Floral Wallpaper: The Guide
Floral wallpaper models with flower and blossom patterns are incredibly versatile tools for creating a fabulous atmosphere. Depending on the specific model, wallpapers with flowers can be romantic, playful, enchanting, or natural, to name but a few examples. Floral wallpaper is suitable for just about any room in private homes, but it also provides a charming ambience in hotels, catering establishments like restaurants and cafés, shops, and public facilities. Furthermore, flowers carry symbolic meaning, so the specific choice of floral motif can convey a distinct message.
Table of Contents
- Which types of flowers are popular motifs for floral wallpaper?
- What are the sub-categories of floral wallpaper patterns?
- Which interior designs and wallpaper styles are suitable for floral patterns?
- Which are the most common colours of flower wallpaper?
- Which are the most common pattern elements often combined with floral designs?
- Which rooms are particularly suitable for floral wallpaper patterns?
- Why has floral wallpaper for centuries been such a popular choice for romantic wall décor?
- Which famous artists and old masters have painted and designed flower motifs?
- Our tips: Flourishing design ideas with floral wallpaper types
The number of flower species - and thus, of patterns for floral wallpapers - is simply huge. Right at the top of the list of favourites are roses, lilies, daisies, and sunflowers; all of them carry their own symbolism.
The original home of the graceful magnolia is East Asia, but the beautiful bushes grow in North America and parts of Europe, too. In the spring, its magnificent flowers burst into a breathtaking riot of colours. Magnolias are amongst the world's oldest flowering plants, and many of today's deciduous trees, shrubs and grasses owe their existence to them. Magnolia stand for regal feminine elegance, they have a paradisical, harmonious fairy-tale effect - which extends to wallpaper motifs, too.
It is known as the queen of flowers and in its pure red incarnation represents glowing passion and profound love. White roses stand for innocence, whilst the pink variation symbolises youth and grace. Yellow roses are the epitome of true friendship. With its delightful scent and voluminous blossoms, the peonie is a harbinger of springtime; in Chinese culture, it is considered to be a symbol of wealth and happiness. Roses are a popular theme in English flower wallpaper models and add a majestic character to wall décor designs.
In Victorian times, lilies were considered secret messengers of love. In the language of flowers, they stand for femininity, purity, unity and love. Its sweet scent has an irresistible allure. In terms of floral wallpaper, lilies are often stylised or abstract. They also frequently feature in style wallpapers inspired by the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Art Nouveau, or Baroque. Lilies represent freedom and eternal elegance.
In the olden days, the cornflower was considered to be a field weed, despite its bright blue flowers. As a result, large-scale attempts were made to eradicate it and it nearly became extinct. Cornflowers are the inspiration of one of the central symbols of romanticism, the so-called "Blue Flower". It represents romantic motifs like love, nature, longing, myths, and mysteries. These associations - and the rarity of the cornflower - make it a very popular wallpaper pattern, for example in enchanting country house designs and unusual romantic styles.
For some people, it's simply an annoying weed, for others a medicinal plant with astonishing curative effects. In context with wallpaper design, the dandelion with its bright yellow flowers stands for unspoilt nature. This composite plant can be found anywhere: in fields and forests, at lake shores, and even by the roadside. And once the yellow flower is no more, children are especially fond of the blowballs. The dandelion stands for the force and energy of life and is associate with the departure of the soul.
The daisy as a oracle of love - who hasn't pulled out all the petals and said: "S/he loves me, s/he loves me not." It evokes childhood memories of flowering summer meadows. Daisies symbolise pure happiness and a sense of natural harmony and of feeling grounded. In terms of wallpaper design, daisies reflect the sentiment of living in harmony with nature and focussing on the basics. They also show that beauty lies in simplicity.
Orchids are known to require a lot of love and even more care and attention to thrive. Gifted by nature with a gorgeous blossom, this flower is the epitome of beauty. It is a frequent motif of Asian floral designs with an oriental character. Orchids come in a large variety of colours, but regardless of their hue, the effect is always sophisticated and unique. This is also reflected in floral wallpaper patterns with luxurious orchids.
The name speaks for itself: Bright yellow and often incredibly tall, the sunflower is a harbinger of summer. It is literally growing towards the sun. The sunflower symbolises unbridled joy, positive vibes, warmth, openness and creativity. So it comes as no surprise that it is also one of the preferred flower motifs of masters like van Gogh or Renoir. Choosing a wallpaper with sunflowers means setting the scene for a creative and happy ambience.
