Meet the Design Expert Making Florals for Spring Groundbreaking Again

Floral vanity with antique wallpaper behind it.

Riley Sheehey

It’s safe to say that illustrator Riley Sheehey knows a thing or two about floral prints—her artwork is frequently filled with flowery designs, and she enjoys incorporating related touches in her home as much as possible, too. “I often wish that it was spring year-round, and I probably would decorate accordingly,” Sheehey jokes. 

Sheehey recently launched a line of floral mirrors in collaboration with Fleur Home, and these investment pieces are exclusively available for purchase via the website Over the Moon. However, floral fanatics can also scoop up botanical art prints, complete with intricately decorated borders, from Sheehey’s website for just $58 each. 

Primrose Print Large Mirror
Fleur Home x Riley Sheehey Primrose Print Large Mirror $3950
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Sheehey was inspired to launch this particular collection after attending an antiques show in the Washington D.C. area, where she lives. “I fell in love with a series of 16 botanical watercolor studies and matching frames,” she reflects. “I’d seen botanical studies before, but I’d never seen them framed so prettily. When I buy frames, I usually remove the mats and hold onto them, so I thought it would be fun to try and recreate a version of what I saw with a botanical study and a matching mat.” 

I often wish that it was spring year-round, and I probably would decorate accordingly.

When creating floral pieces, Sheehey alters her artistic technique based on the project or medium at hand. “My favorite part about drawing florals and botanicals is that there are so many styles you can draw them in and so many mediums you can use," she explains. "You really can’t go wrong."

Tablescape with floral painted dinnerware.

Riley Sheehey

When drawing or using watercolors, Sheehey notes that she tries to make them as realistic as possible. “It ends up being almost meditative for me to try to find the exact spots to add highlights and shadows and trying to make them pop off of the page," she says. "When I’m painting or drawing florals for a pattern, or with acrylic on items like boxes or seashells, I paint more stylized versions of them.” 

As for Sheehey’s personal favorite flower? “Lily of the Valley, but I think that it’s also the most difficult to draw or paint,” she says. “Since I usually work on a white ground with watercolor, it can be difficult to make the whites of the flowers show up on the page.”

Lilacs and hydrangeas, with their many petals, are Sheehey’s favorite florals to illustrate.

Glass vase filled with flowers.

Riley Sheehey

In the market for even more florals? Stay tuned. In May, Sheehey will launch a collection of home textiles and wallpapers that is entirely floral-themed, with at least one type of flower depicted in each of the 11 patterns. In the meantime, she hopes to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the spring weather.

“The D.C. area is known for its muggy summers,” she says. "But, we have about six weeks out of the year each spring where I think it’s the prettiest place to be.”

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