Trend Spotting - the 80's Floral

I haven't done a "trend spotting" post in quite awhile, and this one has been on my mind.  I've been noticing a huge comeback of the 1980's floral patterns for the last year.

I realize this is going to date me, but here goes it.  When I was in college, the Laura Ashley thing was so big.  This reminds me of a dress I wore during that period of time!

Every single dorm room you walked by looked like a Botanical Garden was growing in it.  It was everywhere.  I even had these director's chairs (which were all the rage for your desk chair) slipcovered in a floral.  I even had some hat boxes for additional storage that we wrapped in a floral.  What were we thinking?! 

I know, I know - hard to believe the 80's floral is back.  But to prove my point, one simple search using "Schumacher Floral Fabrics" and look what came up.

 I just posted an image using this fabric as a bedroom pillow on Monday.

Now, before you get worked up, I want to point out the 2012 version has tweaked the floral a bit.  We are now seeing it paired with fabulous geometrics, fretworks and IKATs in all types of textures.  Additionally, the florals are being added to rooms with neutral fabrics on the large upholstered pieces.  So, while it is a "nod" to the 1980's, it is a new take tailored to our decade.  Here are few examples I've seen.

From the amazingly talented Little Green Notebook

The modern flat trim on this pillow paired with the flange, not to mention the solid drapery panels really updates this floral.  This image is from the 2012 Atlanta Decorator's Showhouse.

Hot house flowers as drapery panels - very updated version of an 80's floral (but you do see the recycling of this trend, I'm sure). Notice the pillows she has paired in this space.

If you are not interested in spending a gazillion dollars on drapery panels, a less expensive trick is to mix the floral with other updated patterns in the form of pillows.  Remember, in the 80's the entire room would be bathed in the floral,  These pillows are from one of my favorite Etsy sources for custom high end pillows.  You're welcome :)

Again, small doses, people.

Love this Schumacher pattern and with it's colors, the entire palette of this room was created.  Real goodness here.

So, the next time you see a floral that reminds you of Laura Ashley (or where you were during that decade), you'll know it's a new trend for 2012.   Happy mid-week. M.


  1. Ha! I was a Laura Ashley girl, myself -- yikes! Great post, happy there is balance in the use of fabrics these days. :)
    xo Heidi

  2. I remember Laura Ashley well - I worked there for several years after college. It was a great job - you were surrounded by gorgeous fabrics and prints and we sprayed perfume in the air every hour on the hour. I love that femininity didn't die out...floral prints are so beautiful in the home. (:

  3. I had that same dress in the solid periwinkle (we must be the same age).

  4. I like the 80's florals - in small doses. I like some pretty!

  5. I had pinned a chintz a few weeks ago as a possibility for our cafe curtains in our kitchen and I gave it a big "NO" the other day. I just can't do it, but I do think it can be used tastefully in small doses as you've shown.


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.