There's nothing quite as breathtaking as cherry trees in full bloom. It's simply the most beautiful and romantic of sights. In Japan and many European countries, the cherry blossom time is celebrated with huge festivals and parades. It stands for the awakening of nature, a new phase of life, for renewal and flourishing. It represents expectation, hope, and new beginnings. In wallpaper design, the cherry blossom boasts a truly artistic quality.
The scale of the pattern and the choice of light or dark colours are important distinguishing criteria for floral wallpaper models as these characteristics determine the application options as well as the effect of the wall décor. In addition, there is a general subdivision into English and French floral design.
Light base and pattern colours are perfect for smaller rooms with little or no daylight. They open up the room and make it look more spacious. For lighter-coloured floral wallpapers, the design is often cheerful, sometimes simple; the latter can emphasise the romantic character of the wallpaper.
Darker wallpapers intensify the sophisticated, seductive and mysterious aspect which flowers can embody. A darker base colour will make colourful or light patterns pop, adds contrast and focusses the eye. In darker shades, floral designs inspired by the old masters or based on an antique style are provided with dynamic tension. For instance, wallpapers inspired by Baroque, Art Nouveau or Art Deco all benefit from darker colours. Natural or artificial light create a sensual effect.
The effect of small patterns is more subtle, but never boring. Au contraire, they have a pleasantly diverting impact and provide movement in the room. The term "millefleurs" describes a pattern consisting of thousands of small flowers and is a popular interior design theme far beyond boarders of France. This smallest of floral patterns is also an homage to delicate romanticism.
"Standing out" is the main aim of the large-scale floral patterns and motifs we know so well from vintage wallpapers in the style of the 1970s. Any type of flower or blossom has much more impact in a large-scale depiction. Large patterns are best suited to light-flooded, spacious rooms.
English floral design
The term "English Florals" describes smaller flower and blossom patterns, usually on a white or pastel background. Obviously, the English rose features prominently, as do violets, poppies, honeysuckle, and jasmine. This design is very much influenced by the Victorian era.
French floral design
The "Millefleurs" (a thousand flowers) style is the hallmark of French floral wallpaper design. This includes meadow flowers, herbs and wild flowers, as the French floral style is often inspired by rural regions. Lavender is another popular pattern motif for wallpapers in the French style. In Paris, the city of love, plump roses are the perfect choice for a lady's boudoir.
Floral patterns are an important element of the decorative designs of style epochs like Baroque, Art Nouveau or Art Deco, but Vintage looks also benefit greatly from "flower power". Another obvious candidate for floral patterns is the Country House look.
During the Baroque and Rococo eras, real flowers in gardens were an actual rarity. As a result, they were often produced artificially, for instance in the shape of stucco, porcelain or murals. Floral ornaments are typical patterns for Baroque fabrics and wallpapers. This includes flower heads, leaves, and tendrils which are combined with other elements (e.g. cords) to create an ornaments which are symmetrically repeated within the wallpaper pattern. Colours, lustrous effects, and special surface structures all add to the individuality of Baroque-style wallpapers.
Art nouveau is characterised by delicately drawn motif elements with great detail. Tendrils, individual blossoms, birds, or people - anything can be combined in this art form. Detailed floral ornaments and endless tendrils are chosen as style elements in order to present nature in a new artistic way.
One of the main characteristics of Art Deco is a new take on geometry within a luxurious and sophisticated context. Floral elements are a natural part of this concept and feature in various geometric shapes. Often, it's a deliberate combination of both aspects, and elegant colours and structures emphasise this extravagant style.
Everybody is familiar with the stylised flowers so typical for the 1960s and 1970s. Large-scale and in garish colours, they grew along the walls and provided many homes with the much loved flower power of the era. These floral patterns characterise many retro wallpapers, either in their original form or in new versions based on the typical vintage style. These floral wallpapers exude fun and happiness in themed rooms, too, be it private, public or commercial. They set new creative standards in modern interior design concepts.
Floral patterns and the Country House style - those two go hand in hand. Depending on the specific region, different country-specific flowers tend to feature. The patterns are usually on the smaller side and the types of flowers can differ widely, just like the Country House style itself. What all have in common is a good dose of romanticism as well as a natural authenticity. Many floral Country House wallpapers are inspired by watercolours as it has long been tradition in the countryside to record the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the splendour of its flora and fauna in beautiful paintings.
