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After years of simple solids and geometric prints, the lowly flower is making a comeback in decor. Floral patterns have been blooming all over fashion runways in recent months, and they are slowly finding their way back into the world of home decorating, too.
The yin and yang of spring make it such an interesting season. After the brutal bite of winter, even a gloomy spring day can lift our spirits with warmer breezes and an emerging palette of delicate hues — those first tinges of new greens, a fuzzy gray bud, a brushstroke of crocus blue. Then, as the season really plants its feet, fresh bright color starts popping up all over.
In this photo provided by Brian Patrick Flynn, the interior designer Flynn uses affordable navy blue prints from Ralph Lauren and John Robshaw to make an otherwise feminine den a bit more gender neutral. To introduce florals into homes occupied by men, Flynn suggests choosing botanicals in masculine colors such as deep blues and muddy greens. (AP Photo/Brian Patrick Flynn, Sarah Dorio)
In this photo provided by Brian Patrick Flynn, for HGTV.com's new digital series HGTV Spring House, interior designer and executive producer Flynn uses the art of layering pattern to pack its master bedroom with classic, feminine appeal. Flynn says the trick to mixing several floral prints successfully is all about a range in scale, claiming one small, one medium and one large pattern will often strike the perfect balance. (AP Photo/Brian Patrick Flynn/HGTV Spring House/Sarah Dorio)
In this photo provided by Brian Patrick Flynn, the interior designer Flynn updated this industrial loft kitchen using floral wallpaper from Graham & Brown with modern scale and colors. Flynn says the trick to using florals in fresh new ways is to choose over-scale botanical fabrics rather than traditional florals with small pattern repeats. (AP Photo/Brian Patrick Flynn, Sarah Dorio)
In this undated photo provided by Brian Patrick Flynn, the interior designer Flynn designed this Mulholland Drive house in the Hollywood Hills using a style of decorating referred to as "updated traditional" which is known for putting youthful, updated spins on classic floral patterns through a fresh use of color and clean, simple lines, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Brian Patrick Flynn, Sarah Dorio)
In this photo provided by courtesy of Burnham Design, traditional floral wallpaper is contrasted with modern furniture and unexpected accessories like a bike helmet and a vintage Japanese poster for the movie "Sabrina," to create a fresh and edgy look designed by Betsy Burnham and Max Humphrey of Burnham Design, in this residence in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Courtesy Burnham Design, Sarah Dorio)
Earthy hues that blend into the landscape tend to dominate the outdoor furniture market. Understated woods, metals and cushions are easy-to-incorporate neutral elements.
This spring, pinks are popping up all over home decor — the softer versions soothing and nurturing, the bright ones bouncy and vivacious.
Beautiful and sturdy with a flair for the dramatic, alliums are a graceful way to add color and architectural dimension to your garden.
This undated photo provided by Brian Patrick Flynn shows bare branches, spray-painted black and secured in vases with gravel, floral foam and a layer of moss, that make a stunning and inexpensive Halloween centerpiece created by designer, Brian Patrick Flynn for HGTV.com, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brian Patrick Flynn/HGTV.com, Scripps Networks Interactive/Sarah Dorio)
Looking for a cheaper way to fertilize flowers or keep pests at bay? A better tool for planting tiny seeds?
“Iron Chef” for florists? It’s what you might call The Sylvia Cup Floral Design Competition, and you can see it free Sept. 21 in Chandler.
This publicity product photo provided by Laylagrayce.com shows two Naples vases from Arteriors. The vase has a soft floral and vine design on mercury glass that gives it a light, garden-inspired look. (AP Photo/Laylagrayce.com)
Oh, those boring school days of old. Basic backpacks, plain pencil cases, spirals and staplers with so little snap they might as well have been destined for mom or dad’s office.
A bungalow on the beach. A cabin for weekend getaways.
NEW YORK — Laura Radocaj of Vero Beach, Fla., was warned when she was pregnant with twins that motherhood would be harder than she imagined — especially because she planned to go back to work while the twins were still babies. "But this has been the easiest transition," said Radocaj, 28, who works from home in corporate communications.
The neon brights that peppered the 1980s are back, in fashion and décor. Highlighter hues and glow-in-the-dark tints provide a shot of adrenaline after a few seasons of mellow, mushroom-y color palettes.
LOS ANGELES — Here's a rule that only applies to dog beaches: they are all clothing optional.
The placemat is a favorite at many dinner tables: The often-whimsical plastic version catches the slip of spaghetti from a youngster's fork, while a nice cotton placemat elevates the dining experience just a little without having to set down a whole tablecloth.
NEW YORK — You can recycle your waste, grow your own food and drive a fuel-efficient car. But being socially responsible isn't so easy when it comes to the clothes on your back.
Perhaps to alleviate the dreariness of long northern winters, Scandinavian style tends toward folk-art florals, crisp checks, plaids and stripes, and wood furniture left natural or painted in colors that evoke the region's natural beauty.
Warm weather and the first buds of spring have been slow to arrive in much of the country. But even if your garden has yet to grow, you can add beauty, fragrance and a sense of springtime to your home by decorating with lush plants and potted trees.
Artists and craftspeople know that the colors they choose — and leave out — are critical ingredients in their works' success, no matter the medium.