2020-2021 American Floral Trends Forecast

2020-2021 American Floral Trends Forecast


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Accent Décor
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Welcome to Florists’ Review’s “Winter Holidays Edition” of the “American Floral Trends Forecast 2020-2021.” In this installment, our trends consultants – eight of North America’s leading floral design artists – showcase applications of the American Floral Trends for Christmas and other seasonal celebrations.

On the following pages, you will see holiday and seasonal interpretations of the four trends: “Metropolitan,” “Promenade,” “Exploration” and “Terratory.” These vignettes are intended as vision boards for floral designers seeking to apply the latest color and style trends to their Christmas 2020 and other seasonal design work.


With strong infl uences from the Art Nouveau decorative style (1890-1910)—dramatic curved lines, asymmetrical forms, intense colors, and inspiration from natural elements such as flowers and insects—the sophisticated, contemporary elegance of the “Metropolitan” trend offers numerous options for holiday décor.

Metropolitan’s distinctive color palette—centered around a range of cool blue hues, especially frosted blues for the winter season, and accented with bright yellow-green, coral and antique gold—will generate uniquely individual holiday décor with a lively international urban style.

Bespoke botanicals often have distinguishable forms (Iris, Gloriosa, hybrid lilies, callas, etc.), and, naturally, blue- and blue-violet-hued fl owers (Iris, Delphinium, Eryngium, Echinops, Scabiosa and others) and blue-tinged, silvery “frosted” and yellow-green foliages (Juniper, Blue Spruce, Silver Fir, Eucalyptus, Incense Cedar) are, well, naturals. Blooms in contrasting hues of coral and/or yellow-green will complete the aesthetic.

Elements that further define this trend for the winter holiday season are characterized by 1) Art Nouveau-inspired patterns, embellishments, and metallic accents; 2) insects; 3) aged gilded patinas, such as mercury glass and gold washes; 4) intricate details, particularly in ornament design. 5) sumptuous textures in ribbons and other fabrics; and 6) sinuous organic curves (think botanical scrollwork patterns, vines and tendrils, gilded antlers, and gracefully draping boughs).

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Floral design and photo by Stacey Bal, AIFD, CFD, EMC & d.stevens llc

Reinterpreted for today’s modern era, influences from Great Britain’s Edwardian Era (soft colors and subtle, graceful design elements) and France’s Beaux-Arts architecture (formality, grandiosity and elaborate ornamentation) combine to define the “Promenade” trend, yielding holiday décor that is classic and timeless yet new and relevant—with an overall aesthetic that is lush and luxurious, soft and feminine.

This trend’s understated, mostly analogous color narrative blends golden honey hues with blush, peach, sand and taupe. And soft golds, from rose gold to champagne gold to antique gold, is the obvious corresponding holiday metallic.

Captivating varieties of roses—a hallmark botanical of this trend—abound in each of Promenade’s muted hues (delightfully, too many to mention), spanning the species of hybrid tea, spray and garden roses. Exciting pastel cultivars of fluffy cushion Gerbera, stock and other similarly colored flowers also contribute to this trend’s sensibility.

Foliage can be similarly “soft,” fluffy and drapey, or more textural foliage may be incorporated to create a bit of contrast and tension. Brown-toned and brown-backed foliage, such as Cotinus and Magnolia, as well as soft gray-hued foliage (e.g. Eucalyptus, Grevillea, Juniper), also may be used, to expand the color harmony and provide additional contrast. Color shifting of fresh, dried and preserved botanical materials, as well as nonbotanical elements, using metallic and pigmented sprays, creates even more options.

In addition to lush and textural botanicals, Promenade blends details such as soft flowing ribbons, ruffles and lace; classic yet modern accents and accessories, often ornately embellished (snowflakes, contemporary tree shapes, etc.); and elegant textures (silk, satin and, especially, velvet for the winter holidays), to create luxurious floral décor—from garden style to majestic.

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Floral design by Tobey Nelson Photo by Chris Glenn
DESIGN MASTER color tool
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For clients with unconventional and adventurous sides, who want vibrant, eclectic holiday décor brimming with personality, the “Exploration” aesthetic is made to order. Embracing self-expression, next-gen thinking and the absence of boundaries, it is the intersection of avant-garde fashion, extreme games, pop culture and uncharted creativity.

Exploration circumfuses new approaches to color harmonies and combinations of botanical materials and textures. For example, Exploration’s polychromatic palette assimilates vibrant citrusy hues of yellow and tangerine with iced blues, vivid fuchsia and bold reds, enabling designers to create a broad range of colorful floral décor from fun and funky to new personality-driven expressions of traditional and classic.

Botanical materials with curious and chic forms and textures—and vibrant colors—such as billy buttons, birds-of-paradise, pincushions, Protea, Gloriosa, cushion Gerbera, Celosia, Phalaenopsis, callas, pine, coned cedar and Monstera, certainly fill the bill and help create the vitality that is Exploration. Blending botanicals from different seasons and temperate zones is not only OK but encouraged. Also ideal are citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, tangerines, etc.) as well as other textural fruits and produce that correspond with the color palette.

Elements in this trend, too, are colorful and textural (think felt, yarn, etc.), and sheer ribbons can imbue holiday décor with an unexpected and nontraditional look and feeling. Add to all of this, color shifting— altering the colors of traditional seasonal elements, such as pine cones, pods and even fresh foliages. Exploration can also take an upward turn to embody celestial bodies and planetary forms.

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Floral design and photo by Kristine Kratt, AIFD, CFD, PFCI and Bill Schaff er, AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI
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All things earthly and organic culminate in the “Terratory” trend, which derives influences from the American Grown and locally grown flower movements and well as sustainability and fair-trade initiatives. Terratory emphasizes the connection between Mother Nature and mankind, and clients who are drawn to the outdoors and a natural aesthetic will find this trend’s botanicals and color palette to be obvious choices for their holiday décor.

True to this trend’s nature-inspired name, the earthly hues for holiday applications of Terratory are dominated by red clay, maroon and herbal greens, with accents of ochre (the oldest natural clay pigment on Earth), dusty lavender and a dark night-sky blue.

Botanicals in these muted hues, often with textural intricacies and layered petal formations, such as antique Hydrangea, Banksia, Leucadendron, cottage yarrow, spray roses, Ranunculus, and berried branches and foliage, are hallmarks of the Terratory aesthetic. And don’t forget brown-stemmed foliage and those with brown- or silvery-backed leaves and needles.

As you might imagine, the Terratory design style is loose, relatively unstructured and organic, and its forms and shapes are natural and organic, as well. Ornamentation is relatively simple and might have a handcrafted flavor, and natural elements such as wool and wool fleece, yarn, felt, natural wood, rocks, stone and slate abound. Anything organically beautiful can denote and define this trend.

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