Nostalgic flower patterns characterise the romantic side of Shabby Chic. Roses are top of the list, followed closely by tulips, lilies of the valley, daffodils, and cornflowers. The depictions often seem to be taken straight out of an old-fashioned autograph book. They trigger positive emotions and a feeling of comfort and well-being. Light colours are ideal for floral wallpapers of that kind. They are a great option for feature walls, too.
Modern can mean abstract - but not necessarily. Modern floral wallpaper design tends to be like a mirror of the current zeitgeist. Trendy colours and graphics, e.g. abstract, water-colour-style, or stylised, characterise modern flower wallpaper models. The choice of flowers is also dependent on current trends.
Bright colours always make floral wallpapers appear more cheerful and zesty. Some of the most popular colours are red, pink, blue, green, yellow, and black.
Pink is the colour of being in love, of infatuation, and as such it carries a sense of pure romanticism. The sweetest of colours, it exudes serenity and inner peace and has a positive impact on the ambience. In nature, pink is a common colour as proven by a multitude if pink flowers and animals. Dusky pink is another popular shade for floral wallpaper models.
Signal or cherry red stands for passion, fire, and love. Red roses are amongst the most beautiful floral love tokens. Shades of red like claret or vermilion are strong colours which demand attention. Floral wallpaper with a focus on the colour red can have a majestic and extravagant effect.
Blue - the colour of water and the sky - has a calming, balancing and harmonising effect. In terms of floral wallpapers, blue models can be elegant and cool, or regal, depending on the exact shade of the colour. Some hues, for instance dark blue, carry a certain mysticism and mystery.
Green is the colour of hope, of curiosity and creativity. Green floral wallpaper models also reflect nature as a whole and in the form of flowers and plants. This is why green floral wallpaper is so very popular. It is at once balancing and energising.
Nature provides us with a plethora of yellow flowers, for instance sunflowers, anemones, daffodils, camomile, buttercups, and dandelions. This happy colour represents sunshine and warmth. Floral wallpaper in yellow is stimulating and creates a positive mood, making it the perfect choice for convivial, social spaces.
Black floral wallpaper tends to exude a mysterious, intense charisma and is suitable for both historical as well as modern styles. Flower wallpaper models in black and white have a futuristic, purist, avant-garde effect and challenge the eye in a positive manner.
Multi-coloured floral wallpapers come in a multitude of colour combinations. They all have one thing in common: They offer a veritable pot-pourri of attractive colours, either matching or contrasting. This provides a fascinating dynamic tension and adds interest to any ambience. The colours can be muted and delicate, or bright and cheerful.
In order to complete the romantic effect of floral designs, other motif elements like birds or butterfly are often added. This results in beautiful pictures which allow us to indulge in our own thoughts and to daydream.
Flowers and birds
Cute songbirds, brightly coloured canaries, or tropical parrots and flamingos - floral wallpapers can be home to a whole multitude of bird species. The featured type of bird has a distinct impact on the mood and ambience created by the wallpaper.
Flowers and butterflies
Butterflies are a symbol of change and harbingers of summer. In terms of floral wallpapers, brightly coloured butterflies often join birds. In addition, these silent beauties with their unique and fascinating wing markings add a certain delicateness to floral wallpaper. Furthermore, they represent freedom and nature in the most enchanting manner.
Floral wallpaper can beautify any room of your home. From nursery to kitchen, from living room to bedroom, from bathroom to hallway - there is a plethora of suitable pattern designs based on flowers and plants.
Nurseries and children's rooms
As delicate and soft as a new-born baby - floral motifs give nurseries a friendly and homely feel. For the new arrival, floral designs in pastel colours are a good choice, as they have a calming effect. In children's rooms, soft and playful flower designs are popular. They often come with other elements, like birds or fairytale creatures.
Various different floral pattern motifs can be used in the kitchen. For country house kitchens, for instance, Millefleur designs or a colourful mix of wild flowers are a great choice. Stylised flowers set the scene for a kitchen in the popular Scandinavian look. At the moment, kitchen walls with striking Art Deco flowers are very much on trend.
Opulent rose patterns are amongst the most popular wallpaper designs in bedrooms. They can create a true boudoir ambience or a classy atmosphere reminiscent of the court of the French Sun King. A black background gives flowers a deep and mystical aura which exudes luxury and elegance. In addition, meadow flowers are a great way of filling a room with natural freshness.
