Natural Decor Choices When Plants and Flowers Aren't an Option

Recently, a client hired me to redecorate her family room.  While getting to know her and her design and style preferences, she mentioned to me that live plants were not an option for her home (she fosters many animals) and that she also did not care for fresh floral arrangements. 

Whether it is a concern for our furry friends (or young kids) and the common household plants that are toxic if ingested; a lifestyle that makes plant care difficult; or even a dreaded “brown” thumb, there are many reasons people may choose to forgo houseplants and flowers in their home.  However, for those who would enjoy floral and natural décor elements, the good news is there are a wide variety of decorating options from which to choose.

Do you love flowers, but consider fresh cut flowers a waste of money, or perhaps they wreak havoc on your allergies?  Try these suggestions for great floral design that will never need watering and will never make you sneeze:

Floral Fabrics and Linens: Floral fabrics are a great option, and can be found at every price point.  They range from subtle, tone-on-tone designs to bold, modern designs; and from affordable catalog and department store “ready-made” finds to luxurious, made-to-order options.  Use floral fabric for widow treatments, upholstery for accent and dining chairs, bedding and pillows. 

Fine Art:  Bring the outdoors in with your favorite floral art.  If your design aesthetic is contemporary or transitional, you might enjoy dramatic black-and-white floral prints.  More traditional or cottage design often features landscape or floral paintings and prints. 

Floral Crafts:  If fine art isn’t in your budget, or if you enjoy hand-crafted items, you’re in luck when it comes to floral design.  Home stores are chock full of affordable options, and you also can find one-of-a-kind treasures when you travel or visit craft shows.  Beautiful glass vessels and trays in floral designs make a statement on your coffee table.  Metal flowers and floral designs are fun choices for statement wall art.  Candlesticks, pottery, blown glass and forged iron designs can all be found with interesting floral motifs.

Floral Accents and Accessories:  For those who enjoy just a touch of floral design, consider floral accents and accessories.  A cheerful sunflower or hydrangea rug can warm up your kitchen or front entry.  A hooked wool pillow in a floral design can add just the right “pop” to your favorite chair.  For subtle floral flair, choose white or ivory dinnerware with a floral pattern, and accent with silver-tone serving pieces embossed with floral designs.  Add a floral lampshade to your favorite lamp, or hang a small, dried floral wreath in lieu of fresh flowers.

Perhaps you’re not really a “florals” lover, but you do love nature.  Here are some great options for consideration when decorating your home.

Birds and Bees?  Yes, Please!  Fabrics, fine art, crafts and décor accents are available in an astounding variety of nature motifs.  Love birds, butterflies or bees?  Let this be your jumping-off point for design inspiration, and search for items that complement your specific color palette. 

Wood and Natural Fibers:  Bringing nature inside can be as simple as choosing natural elements for your furnishings and accessories.  Consider hand-crafted wooden tables and accent furnishings or sisal and seagrass area rugs.  Accent with natural fiber baskets, wooden napkin rings or a sisal table runner.

Natural Accessories:  Many natural accents and accessories can be found right outside your door.  In the fall, use pinecones and bare twigs for seasonal décor.  In the summer, fresh fruit and produce placed in bowls is colorful and healthy, too!  Other natural elements that make a statement-- especially when placed in glass vessels--include river pebbles and other colorful stones, peacock and pheasant feathers and seaglass. 

There are no shortage of décor and design options for floral and nature lovers who don’t want the hassle of caring for houseplants.  Choose your favorites, and enjoy a little (or a lot) of natural inspiration in your home.