Flowers by Brett Matthew John
Flowers infuse life into the home in the most authentic and tangible way, creating invigorating moments of fragrance and color to help awaken your mind and lift your mood, and cultivating a sense of seasonal change.
For high-end floral designer Brett Coles of the firm Flowers by Brett Matthew John, the perpetual renewal of flowers—and their capacity to elevate and energize every room—is deeply rewarding. “Each and every week at the flower markets is different,” he says. “Going there and watching the bounty of blooms that are provided to us by our beautiful growers is the most exciting thing.”
Adding flowers to a space is an elegant way to redecorate and refresh without having to swap a single piece of furniture. Here’s Coles’ advice on the types of arrangements to feature, and where to feature them.
Put the Living in Living Room
Every home has a living room—a common space where the primary purpose is to bring people together to enjoy each other’s company. Like flowers, the living room is defined by its sense of vitality and versatility, which is why it’s the perfect place to showcase a floral display.
In a chic, modern mansion like this one near Cape Town, the living room is open-ended and multifunctional, featuring everything from elegant seating around a full-size fireplace, to floor-to-ceiling windows with reading alcoves, to convenient pool and patio access. For such a grand scale, Coles recommends a large floral arrangement that makes a statement. “I love the simplicity of an en-masse arrangement and the elegance it exudes,” he says. “Anything seasonal and scented is a must!”
Brighten Up the Bedrooms
A bouquet enhances the accents that already exist in the bedroom, while providing something extra. Maybe it’s a statement about your style or personality, or an ambience that generates a certain feeling, whether it’s calm, or comfort, or fun. “Flowers are a great way to set a tone and vibe,” says Coles. “Blooms add so much life—and scent—to a room when they’re included in the design.”
For example, in this hidden gem of a residence tucked away in Mexico City’s historic Centro District, the main suite is augmented by the earth tones of traditional tile, with patio doors leading to a scenic terrace. When paired with the vibrant decor, flowers are an inspired way to connect the home’s interiors and exteriors. This also applies to the other bedrooms in the home, where colonial architecture and airy, neutral spaces are complemented by spectacular natural views.
Dazzle in the Dining Room
Like the living room, the dining room is all about cultivating a feeling of togetherness. Flowers heighten this feeling by adding a dash of festivity: when the space is decorated with sumptuous bouquets, every day is like a special event. “Flowers are such an important part of any celebration and an amazing mood-setter,” says Coles. “Using bright tones is a fantastic way to create a joyful environment.”
Often located on the first floor, a well-placed dining room can create a sense of continuity with the home’s surroundings, and a well-designed dining room can play host to both formal and informal occasions. That’s certainly the case with this luxurious rural villa in Flinders, where vineyards, wetlands, and eucalyptus forests enfold the central entertaining area. Placing colorful blooms throughout adds vibrancy to the relative austerity of this modern farmhouse aesthetic. As Coles observes, “I’m noticing that people are really gravitating away from neutrals and towards color.”
Turn the Bathroom Into a Spa
Bathrooms should be more than mere spaces to wash up. They should be an oasis to unwind, retreat, and relax—and when you’re surrounded by aromatic flowers, a soak in the tub is elevated from banal routine to five-star treatment. But the key is to find arrangements that can thrive for a long time in high humidity and limited light.
“I’d definitely suggest visiting your local florist or market stall,” advises Coles. “You’ll be able to chat with an expert about flower care and what’s in season. You’ll leave with some helpful tips on the best way to prep your flowers and keep them looking fab for longer.”
With a skylight over the soaker tub, the ensuite bathroom in this exceptional San Francisco estate is the type of place where the right flower pairings can create a radiant, private paradise.
Induce Joy Wherever You Go
One of Coles’ favorite places to position a floral arrangement is right in the foyer. “I love a statement piece styled at the entry point of the home. This really helps set the tone for the space you’re about to experience.”
But besides the entryway, there are no shortage of nooks, vestibules, antechambers, and alcoves with plenty of visual potential, where well-picked flowers can provide an atmosphere of engagement or enchantment. Just look at the fourth-floor study in this unique Beaux-Arts mansion, set on a hilltop in New York City, and picture how flowers could be used to accessorize its Tiffany and La Farge stained glass.
For those who have never incorporated floral design into their home, what’s the best way to start? “I’d definitely recommend visiting your local nursery and chatting to the experts,” says Coles. Once you develop a curiosity for selecting and curating flowers, you’ll quickly unearth the benefits they bring to your home and your wellbeing.
Looking for more ways to infuse color into your home? Don’t miss Introducing Pantone’s 2022 Color Of The Year | A Conversation With Leatrice Eiseman