By Jill Brooke
Guess what’s coming back into style? Floral prints and decor.
It’s not a surprise really. As studies show that people are moving from the cities to more rural and suburban retreats, decor is moving away from austere cold minimalism and embracing cozy and warm.
“We are living in times of extreme stress and uncertainty,” says Elizabeth Hayt. “Bright, colorful floral motifs and organic forms provide an antidote and escape from that state of mind. I believe the visual and decorative arts express a much-needed sense of vitality, hope and renewal as a reaction to societal hardship.”
Which is why designer Elizabeth Hayt’s fantasy-based Faux Flora and Caterpolders collections of objets d’art and one-of-a-kind decorative art objects delight more than ever.
“For those who are die-hard home decor minded souls, yes, my flowers are guaranteed to be uplifting,” she says. “Nothing makes me happier than when someone who owns one of my flowers tells me, “The sight of it each morning makes my day.”
The luxurious collectibles, which include elegant pillows, napkins, napkin rings and placemats, are cultivated by hand in Hayt’s New York City studio by a team of accomplished female artists.
Flowers are the launching pad.
“I love the sumptuousness of big, fluffy blooms: peonies, ranunculus, English garden roses, and hydrangea,” she says. “But I certainly won’t turn down the addition of fluttery sweet peas and arcing freesia, plus berries — berries are undeniably charming — along with something outré, like eggplant purple Calla Lillies and weird orchids. As for the palette? Hands down, it’s got to be rich jewel tones. In my opinion, a bouquet of white flowers is about as good as having no flowers at all.”
Aside from her website, many stores seek her collectibles since they are not only beautiful but clever conversation starters.
“One design challenge that I was pleased to undertake came from a woman who saw my flowers at Bergdorf Goodman and wanted to commission a private order to match her tableware,” Hayt recalls. “She had a vintage Wannopee Lettuce Leaf Majolica pottery set and antique Flow Blue china.
“The coloration of the dishes — spring green and royal blue — along with their vegetal and floral imagery encouraged a preppy, Lily Pulitzer-minded color scheme for my blooms.
“In addition, their horizontal and outfacing orientation conveyed cheerfulness and optimism. This private client’s tabletop were a ceramic and porcelain source of motivation for my own handcrafted blooms.”
Hayt is also about love and collaboration. Her creative juices are stirred when clients bring in objects they love and want to be enhanced with friendly porcelain companions.
In fact, flowers help Hayt navigate a male world.
“I grew up in a very male-dominated household and I believe flowers became the accoutrement of my feminine protest during puberty,” she observes. “They secretly signified my sense of defiance at an age when I felt under siege because I was a female. As an adolescent, I clipped rose blossoms from our rose garden and pinned them in my hair. I tied dandelions into a tiny bouquet and attached it to a skinny black velvet ribbon around my neck. Sterling silver turquoise and coral flowerets dangled from my earlobes. I donned Laura Ashley floral prairie dresses. Even today, decades later, my closet, no matter the season, is bursting with blooms. And I, as a woman, still feel emboldened because of them.”
How inspiring. Embracing femininity while activating neurons is as good a combination as champagne and raspberries.
Especially now, flowers do add a cheeriness to life and Hayt’s work and approach to life add both sizzle and bubbly joy.