The fleur-de-lis is a popular home décor symbol. It has been adopted throughout the centuries taking on various meanings and used by nobility and churches before becoming a staple of many home decorating schemes.
History of the Symbol
The fleur-de-lis is from the French word that means "flower of lily", although often said to represent an iris. It has been used as a symbol of power for centuries, even as far back as 507 AD. In the twelfth century it was reserved strictly for the French monarchy and later adapted for heraldry by many European countries.
It was controlled by some cities and used as an award to faithful citizens to use on their coats of arms and flags. Florence, Italy even adopted the fleur-de-lis (fiordaliso or giglio) for the city crest, featuring stamens between the petals. Stories surround the symbolism, such as the petals referencing medieval social classes (workers, fighters, those who pray), while others say it represents the Holy Trinity.
Decorating With Fleur-de-Lis
There are many ways you can use this symbol in your home decor. Start with each room and decide how you wish to incorporate this ancient symbol into your overall room design.
The entrance into your home is an excellent place to use a fleur-de-lis.
- Front door: Add a painted or stained (wood or resin) symbol or metal symbol to the center top third of door or a fleur-de-lis door knocker.
- Mirror: Select a mirror hanger with the symbol as part of its design.
- Coat and hat rack: Use antiqued brass fleur-de-lis wall hooks on the wall or inside closet door.
- Wallpaper: Dress up the entrance with a wallpaper pattern featuring the emblem.
You can add subtle touches to your kitchen. When adding to walls or cabinets be sure to stain or paint the symbol for a perfect match or select a contrast color.
- Cabinets: Add a large motif applique in urethane or wood to the end panels of a kitchen island. Center one or a series of three.
- Crown moulding: There are several choices of polyurethane crown moulding that can be applied around the top of cabinets or top of wall that include the symbol.
- Decorative tile work: Carved or molded tiles with this symbol can be used for backsplashes and borders.
- Trivets: Go for a subtle flair with cast iron trivets placed on the counter near the range for easy use or as wall decorations that can be retrieved and used.
- Canisters: Select a set of canisters featuring the symbol and place on counter.
Den or Living Room
There are many opportunities to use this symbol in a den or living room.
- Accent objects: Use objects featuring a fleur-de-lis, such as a clock, photo frame, bookends, or plaque.
- Area rug: Select a design that appeals to your taste, whether it's a large pattern or a small symbolic border.
- Stencils or decals: Use a stencil to create a border on a hardwood floor, an accent wall, or decorate the back of a bookcase. Decals can be used to create a focal point.
Incorporate the emblem into your overall bedroom design by repeating it several times in different areas of the room.
- Pillows: Add throw pillows with various patterns of the symbol. You may chose the same pattern but in different colors that match the decor.
- Bedding: Use fleur-de-lis patterned sheets and/or comforter.
- Finials: Lamps and curtain rods are ideal ways to display a fleur-de-lis finial.
- Wall plaques: Arrange three fleur-de-lis plaques or resin appliques on the wall behind your bed. Choose one large and two smaller ones. Center the large one and place one smaller symbol on either side. Paint or stain as desired.
Never neglect the laundry room when it comes to adding small design touches.
- Apothecary jars: Use jars with fleur-de-lis lid finials to store washing pods and other laundry sundries.
- Lamp shade: Replace an existing lamp shade with one decorated with the symbol. Place the lamp on the counter to add warm to the room.
- Cabinet door knobs: Replace cabinet door knobs with ones featuring the design.
If you happen to redo your bathroom, pick out tiles that feature the design. Otherwise, look for the following accessories:
- Towels: Embroidered with the symbol, display towels in the bathroom for a nice addition.
- Shower curtain: Either use a shower curtain with this symbol in a pattern or fleur-de-lis shower hooks.
- Bath mat: Select a mat to place outside a shower or tub with either a center symbol, border or overall pattern.
- Accessories: Pick up soap holders, toothbrush holders, and cups with the design.
Use Within Different Design Styles
You can use the fleur-de-lis symbol with just about any design style, such as country, traditional, modern, and others.
- Matching color: Select symbol objects that match the existing colors of your room.
- Same material: Fleur-de-lis objects that are the same material will blend into an existing design, such as wrought iron or patina brass.
- Scale: You can either use symbol objects of similar size or create interest/focus by choosing one that is larger.
- Design: Choose symbol objects that reflect your design style, such as a rustic wood fleur-de-lis plaque for a country design or a sleek white porcelain one set on a bookshelf for a modern style décor.
- Same fabrics: Go with the same kind of fabric, such as silk fleur-de-lis pillows to match silk draperies or leather lamp shades to match leather furniture.
Create Depth of Design
There are many other ways to use this classic symbol in your home decor. You can create depth in using the fleur-de-lis several times within your rooms. Vary sizes and types of objects to ensure variety and interest in your creation.