Wall Flowers

And not a demure damsel in the bunch! We’ve gathered our pick of floral wallpapers, so fresh and artistic, they’re positively frame-worthy
A bold floral wallpaper on a dark background featuring many varieties of flowers illustrated in the Dutch Masters style
Fullerton  by Osborne & Little, osborneandlittle.com

A flower-inspired playlist gave rise to eight collages featuring our favorite floral wallpaper patterns. Plus find wallpaper insights from some of our go-to interior designers and a brief history of this decorative element.

headshot of interior designer and Flower magazine contributing editor Elaine Griffin“I love bright, almost-geometric modern florals for children’s spaces and kitchens; darker and more classically inspired motifs for gentlemen’s rooms; and eye-catching, big patterns for contemporary spaces.” — Designer Elaine Griffin

“La Vie en Rose” – Edith Piaf

5 patterns of floral wallpapers featuring large blooms and predominantly bright pink and green colorways with white, gray and black backgrounds
Floral wallpaper patterns, clockwise from top left: Portier  in Clover by Designers Guild, designersguild.comArbre De Vie  by Clarence House, clarencehouse.comJanta Bazaar  in Flax by Thibaut, thibautdesign.comCaitlin in Citrus  by Kravet, kravet.comAllium  by Cole & Son, cole-and-son.com

“Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” – Doris Day

7 patterns of floral wallpapers with neutral colorsways
Left to right: Rhodedendrum Script  and Watercolor Roses  by York Wallcoverings, yorkwallcoverings.comAnaar Tree  and Grandiflora  by Sanderson through Sanderson Design Group, sandersondesigngroup.comDogwood  in Celadon by Annie Selke, annieselke.comBelhaven  by Thibaut, thibautdesign.comMarguerite  by Osborne & Little, osborneandlittle.com

portraits of interior designers Courtney Coleman & Bill Brockschmidt of Brockschmidt & Coleman

“We use all wallpaper regularly! It’s one of our favorite ways to add drama, color, and scale to a room.” — Courtney Coleman & Bill Brockschmidt of Brockschmidt & Coleman

“Build Me Up Buttercup” – The Foundations

six patterns of floral wallpapers in colorways of soft yellow, pale blue, and silver with touches of purple
Clockwise from top left: Spotted Orchid  by Anna French through Thibaut, thibautdesign.comDelft Flower  by Designers Guild, designersguild.comLeaf Trellis  by Colefax and Fowler through Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.comRhodora  by Osborne & Little, osborneandlittle.comBouquet  by Anna French through Thibaut • Cowparsley  by Sanderson through Sanderson Design Group, sandersondesigngroup.com

“Blue Gardenia” – Dinah Washington

six patterns of floral wallpapers with vibrant purple and blue colorways
Clockwise from top left: Tuileries  by Anna French through Thibaut, thibautdesign.comRoseto  in Celadon by Designers Guild, designersguild.comFlora & Fauna  in Gray by Scalamandré, scalamandre.comW3353-1011 by Kravet, kravet.comThistle  by Cole & Son, cole-and-son.comLilacs  by Sanderson through Sanderson Design Group, sandersondesigngroup.comLisa  in Light Blue by Scalamandré

headshot of interior designer and Flower magazine contributing editor “I might use wallpaper to create architecture with a trellis and floral motif, elongate the visual aesthetic with a climbing vine, or give me an all-over-but-the-shouting background on which to build layers.” — Designer James Farmer

“Flowers on the Wall” – Statler Brothers

floral wallpapers in bright colors, with green being the common thread in all
Left to right: Honshu  by Thibaut, thibautdesign.comExotic Butterfly  in Spring by Schumacher, fschumacher.comSurimono  in Moss by Designers Guild, designersguild.comSole  by Clarence House, clarencehouse.comEspalier  in Prairie by Pierre Frey, pierrefrey.comSunlit Palm  in Green by Schumacher • Isabelle Garden  in Chartreuse by Kravet, kravet.com

“Let It Grow” – Eric Clapton

floral wallpapers with flowers illustrated in modern, graphic, or abstract styles, with muted reds and pinks being the common thread in all
Clockwise from top left: Marianne  in Fuchsia by Designers Guild, designersguild.comTogei  in Rouge by Pierre Frey, pierrefrey.comSpontaneity  by York Wallcoverings, yorkwallcoverings.comValldemossa  by Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little, osborneandlittle.comBlossom  in Multi by Annie Selke, annieselke.com

“Wildflowers” – Tom Petty

floral wallpapers with bold graphic prints, with green being the common thread in all
Clockwise from top left: Rene  in Green and Beige from the Paramount collection by Thibaut, thibautdesign.comLotte  in Black (far right) by Scalamandré, scalamandre.comFrutto Proibito  in Seafoam and Lemon by Lee Jofa through Kravet, kravet.comBlommen  in Leaf by Schumacher, fschumacher.comPiper Multicolor Floral  by A-Street Prints, astreetprints.com

headshot for interior designer Designer Matthew Patrick Smyth

“Gloria Vanderbilt’s romantic bedroom with a classic Rose Cumming wallpaper is as fresh and beautiful today as it was in the early ’80s.” — Designer Matthew Patrick Smyth

“Garden Party” – Ricky Nelson

Clockwise from top left: Bowood  by Colefax and Fowler through Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.comDefosse Trellis  by Scalamandre, scalamandre.comOrla Pink Floral  by A-Street Prints, astreetprints.comAngel Ferns  by Sanderson through Sanderson Design Group, sandersondesigngroup.comWisteria  by Cole & Son, cole-and-son.comOmbre  in Pink by Pierre Frey, pierrefrey.com

Wallpaper Through the Centuries

Dating back to 105 B.C. wallpaper has roots in China and made its way over to Europe in the 15th century. It gained popularity in the 16th century, when it was used primarily in small spaces. Later improvements in technology made it less costly, and by the 19th century, it could be found in every type of room, in grand and modest homes alike.

Floral wallpaper patterns flourished in the rococo and Victorian eras of the 18th and 19th centuries. Its popularity waned somewhat during the 1960s and ’70s, when geometric, abstract prints were the rage (except for florals with a Pop Art reference). In 1980s excess, realistic florals, from Chinois patterns to blowsy bouquets, were used liberally, nowhere to greater effect than the English country house look, with its floral bedding, drapery, and wallcoverings. In more recent years, the trend toward neutral interiors eschewed floral papers in favor of textured papers such as grass cloth.

Thankfully (for us at Flower), maximalism is thriving again with exuberant pattern mixing and unexpected palettes. Old patterns plucked from the archives look new in fresh colorways and scales. Wallpaper continues to help us create new realities inside our homes—to transform, hide defects, add excitement, and, in the case of florals, bring the garden inside year-round.

Produced and styled by Amanda Smith Fowler | Photography by David Hillegas

This story appears in Flower magazine’s Jan/Feb 2021 issue. Subscribe to the magazine or sign up for our free e-newsletter.

Flower magazine cover for January Febrary 2021