What’s in Bloom?

The Flower Trends Forecast 2019 predicts upcoming flower, color and décor design trends

By Sara Perez Webber

If you happened to catch the most recent British royal wedding—Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s October nuptials at Windsor Castle—you probably noticed the lavish floral displays at the entrance to St. George’s Chapel. Designed by Rob Van Helden, the autumnal arrangement “featured foliage and flowering branches sourced locally from Windsor Great Park, as well as liquid amber trees, roses, hydrangea, dahlias and berries,” according to Harper’s Bazaar.

The somewhat untamed natural display reflects a floral trend expected to grow in 2019 and beyond. According to designer and stylist Michael J. Skaff—who identified floral trends for next year in the Flower Trends Forecast 2019—incorporating elements of nature into the wedding florals is catching on with environmentally conscious couples.

The “Forest Walk” trend is one of four described in the Flower Trends Forecast 2019. Recently published by International Floral Distributors (IFD), in partnership with the Produce Marketing Association, the forecast is designed to keep the flower industry informed of the latest consumer trends for flowers and floral décor.

“Understanding shifts in consumer preferences provides insight in how to best shift product offerings to better please your customers,” notes Jeff Lanman, executive director of International Floral Distributors, Inc.

Skaff—owner of Michael J. Skaff Displays in Savannah, Ga., and a member of the Color Marketing Group, National Interior Design Association and the American Academy of Floriculture—studied consumer preferences to identify the trend categories for the upcoming year. The end result, according to Lanman, demonstrates that consumers are demanding “more natural design styles using a wider variety of flower materials than ever before. Unique blooms have never been more popular, and succulents seem to be on every consumer’s mind, especially millennials.”

Following are the four trend categories identified by the Flower Trends Forecast 2019.

Forest Walk

Color palette: Golden yellow, muted teal, green, red, almond, muted maroon, gray, gold metallic

Flowers include: Anemone, snapdragon, grevillea, celosia, scabiosa stellata, country green mum, chocolate cymbidium, green ball carnation

A style trend that encompasses the deep, rich colors under the forest canopy, Forest Walk features the exquisite textures of organic life, and the fluid patterns of fungi and minerals. Floral patterns and landscape prints can play into this look, which is dominated by dark yet bold tones. Vines, pods, ferns, berries, mushrooms and any textured flowers in the trend palette can complement this look.

“This popular 2019 trend appeals to the casual bride and groom who are environmentally conscious and want to incorporate elements of nature into their wedding,” says Skaff. “Forest Walk’s bold rich tones of green, gold and Bordeaux are broken up by muted neutrals. This earthy style opens up the possibilities to use items found in nature, such as branches, berries, pods and ferns. Bouquets become untamed, unstructured and unsymmetrical.”

Ethereal Bliss

Color palette: Sage green, grayed pale lavender, blued green, paled neutral, soft pink, deep violet, grayed pale blue, khaki brown, gray

Flowers include: Rice flower, peony, astilbe, lilac, majolika spray rose, pink O’Hara rose, Veronica spray chrysanthemum, lamb’s ear, hydrangea

This style trend can be described as minimalistic with mythical and intuitive elements. The palette combines soft tints with rich base tones and warm textures. Sage and lavender play key roles, along with a soft gender-neutral pink, dubbed “the new neutral” for 2019. Fuzzy and fleecy fabrics like chenille, distressed velvet, or chunky throws with an oversized weave fit right in, along with frosted finishes and softly gleaming mother of pearl. Rich browns—as in marble, leather, wood grain, bronze and copper—provide pleasing contrast to the pale, gray-tinted neutrals, along with a deep plum. Florals include garden flowers like roses, dahlias and astilbe, along with gray and gray-green foliage, such as dusty miller, sage and seeded eucalyptus.

“Brides just can’t get enough of the soft pale blush and opalescent shimmer!” says Skaff. “Its popularity, starting in 2018, will see an explosion for 2019. Flowers trending for the upcoming year in Ethereal Bliss bridal work are soft, romantic, multi-petaled blooms of peonies, garden roses and hydrangea. Along with these, heirloom varieties and herbs bring texture and fragrance to the bridal bouquet. Accessories of natural elements such as raw opals and mother-of-pearl inlays are incorporated throughout the wedding. Brides in 2019 still strive for personalization, and we see more avant-garde headpieces and jewelry showing off their style.”

Hear Me Roar

Color palette: Bordeaux, coral red, buckskin, paled green, red, orange, teal, dark gray, mink

Flowers include: Ranunculus, peony, cockscomb, Carabella rose, piano garden rose, crocosmia orange, Dümmen Orange red charm calla lily, Dümmen Orange gerrondo terra stola

This style palette rich in reds, offset with daring, fashion-forward teal and steady shades of gray and brown, is well suited to structured, sculptural design that answers the craving for distinctive décor with a look that is clearly hand-crafted. Fitting flowers include tropicals, epidendrum orchids, gloriosas, line flowers like snapdragons, gladiolus and kniphofia, and brightly colored foliage like croton or coleus.

“For the confident bride who wants to make a statement in 2019, our Hear Me Roar forecast and design trend is energized, powerful, passionate and provocative,” says Skaff. “This style makes you sit up and take notice. Cinna-berry colors combine with bold teals and neutrals in shades of grays and browns, appealing to a bride wishing to make the ultimate style statement. Sculptural bridal bouquets with unique floral blooms such as celosia, orchids, and plant material such as the ever-popular succulents create bold focal points in wedding designs.”

The Believer

Color palette: Muted neutral, pale peach, medium blue, raspberry pink, dusty blue, Bordeaux, muted pastel blue, black

Flowers include: Eryngium, cornflower, muscari, dahlia, Asiatic lily, pepperberry, majolika spray rose, purple Cezanne rose

This style palette is a favorite for weddings, bringing classic masculine and feminine hues into one color harmony that feels modern, yet disciplined and refined. Muted tan and a soft, blushing peach are among the key colors in this hopeful style trend, with eye-catching navy blue and a rich dark pink that pop against the softer hues. Navy becomes the new neutral here, often serving as a backdrop to floral patterns in a range of tints and tones. Bringing gray and chocolate-brown into the mix, flowers might include brunia and chocolate cymbidium orchids, cattails and pussy willows for intriguing texture, along with blue bachelor buttons, blue hydrangea, cornflowers, boronia, brain celosia, and any bright pink flowers, such as lilies, tulips, roses, peonies and proteas.

“In 2019 brides are inspired by thoughts of hope and peace, and our trending color palette for The Believer is forecasted to be one of the most popular for the upcoming year,” says Skaff. “Rich and bold, this style pops with navy tones and pink set against soft grey, muted tans and a blushing peach. Bridal attire in shades of navy, now considered a new neutral, creates a background for the other colors to take center stage. Again we are seeing Bordeaux coming through, so this will be an important color to watch in 2019. Saturated colors found in hybrid lilies, grape hyacinth and hot pink spray roses have increased in popularity. Brides continue to add sentimental personal elements, such as vintage jewelry or ribbons handed down from a beloved family member.”

To learn more about IFD’s Flower Trends Forecast 2019, visit flowertrendsforecast.com.

All Photos by Dan Dreyfus, Dreyfus + Associates Photography