Dark Floral II Black Desaturated
This dramatic, large-scale floral wallpaper is the first sequel to my original ‘Dark Floral’. Just like its predecessor, ‘Dark Floral II Black Desaturated’ is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age.
I painted it in 2014, after my original ‘Dark Floral’ wallpaper design had gone viral on Pinterest and was beginning to appear in blogs and magazines.
My intention for ‘Dark Floral II’ was to paint with increased detail and sharpness. The main flower (a partially fantasized dahlia) has many petals that are sharply delineated in bright highlights and deep shadows, radiating out from the flower’s center.
Alongside the large dahlia, which is roughly 47 cm (18.5”) in diameter, peonies, roses, tulips and hydrangeas are painted in the style of the Old Masters. A single butterfly perches on a sinewy stem. While the style of the painting is realistic, the composition and impossible contrasts in scale are imagined and manipulated for dramatic effect.
The forms of the flowers and foliage are delicate and sinuous. The gestures of unfolding, bending and reaching give the print a sense of movement. Flora and fauna are suspended here above a matte black background.
In ‘Dark Floral II Black Desaturated’, the flowers range in color from white and off-white in the highlight areas, beige in the mid-tones, to subdued green-grays and purple-grays in the shadow areas). The foliage is a subdued gray-green with shadows that fade into the black background.
We’ve seen this design used beautifully in powder rooms with a metal-framed mirror, dining rooms with pretty white built-ins, bedrooms with a brass bed (the Black Saturated version was photographed by William and Susan Brinson of House of Brinson and featured on Design Sponge in Spring 2015), dressing rooms (the Black Desaturated version was used at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Chicago pop-up shop in Spring 2015).
The Black Desaturated version is, color-wise, the most toned-down version in the ‘Dark Floral II’ series. You could pair it with beiges, warm grays, light yellows, pinks, purples and greens for a soft look. You could pull out bright pinks and greens, dark grays and ochres to enhance its earthy richness for a bolder look. Paired with black and white, or a medium to dark gray, it is elegant and sophisticated - a cool classic.
You can’t go wrong with this color palette. It affords you tons of options and provides the perfect backdrop for a vase of fresh flowers in bright colors, or just pure white.