Iconic Patterns of Florence Broadhurst product photo

Iconic Patterns of Florence Broadhurst

Posted By: Logan & Mason

Interior decor in 1950’s Australia was beige and boring. The post-war building boom meant there were hundreds of new homes, all with blank walls needing decoration. Australia’s taste was very conservative. Wallpaper was popular but it needed to be purchased overseas which meant weeks and weeks of waiting and the choice of patterns and colours was very limited.

In 1959, Florence Broadhurst burst onto the scene with a determination to recolour Australia. She started a handprinted wallpaper company which produced patterns so bold, so exotic, so colourful and so daring in scale, they literally redefined interior decor in Australia. Their impact would make waves globally.

Broadhurst’s patterns were very much a reflection of her own personality - loud, brassy and confident. No pattern was too outsize, no design too outlandish. Her unique sense of colour had no limits.

The patterns can be collated into themes: geometrics, flora, fauna, abstracts, textures, traditionals, trellis’ and pictorials but the overriding theme would have to be Orientals - Chinoiserie and Japonisme in particular. There is an estimated 550 patterns in the Broadhurst archive. Here’s an A-Z look at some of her most iconic designs. See how many you recognise:

Lattice

Arabian Birds

Aubrey

Broadhurst crafted numerous trellis and lattice patterns.

Arabian Birds is richly textured and unusually intricate.

Aubrey is a 60s inspired fun floral which translates well into fashion, particularly swimwear.


Birds of Paradise

Carnation

Centrepoint Medallion

Birds of Paradise features an arts and crafts inspired landscape.

Carnation is one of Broadhurst’s delicate floral designs.

Fanciful and twisted, Centrepoint Medallion is heraldic in layout, drawn with a whimsical softness.


Chinese Key

Circles & Squares

Cockatoos

Chinese Key is an Oriental inspired geometric which pairs well with other Broadhurst designs.

Circles & Squares combines Asian styling with simple geometric forms.

Cockatoos is a whimsical and showy pattern of tropical birds full of personality.


Curly Swirls

Egrets

Fingers

The hip outlines of Curly Swirls are inspired by sixties pop art.

The Egrets display unusual stature. It was designed to tempt interior designer Barry Little and is now a Broadhurst chinoiserie classic.

Fingers is a block design alive with dynamic movement and an almost three-dimensional feel. This is Broadhurst’s take on 60s modernism.


Flamestitch

Hessian

Hollow Squares

A eye-catching geometric with plenty of personality and movement.

Hessian, part of the ‘textures collection’, is often combined with other designs.

Hollow Squares, a late 60s modern geometric graphic, deliberately plays with dimension.


Honeycomb

Horses Stampede

Ikeda

Honeycomb is a Moroccan motif that now decorates nightclubs and restaurants in London and Dubai.

A wild and energetic pattern of charging horses, seamlessly repeating across the surface.

Ikeda is a clean, stylised, repetitive pattern of two-dimensional fans. It is often called Kabuki’s ‘little sister’.


Japanese Bamboo

Japanese Fans

Japanese Floral

Japanese Bamboo reflects the English take on chinoiserie evident in the early 1900s. Its appeal lies squarely in its boldness.

This design plays with the graceful movement of the fans that captivated Florence during her years in Asia. It has dynamic movement.

Japanese Floral is an essay in opulent simplicity. Picturesque and grand, this design links elegant Japanese influences with great artistic poise.


Kabuki

Pagoda

Peacock Feathers

This bold fan-like motif draws its inspiration from avant garde Japanese theatre.

Pagoda, intricate and interlocking, harks back to the mid-18th century enthusiasm for chinoiserie.

Peacock Feathers is a purely decorative design featuring highly detailed life-size feathers.


Solar

Spotted Floral

Steps

With strong reference to the 60s and 70s, Solar is ablaze with its impressive scale and composition.

Delicate sprays are rendered in deceptively flowing lines creating a modern twist on English designs from the late 1800s.

Steps is one of Broadhurst’s more graphic designs.


The Cranes

Turnabouts

Yvan’s Geometric

The Cranes is a whimsical design with strong Oriental roots. This exquisite design mixes flora and fauna in a graceful and delicate manner.

Turnabouts is a classic Deco-inspired design and the ultimate in large-scale geometrics. It epitomises the importance of the circle to Broadhurst.

Designed by Broadhurst for prominent Interior Designer Yvan Methot. The simplicity and movement of the pattern imparts both interest and ease.


Find out more about the woman behind these amazing designs in ‘Truth, Lies & Wallpaper - The Story Behind Florence Broadhurst’.