Floral fads may ebb and flow, but the rose's appeal remains constant, well beyond a Valentine's Day gift.
In home decor, roses have long been a favorite motif, in wallpapers, lace, chintz and soft silk furnishings such as curtains, bedding and carpet. The versatile rose floral can impart old-fashioned cottage-y charm, cosmopolitan elegance, even a certain sexy chic. English drawing rooms were rife with rose patterns throughout the Victorian era, and the Shabby Chic heyday of the 1990s saw countless rooms decorated with faded country roses.
While the rose is quite at home in traditional spaces, there is an architectural quality to its petaled form that fits well with modern decor, too, and the colors can be extraordinary.
Lindsey Harris of Ann Arbor, Mich., photographs roses on white backgrounds, creating striking, sometimes quirky botanical portraits. In one, she turns the flower heads upside down; in another she places a soft plump rose amid spiky dried fern leaves. She arranges rows of blowsy blooms in candy hues of cherry, lemon and bubble gum pink, printed on 8-by-10-inch frame-able paper. ( www.etsy.com/shop/APeacefulLeaf )
Artist Kathleen Finlay's Agnaryd rose photoprint is available in poster format at Ikea. ( www.ikea.com)
Decorative garden goods retailer Terrain offers a selection of watercolor prints reproduced by the Los Angeles art house Natural Curiosities of rose patterns created for hankies and pocket squares in the 19th century by French silk manufacturer Brunet-LeCompte. ( www.shopterrain.com)
A modern triptych of Paulownia wood panels with hand-carved gray and white roses are on offer at www.ChristineBurkeInteriors.com.
Traditional-looking, rose-patterned wallpaper isn't difficult to find, but you might want to check out a unique collection from Target that's not offered in stores: In taupes, teals, browns and golds, the wallcoverings have a rose print reminiscent of a vintage French negligee, which would be fun in a bedroom or powder room. ( www.target.com)