Bonjour, friends! I have just returned from Paris and the annual gathering of the international design world for Paris Fashion Week, Maison & Objet, and Paris Deco Off. A dizzying array of fashion, interior design, and objects of desire were unveiled, setting the tone for the year ahead. It’s an exciting place to be for designers who want to be in the know about the latest colors, trends, and design directions for new products and decor. For me, a visit to Paris and Maison & Objet in January is always a major dose of inspiration. Here, I share my take on the newest trends and highlights from the 2020 show, with a focus on how they influence floral design and décor. I even share some of my bouquets that illustrate top trends—twilight blue, shades of grey, natural materials, and deep green.
L’heure Bleu (Twilight Blue)
According to experts, the color of the year is “classic blue,” a shade of mid-marine blue that was on prominent display throughout Maison & Objet in everything from wall and floor coverings to upholstery, lampshades, and decorative accessories. Paired with ivory and taupe (with gold accents), the look is tailored, modern and chic (see photos above). But when deep blues link up with shades of violet and emerald green, the overall tone changes to become lively and exotic—evoking peacocks, twilight skies, and lush secret gardens.
To capture the floral spirit of l’heure bleu—the magical hour between day and night when the sky turns midnight blue—mix blue hydrangea with purple violets and orchids for a chic complement to bleu interiors and moody hues.
Shades of Grey
Whether deployed in spare, post-industrial interiors or as part of a modern monochromatic design scheme, grey can be trendy, natural, or posh depending upon the mix of colors and tones. When combined with black and gold, gun-metal (slate) grey is the ultimate sophisticate, conjuring timeless, classic décor. Yet grey, especially muted shades of “dove” and “cloud,” exude a quiet, romantic vibe when used with pastel shades in sorbet hues.
At Maison & Objet, grey was a beautiful backdrop for inspiring vignettes with colorful accents in a range of bold, flamboyant tones (e.g., turquoise and plum) as well as softer shades of cream and bubble-gum pink. To complement grey interiors and bring them to life, choose bright flowers that add a pop of color or muted blooms in antique tones. Either way, expect grey to be a mainstay of 2020 design.
Nature is always a popular theme in design and this year was no exception—interiors designed to bring the outdoors in were a major highlight of the Paris show. Furniture and accessories made from bamboo, fibers and woven grasses created striking focal points in neutral-toned rooms, adding both a hand-crafted touch and an eco-friendly point of view.
In this environment, flowers are an essential decorative element, adding color, fragrance, and liveliness to complement nature-inspired design schemes. In the year ahead, look for flowers to move outside the vase to become framed wall art, suspended chandeliers, and even integrated table décor. Use long-lasting greenery, succulents, and grasses in addition to flowers to create inviting displays that blur the lines between interior décor and exterior landscapes. Airy, free-form shapes accentuate the natural feeling.
Elegant, mysterious, and full of character, deep emerald green was one of the major trends on display at Maison Objet, adorning textiles and decorative accessories and enveloping entire rooms. Mixed with leather furniture, plaid fabrics, and gilded details, deep green evokes cozy hunting lodges and libraries, setting a classic mood. As a panoramic backdrop featuring oversized jungle prints and motifs, deep green tones become lush and exotic, lending a fanciful, luxuriant—and very current vibe to interior decoration.
To get this fresh deep green look in flowers, focus on building levels and layers of ferns, fronds, and foliage in moss- or leaf-covered containers, creating compositions in various shades of green. Add a touch of chartreuse to the mix for extra energy and lightness.
Text and Photography by Laura Dowling | Bouquets from Dowling’s upcoming book Bouquets with How-To Tutorials (Stichting Kunstboak, 2020) available March 2