Florence Welch and Eternal Cool

We all know Florence Welch is cool, from her career as front women of Florence and the Machine to her red hair and crazy-classy-cool style. I’ve been rocking a serious girl-crush since I found out her mother is Evelyn Welch, which may mean nothing to people who have social lives but if you’ve spent days locked in a library working on a thesis involving costume design, you’ll know her mother is the shit. Florence has certainly inherited her mother’s sartorial appreciations and she involves them in her red carpet looks and her home. Domaine Home gave us a quick peek into the singer’s London place and I’m enamored. But how does one recreate these looks without funds or multi-generational knowledge of textiles?

Step 1: Clutter

It sounds contradictory to design but in order to achieve “granny chic” you need to have a lot of clutter, read that as curated clutter. Florence Welch isn’t hoarding dirty McMuffin wrappers and her place doesn’t appear to have a speck of dust.

Florence has Gothic crosses and Victorian hand mirrors strewn about, these items are uber specific to her style and can really range in price. Gothic crosses can be found cheaply at a garden shop – they won’t really be vintage but will emote just as effectively, Victorian mirrors and bathroom items are easily found in antique shops but I’ve found the best deals on them to be garage sales. (I’ve never actually bought any though cause old hair brushes give me the willies).
Once something enters the realm of ‘interior designer favorites’ they get really expensive in thrift shops and really loose their ROI. Instead, I examine the lines and emotions of each piece and think up my own bespoke element. While the Gothic crosses are lovely, what I really like about them is the ceramic feel, their inherent darkness, and their Celtic roots. Having a collection of them the way Welch does gives polish to an unwise unruly design element. I’d probably get a few mini terracotta cactus pots and find small shelves to install them along the wall.
Curated clutter is one place where travel souvenirs really come into play. These souvenirs don’t need to be from the other end of the world, even if you haven’t found your way across state lines yet you can still pick up a match book from your favorite dive bar, buy a mug from your Alma matter, collect rocks by your favorite stream. Basically amass all the crap we purchase while on vacation on a local scale.
What about her travel prints and tapestries? To be honest a tapestry without a secret passageway hidden behind would always be a disappointment to me, but I can certainly respect the appeal. The easiest way to get the look is to shop online at museum stores like the MET, the British Museum, the V&A, or a national museum of whatever culture’s textiles you like the best. These items can be a bit pricey so a blanket is the next obvious step. Usually 1/4 the price, the blankets can have the same weave and weight as a tapestry reproduction. Use a piece of wood to anchor the top of the piece and hang it high enough that the bottom is unobstructed, this will keep it from feeling too heavy in your modern home. Prints are the easiest to get your hands on, from originals to knock offs they are in every antique shops and really run the gamete on pricing. Look for piece you love first and them use them to anchor the space and to dictate the size and shape of your wall arrangement. If you have a single poster you want to showcase but aren’t sure what prints to put on the size, head to the dollar store and buy some cheap frames. This will help you decide size and you can use magazine tear outs, family photos, or doodles as place holders while you search for your ultimate piece. Once you know the size you’re looking for you can whittle down the unbelievable hoard of available prints to just the ones that will suit your needs. Don’t forget to consider matting and size of frame while determining these sizes, if you want to frame a postcard with matting and a thick wooden frame you may need to plan out the space using a 8×10 frame.
Don’t compromise on what you want. If you love it, it doesn’t match your crosses, it isn’t the right size for your wall of prints, buy it anyway. The beauty of curated clutter is that there is often a single element that begs the question ‘where the f did that come from’. This whimsy will really take your place to a very Florence Welch level, rules are for fools right?

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