Floral fads may ebb and flow, but the rose’s appeal remains constant, well beyond a Valentine’s Day vaseful.
In home decor, roses have long been a favorite motif, in wallpapers, lace, chintz and soft silk furnishings such as curtains, bedding and carpet. The versatile rose floral can impart old-fashioned cottage-y charm, cosmopolitan elegance, even a certain sexy chic.
English drawing rooms were rife with rose patterns throughout the Victorian era, and the Shabby Chic heyday of the 1990s saw countless rooms decorated with faded country roses.
While the rose is quite at home in traditional spaces, there is an architectural quality to its petaled form that fits well with modern decor, too, and the colors can be extraordinary.
Lindsey Harris of Ann Arbor, Mich., photographs roses against white backgrounds, creating striking, sometimes quirky botanical portraits. In one composition, she turns the flower heads upside down; in another she places a soft plump rose amid spiky dried fern leaves. Harris arranges rows of blowsy blooms in candy hues of cherry, lemon and bubble gum pink, printed on 8-by-10-inch frame-able paper (www.etsy.com/shop/APeacefulLeaf).
Artist Kathleen Finlay’s Agnaryd rose photoprint is available in poster format at Ikea (www.ikea.com).
Decorative garden goods retailer Terrain offers a selection of watercolor prints reproduced by the Los Angeles art house Natural Curiosities of rose patterns created for hankies and pocket squares in the 19th century by French silk manufacturer Brunet-LeCompte (www.shopterrain.com).
A modern triptych of Paulownia wood panels with hand-carved gray and white roses are on offer at www.ChristineBurkeInteriors.com.
Throw pillows lend themselves to floral interpretations; you’ll find feminine rose-petaled pillows in pretty hues and soft materials at www.pier1.com, www.pbteen.com and www.blisslivinghome.com.
Thomas Paul applies his edgy sensibility to an illustrated version at www.allmodern.com.
Traditional-looking, rose-patterned wallpaper isn’t difficult to find, but you might want to check out a unique collection from Target that’s not offered in stores: In taupes, teals, browns and golds, the wallcoverings have a rose print reminiscent of a vintage French negligee, which would be fun in a bedroom or powder room (www.target.com).
At www.wayfair.com, there’s a textural, tonal, rose-print wallcovering evocative of an Old World art print.
And California designer Phyllis Morris’ dramatic Vie en Rose, an overscale photoprint of carmine blooms on a black background, turns a bedroom into a boudoir (www.phyllismorris.com).
Small accessories are an easy way to introduce rose motifs. Café Press has a clever wall clock emblazoned with a purple rose image (www.cafepress.com). At Pier 1, red felt roses lend drama to a picture frame. And finally, Habidecor’s Abyss Rose bath rug is a luxurious way to put the flower underfoot (www.gracioushome.com).