Garden-inspired home decor blooms long after the season ends

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Our Black-Eyed Susans, hostas and daylilies may be feeling a bit withered at this point in the summer -- OK, nearly dead -- but there's a way to keep the beauty and feel of your garden in your home long after your plants have started to fade: garden-inspired home decor.

A number of retailers, many of them locally owned, offer a growing array of home decor covered in blooms, plants, herbs and more. From cloth napkins and towels with finely drawn herbs and flowers on them at Berkley's adorable June & December to framed botanical prints at Holly's Artichoke Interiors, there are so many ways to keep your home blooming long after your garden and yard have called it quits.

Katie Forte, who co-owns June & December with her husband, Nick, and designs all of their motifs, just returned from a trade show in New York in mid-August and said there's no question there's growing interest in plant or garden-inspired home decor. In fact, she and Nick see a "giant wave of interest" on the horizon.

"I think people are longing to connect with nature," said Forte.

Forte can relate. Forte, who lives in Troy and loves digging into her own garden, says it's nature that really inspires her designs.

"Nature is where I find my calm, which has been the case since I was old enough to remember," said Forte. "It’s where I’m happiest and since I can’t be out in it all the time, I like to surround myself with it in any way possible."

Interior shot of the store with items on display.

Forte hand-draws her designs and then modifies them on a computer, but her process starts long before she sits down to draw anything. 

"I'll notice something interesting and then I ask all kinds of questions that I want to research because I want to know the answers," said Forte. "In that research, I find out so much more, and oftentimes a product is born from that."

No wonder they have such a wide variety of nature-inspired designs. June & December offers towels with whimsical designs of nearly every kind of plant, including ferns, Queen Anne's lace, eucalyptus, wildflowers from regions across the United States, even seaweed (both Pacific seaweed and Atlantic seaweed). There's even a towel pattern that features both monarchs and milkweed. 

Owners Katie and her husband Nick Forte holds a stretch canvas.

Forte says some of their newest products let customers preserve plants in their own way. They now offer flower press kits, made from reclaimed wood, and flower specimen kits, which are a great way to show off delicate flowers and incorporate them into your decor.

Forte said they use primarily flour sacks for their napkins and towels because they're really functional.

"They're absorbent and they can also be bleached," she said.

Art is another way to keep plants, flowers and greenery blooming in your decor year-round. 

Revelation’s Botany Framed Prints feature floral presses in a variety of hues, including green and taupe, all set against an off white background. They are available at Artichoke Interiors in Holly.

Artichoke Interiors in downtown Holly offers a collection of 18 framed botanical prints by Revelation. Set against an off-white background, they feature an array of what looks like pressed flowers in muted tones. They're framed in chic but simple frames. The entire set costs $415; individual prints cost $29.

Owner and designer Dawn Jacobs has a half set of the prints hanging in her own home.

"I was drawn to them because of their realistic look at a great price.  In groups, they make a fantastic feature wall, and as singles, they make great accents," said Jacobs in an email.

And there's an upside to looking for garden-inspired home decor now. Many local retailers are marking down what they have left for the season as they start introducing fall and even holiday decor.

So as summer winds to a close -- though the official end isn't for a few more weeks -- don't fret. There are ways to keep your garden blooming indoors long after the season is over. And we'll need that green and beauty in our lives as winter approaches.

Home decor from the garden