When Florence Broadhurst began her wallpaper business, back in Sydney in 1959, she said her goal was to cure people of what she called “the timid decorator syndrome”. “You can spot them easily”, she said, “they are afraid of colour and bold design.” Florence was a designer, a businesswoman, a singer and a banjolele player and a citizen of the world, with much of her life spent in England, Australia and Asia. Born at the turn of the century she was brutally murdered in 1977. Wall paper and rugs featuring her designs have always been in demand and are available from Australia based Cardy’s and Signature Prints . We offer them to you as a cure for timid decoration. The rug shown above is called ‘Horses Stampede’ (available in a number of colours). The way in which the design repeats manages to be effortless yet energetic.
In Floral 300, Poppies seem to be casually scattered across the rug. There was a time when patterns, be they on rugs, wallpapers or fabrics were simply unfashionable. Florence’s work shows how good design is so much more than simple blocks of colour and that patterns need not be distracting or messy. It does, however, start getting a little brighter now.
Cardy’s have created Florentine Tapestry Alternative (also available in a number of colours) by enlarging the original design by Florence Broadhurst. This was for you get to appreciate the intricacy of the design without resorting to kneeling on the floor. That said, there is a lot to be said for hanging beautiful rugs on the wall.
Definitely not one for the timid. Solar is described by Cady’s as ‘A luminous eruption’. Reminiscent of the 1960′s and 70′s this is a rug that someone chooses because they love it, not because they couldn’t think of what to put on the floor.
I can’t help wondering how Florence would have reacted to the many white or cream interiors that always seem so popular. Are they the result of timidity, laziness, safety or maybe people just like them? This is an antidote, of sorts, the antithesis of a plain white wall. It is Japanese Bamboo from the Blueprints collection. I think it is rather glamorous.
Venetian Veil / Peony from the Glamour collection.
And finally, Tropical Floral, shown here in black and white but available in colour combinations.
There is no doubt that Florance Broardhurst was an exceptional woman who’s fascinating life exposed her to many varied influences which are reflected in her designs. We pay tribute to the people who make them available to us and promise to continue the struggle against timid decorator syndrome. How guilty do I feel about my white walls now?
For more rugs to fight the timid decorator symptom visit our rug gallery on Modenus.