making florals modern

Floral patterns are hotter than hot … and I couldn’t be happier!  I love to use a gorgeous multi-colored floral fabric as my “jumping off” point for a home’s color scheme.  Of course, I vary the shades and intensities of the colors throughout the house, but there’s a certain cohesion to the color scheme that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Traci Zeller for Laura Ashley and Domino Desk VignetteWhat scares people about floral patterns, however, are the memories.  The overdone rooms circa 1980 or so??  Egads!  Nothing could be further from what my clients — or I — want now.  And this is coming from a girl who hung wallpaper border in my college dorm and rocked a romper.  Remember my guest bedroom makeover with Domino?  I used Laura Ashley — such a wonderful heritage brand — and there’s absolutely nothing eighties about the room.  Instead, it’s classic and current.

Laura Ashley Summer Palace Linen WallpaperSo how do you make floral patterns modern?  It’s so much easier than you think … and you don’t even have to embrace the “granny chic” look that has also resurfaced.  If the color palette and scale of the pattern are modern, that’s half the battle!   I prefer large scale patterns — 1.5 to 2 times their actual size, or even bigger — and color combinations that aren’t overly sweet.  Worried your decor will be too girly?  Look for botanical patterns with more leaves and stems than actual flowers.  I’m also crazy for the painterly patterns that are now possible, thanks to the wonders of digital printing!

Laura Ashley Blue FabricRemember, too, that a certain tension between masculine and feminine elements makes for an especially interesting room.  J’adore the contrast of menswear patterns with florals.  Long live stripes (and plaids)!

Traci Zeller on Charlotte Today Floral Patterns SegmentInterested in more?  I shared my secrets — and gorgeous examples — on the Charlotte Today show!  You’ll see the new Laura Ashley collection I’m crazy about now, a Designers Guild fabric that looks like a painting, and much more.  I may have even convinced Colleen and Eugene that florals are fabulous; what do you think?

Top photo by Dustin Peck Photography for Traci Zeller Designs.  Product photos via Laura Ashley.  Bottom photo via WCNC.


tzd press: traditional home magazine

Traci Zeller Lavender Navy Gingham FoyerIt never, ever gets old seeing one of our TZD projects in print — and especially when the magazine is as amazing as Traditional Home!  I am beyond thrilled to have had the opportunity to design a foyer that (hopefully) set the tone for an absolutely incredible showhouse, held in April at the Terry Estate in High Point, North Carolina.  I am so grateful to Ann Maine, the inspiring editor-in-chief of Traditional Home, and the dedicated Junior League of High Point volunteers, without whom the showhouse would not have taken place.  Merci, Ann, Mary Powell and Elizabeth!

Traci Zeller Lavender Grasscloth Navy Gingham Floor FoyerThis teensy-tiny foyer — and by teensy-tiny, I mean less than 50 square feet — packed a punch, thanks to the dynamite navy gingham floor by Mirth Studio.  Are you familiar with Mirth Studio?  Their colorful wood floor tiles are spectacular!  I used a temporary installation method in the showhouse, but I am dying to include their tiles in a permanent project.   Mirth Studio is a finalist in the 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, and I so believe they should win.  Will you do me a favor and vote for Mirth?  You can vote every day, up to six times!  And isn’t that Modern History commode gorgeous?  The burlwood finish is soooooo pretty.  How lucky am I that I was able to squeeze it into one end of the foyer with only a few inches to spare!!

Traci Zeller Lavender Grasscloth Foyer Navy BenchThe other showstopper in our foyer was the divine Ballard Designs Double X-Bench, upholstered in Aerin Lauder for Lee Jofa’s Shoridge in Lapis.  The Ballard bench is one of my favorites, thanks both to its size and reasonable price point.  Of course, the Lee Jofa cut velvet is super luxe!  Do you spy my Traci Zeller for Design Accents linen with velvet appliqué pillows?  I’m also a huge fan of Jane Booth’s artwork, and this gorgeous piece pulled my color palette together.

Traci Zeller Mirror Chinoiserie Vignette Lavender GrassclothThe Vivian Small Chandelier from Circa Lighting is breathtaking.  I’m so glad the chandelier reflected so beautifully in the Greek key mirror by Mirror Image Home.  That way, visitors were sure to spot both the chandelier and the soft silver metallic ceiling!   The lavender grasscloth is from Phillip Jeffries’ new Pastel Hemp collection, and the blue and white chinoiserie jars — mistaken by more than one person to be antiques — are from Wisteria.

Showhouse Foyer Before 2Oh, and do you remember how the foyer looked before we started?  You can’t tell from the photos that the walls had some type of texture from wallpaper that had been repeatedly painted over.  Sigh.  And people wonder why wallpaper had a bad name for so long?!  

Showhouse Foyer BeforeOf course, I did get lucky with these leaded glass windows!!  If you haven’t picked up the October issue of Traditional Home magazine, you absolutely should … because every single space in the Junior League of High Point / Traditional Home showhouse was fantastic.  From top to bottom, not a single detail was overlooked.  You’ll especially want to drool over the kitchen and breakfast area designed by Lisa Mende, whom I’m lucky enough to call my studio partner!

All photos by Dustin Peck Photography for Traci Zeller Designs. 

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