Chintz, which originated in India, is a glazed cotton painted with florals. Once associated with fashion, today it’s a decor staple that’s perfect for any room in your home. The power of a feminine floral is unmatched: If your bedroom needs some softening, opt for printed bedding or a delicate curtain. If your backyard could use some brightening, look into a bright, floral outdoor furniture set. With spring in full swing and summer on the way, chintz just might become your go-to these next few months.
1. Make a Flower Bed
When it comes to your sleeping quarters, light colors and soft patterns work in harmony to create a space you want nothing more than to sink into. Whether you prefer a quilt or duvet, these types of prints do all the heavy lifting. Opt for a larger bloom on the coverlet, or layer in a mix of smaller floral prints on throw pillows.
2. Create an Interior Garden
Whether used throughout a room or simply on a feature wall, chintz-themed wallpaper will give an otherwise plain room a garden-like feel (an especially savvy move in spaces with limited architectural details). Complement the wall covering with other floral accessories such as the lampshade and throw pillow. Add cohesion to a room by using an accent color from the wallpaper on furnishings throughout the room.
3. Add It to the Menu
While many would argue there’s no such thing as too much chintz, it certainly doesn’t have to be used in large swaths to make an impact. Take this table, where a pink and green table covering and cotton napkins — both featuring mini florals — gently perk up the ambience. Fresh flowers in a country pitcher or glass vase add to the sweet look. Try layering in floral dishware for even more cottage style.
4. Do Some Yard Work
Chintz’s affinity for outdoor spaces goes without saying. While bedding and table linens are well and good, we say, why stop there? These loungers were given a floral revival when a homeowner upgraded the cushions with flowery pillows. The chair’s swirly design are a natural match for the flirty print.
5. Accent With Fresh Blooms
The only thing that pairs better with chintz than more chintz? Straight-from-the-garden flowers. Mirror floral decor both indoors and out with simple arrangements of colorful blossoms. And don’t limit those displays to just on tabletops. Posies strung from light fixtures, doorknobs, window frames, and more will top off a space in the sweetest way.
6. Mix and Match Designs
Incorporating a variety of flower patterns into a single area eschews formality in favor of casual charm. The multicolored patterns make them an easy match for others of the same style. Forget the minimalist approach and go all out!
7. Spice Up the Kitchen
From tablecloths and dish towels to skirted sinks and seat cushions, kitchen and dining spaces are rife with surfaces to add a touch of chintz. The pattern shines especially bright in a white, country kitchen, or even adds a gorgeous contrast to darker spaces with less natural light.
8. Get Scrappy
Thanks to its enduring popularity, there’s a lot of chintz to be had at flea markets, thrift shops, and the like. While a pristine upholstered sofa may cost you a pretty penny, cast-off fabrics abound at affordable price points. Scoop them up and reimagine them for your own home as curtains, tablecloths, or DIY it into something different entirely.
9. Enhance the View
Look to chintz-flecked fabrics for window treatments that complement rather than compete with the outdoor scenery. The pink roses on these curtains are bold enough in terms of color that they add something fun to an otherwise plain room, but the pattern is small enough that it isn’t overwhelming. If prints tend to scare you, there’s nothing wrong with choosing one that’s a bit more muted.
A version of this article appeared in our partner magazine, Cottage Home & Living.