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My Top 3 Secrets for Designing with Floral Fabrics

Everyone who knows me knows that I love florals. It’s my go-to fabric and I can never resist a good one. Whether it’s colorful or tone on tone, I’m in! But what I’ve learned over the years is that merely using a floral on a chair doesn’t necessarily mean that the chair will turn out great—I have to be thoughtful, strategic, and open.

If you want to know a few of the things that guide me as I work with florals, keep reading. Here’s what I’ve come to believe…

#1 The Bigger the Better: The bigger the floral, the better it is going to look on a chair. Why? Big florals make more impact than small ones. It turns the chair into a piece of art.

Here, I wanted that big flower to peek in from the bottom right.

I don’t ever worry about the print being too large. Instead, I focus on how do I make the best of this print in the space that I have. Should it come in from the side? Does it peek in from the bottom? Does it slide down the front seat and go over the edge? I try out all the possibilities to see what looks the best.

It’s all about moving this print around, even slightly, to get it to look its best.

#2 There is an Art to Placement: This is the main reason why I can’t hire anyone to do my work. I’m constantly tweaking the way I place the florals on a chair. It’s all about being in the moment, how my eye reads the floral, and what gets me excited.

Here, I positioned the floral a little higher than center.

I’m willing to try out many different ideas until the right one hits me. Then, I try a few more to make sure I’ve gotten the right look before I move forward.

One focuses on the red, the other highlights the pink.

#3 More is Often Better: To get the most impact from a floral, I don’t shy away from putting the floral all over the front of a chair. It’s like the saying, “Go big or go home.”

Carrie Schmitt’s art is the perfect art for going all in.

It’s a bold choice, yes, but it’s one that often pays off in a huge way. Everyone has their starting point for decorating, and mine is a chair. And more specifically, it’s the fabric on the chair.

There’s so many awesome possibilities with this fabric, I can’t help but get excited.

I allow the chair to dictate the room…it comes easy for me. If you are going to do this, don’t dabble, be brave and go all in.

Fabric by Carrie Schmitt

The bigger the better, there is an art to placement, and more is often better…those are my secrets and the “rules” I abide by when working with florals. But most importantly, I suggest striving to be open. That’s where you’ll be pleasantly surprised as you begin playing with florals of your own.

Wendy Conklin

I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

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