggedy Ann dolls made by hand for the both of us. The air always smelled sweetly of the many flowers she planted along the path leading up to the porch, and she took such pride in explaining how to care for each variety. Flowers and sewing were how Nanna expressed her love to us; from the floral pillowcases and blankets she made for our home, to an “I love you” stitched over each Raggedy doll’s heart.

Late spring always reminds me so much of her – when we move on from the soggier days of April to the warmer ones of May – as purple blooms abound and lavender gardens thrive (her favorite color and scent). And so, as I stood in my living room yesterday looking at my dated pillowcases and desiring a fresher look, Nanna’s floral prints came first to my mind.

Nanna was a pioneer woman of her time – nothing was ever “masculine” or “feminine” to her, as she thought that most things a man could do, she could do as well. So too was her design aesthetic: gender neutral, modern and fresh. Despite floral prints often times coming across as drab, dated and overly-feminine, her usage of them was refreshing and simple (and before her time!). So much of what I know about flowers in the home, I learned by her example.

Here are a few tips for you to try: Start off muted. Try splashing busy floral printed wallpaper in subdued hues to emphasize the clean lines of an otherwise neutral color scheme. The use of the pattern will actually make the lightness of the linens and trim pop, which creates a soothing feel. Adding a tiny bunch of buds and blooms to a tablecloth or pillowcase can also add color without overwhelming (and makes transitioning to a new look in the future a snap). I enjoy starting with a neutral base with my rooms and dressing them up with different objects and fabrics as my tastes change just as rapidly as the seasons do.
{ One, Two, Three, Four Image Sources } 

Go bold. Alternatively, if you are looking to make a little more of a statement with your room, you can do so with vibrant hues. The key, however, is to focus your color scheme on one dominant color. This is where often folks can be led astray with floral, as too many colors can overwhelm your space and make it appear antiquated. Notice the different use of fabric in each design; the first example captures the wallpaper precisely in the chaise, pillow cases and drapes; the second and fourth use completely different patterns yet match the same color; and the third takes the design on the wallpaper and blurs it on the fabric of the chair for a modern touch.
{ One, Two, Three, Four Image Sources } 

Add whimsy. Perhaps the easiest way of all to incorporate floral d├ęcor in your home is to add touches of buds throughout your china, silverware, rugs, pillows and framed prints. Tiny elements can give off whispers of spring, without dominating the room.

{ One, Two, Three, Four, Five Image Sources }

Add the real thing. I always like to display fresh flowers throughout my home in atypical vases. My mother-in-law came up with the idea to place the flowers for our rehearsal dinner in vessels taken from various stages of our lives (such as a little porcelain jewelry box from my great aunt, or a mug my best friend brought back from a trip she took while we were in college). It adds personality to an otherwise commonplace accent, and their smell brings me sweetly back to those springs of my childhood. 


  1. I LOVE the last image, what a wonderful reading nook, *sigh* one can dream. Super fun blog, following on Bloglovin.

    Ali of

    Dressing Ken

  2. wow so stunning!
    thanks for all the inspiration
    nicky x

  3. beautiful blog:)


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