There is a reason fruit and flowers have been the subject of art throughout history. They are designed by nature to attract. They are beautiful, sensual, and exquisitely represent all stages of life. And every stage offers possibilities when it comes to design.
I recently spent the weekend in my version of heaven, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) Farm Tour! I visited the Ten Acre Garden west of Asheville. My hubby, Kurt, and I, anxiously await and participate in this tour each year. In fact, we received free tickets this year from ASAP for being such devoted groupies to the cause. For us, this tour is life-affirming, joyous, and a bounty of nature through the hard work of and dedication to people and respect for animals and nature through sustainable farming practices.
It’s hard to capture all of its magnificent beauty, but I sure tried. From the crisp crimson apples to the deep green kabocha squash to the shriveled remainders of summer’s sunflowers, it was a feast for the senses. Each farm is so different. The incredible diversity of food right here in our North Carolina backyard is an embarrassment of riches, but that’s another topic. We are talking about fruit and flowers here.
One of the farms we visited, Raspberry Fields had rows of perfectly plump raspberries ready to harvest. The color and texture of raspberries is just delicate and absolute perfection. Right now it’s fall harvest, so many of the crops were spent. The hardier scrub plants in the fields are dry and brown but still so lovely. We actually stayed in an Airbnb on one of the farms on the tour, Mount Gilead Farm and French Broad Creamery, a goat farm in Leicester just west of Asheville. Next to our cottage there was a conservation easement with small tree plantings. The surrounding meadows were filled with delicate grasses, wildflowers and cattails (stalks with cool fuzzy things on the end).
I love incorporating these gifts from nature into my design. There are so many ways to do it!
CHANGE WITH THE SEASONS
Each season comes with its own delectable variety of colors and flavors. Take a treasured piece of pottery, a glass bowl or a wood tray and fill it with bright red apples in the fall, pine cones in the winter, lemons in the spring and oranges in the summer. It’s such a simple way to celebrate the seasons in your home and bring in a new pop of color every few months.
NATURE’S COLOR PALETTE
No one can put colors together like mother nature. The more color a fruit or flower has, usually the higher the nutrition it has for living things. Take a cue in your own home. Don’t be afraid of color. Consider the pineapple with its sunny yellow fruit surrounded by a golden coat and topped off with a green crown. Or the watermelon with its dark green exterior, perfectly pink flesh dotted with black seeds.
Mixing the colors of your favorite fruits into your home decor is a delight for the senses. Paint a piece of old furniture eggplant purple. I love still life paintings with hyper real fruits and flowers, and you can often find them in antique stores. Go outside and pick up drying flowers and herbs. You can find rosemary almost anywhere and put it in jars and medicine bottles.
FAWNING OVER FLORALS
People have been decorating with floral decor for literally hundreds of years. And while you might not have fond memories of the flowered wallpaper in your grandmother’s bathroom, florals have come a long way. The Wall Street Journal called florals the hot design trend for 2022.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is launching her own line of wallpaper on Wallshoppe that is inspired by some of her favorite flowers, including Queen Anne’s lace, chrysanthemums and carnations. A recent New York Times article talked about how using flowered wallpaper can make a smaller space feel like it has more depth.
For a more understated homage to flowers, try adding peony, palm tree or orchid pillows to your decor. Or, make a frame grouping featuring photos of flowers from your garden or your favorite vacations.
The bottom line with decor is do what makes you feel good. If an English rose rug makes you happy, buy it. If it’s sunflower golden curtains, go for it. Mother nature has impeccable taste.