In hallways and stairways, floral wallpapers are a fabulous addition. The most important criteria to consider are size and layout of the areas as well as the light situation. For spacious areas, darker and more large-scale floral patterns are an option. For narrower and darker hallways, lighter and smaller patterns are more suitable. Individual styles and/or personal preferences determine the final choices.
The living room isn't a purely personal space as it is also used for entertaining. As a result, the options for floral wallpaper can be a bit more daring, luxurious and extravagant. Be it a flower-power vintage wallpaper, a stunning Art Deco wallpaper, or a purist and modern flower theme, they are all great options. It's all about the impact.
Wellness and beauty - there is no better way to establish the connection to these themes with bathrooms than floral wallpapers. Lavish roses are very popular, as are delicate daisies, cornflowers, tulips, or tropical flowers. Flower wallpaper models with washable vinyl surfaces are especially suitable for bathrooms.
Floral wallpapers are large-scale pieces of art for walls and introduce flourishing gardens into the home. Even one romantic feature wall will have a stunning impact.
Art for walls
Flowers have long been one of the favourite motifs for Old (and new) Masters. They eternalise them in enchanting still lives or develop their own interpretations. Floral wallpaper is large-scale art for walls which can trigger positive emotions but also provide a sense of calm and serenity. And last but by no means least, floral wall décor is much more affordable than original art pieces.
Bringing the garden into the home
Having fresh flowers in the house has not always been common practice during all time and style epochs. Even the own garden - if indeed available - would often not feature decorative flowers. Instead, flowers were introduced into the home in the shape of paintings, drawings and murals. Today, floral wallpaper serves the same purpose: it brings the most beautiful gardens to one's own four walls.
Romantic feature wall
With flower designs, a single feature wall can be sufficient to have a comprehensive and memorable impact. They blend in without being too overwhelming. Depending on the pattern motif, the romantic scenes that are created provide an escape from the day-to-day existence and please the eye.
Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Klimt - Old Masters and important artists of their time loved floral motifs and enthusiastically applied them to the canvas in their very own style. Today, modern styles are provided by the likes of Pip Studio.
Vincent van Gogh
The Dutchman whose stunning works only acquired world-wide recognition posthumously enjoyed a lifelong love for nature fed by life in the small town where he was born. He painted many bucolic scenes, often featuring almond trees and flowers typical for the region, in the Post-Impressionist style. During each of the tumultuous phases of his life, his close connection with nature was the one constant. His gorgeous paintings continue to be a source of inspiration for floral wallpaper designs.
Renoir is one of the most important French Impressionist painters and his works include a large number of still lives with gorgeous flower bouquets. But he also painted flowers in their natural setting or beautiful gardens. His works are characterised by an irresistible natural feel and the rich colouring of his motifs which delight the eye.
French painter Claude Monet is one of the most famous representatives of Impressionist Art - for many, he is no less than the epitome of this genre. His paintings are often focussed on floral motifs, but at the very least they are part of the scenery. From bright red poppies to dahlia, water lilies and blue irises in his own garden, there is a plethora of stunning flowers to be found in his works.
Klimt is probably the most popular and well-known of the representatives of Viennese Art Nouveau and flowers are frequently part of the narrative of his paintings or of the artistic expression. They blend into the depiction of people or are the main focus of the painting. With bright colours and golden touches, Klimt's works exude energy and power whilst delighting with their opulence.
Design manufactory Pip Studio was founded by Dutchwoman Anke van der Endt in 2007. Pip is the alter ego of the very talented designer whose ideas have delighted an increasingly numerous clientèle. She has a distinct penchant for flowers which feature in many of her mix-and-match collections, providing them with a certain je ne sais quoi. Amongst many other gorgeous products, her floral wallpaper models are cheerful and brightly coloured highlights.
- Floral picture wall with wallpaper motifs: Floral wallpaper is a fabulous style tool to create a striking picture wall. With various flower designs in picture frames of different shapes and sizes, a simple wall can be turned into a creative highlight.
- Flower Art in studies and offices: A wallpaper model with a stunning Art Nouveau flower pattern in strong colours is perfect for an eye-catching feature wall. Designer furniture in suede or leather should match one of the wallpaper colours.
- Stairway design with floral wallpaper: The step risers of a staircase can be decorated with floral wallpaper in the most stylish manner. This adds a flowery freshness and adds interest to every step.
- Millefleurs wallpaper in bathrooms featuring white marble: A pastel coloured Millefleurs wallpaper will help you create a luxurious French-style ambience. We recommend using a sophisticated marble wallpaper for the bottom third of the wall to emphasise the visual differences.