Floral Prints & Wallpaper With Ashley Woodson Bailey

Texas-born Ashley Woodson Bailey worked as a floral designer for over 20 years before she started using her self-taught photography skills to capture the flower and create custom fabrics, prints and home products. Here, Ashley shares how she turned a tragic accident into a life-changing career, her infatuation of the flower, and how to make the most out of floral design.

Ashley – as an artist, you are defined completely by the flower. Can you please shed some light on your life-long relationship with the flower?
I first fell in love with flowers as a little girl in Galveston, TX. Honeysuckle vines was pretty much all I wanted. Time passed and as a college graduate I realized that I wanted to work with flowers as a career. I worked in the flower industry on and off for 20 years (mostly on).

Ashley Woodson Bailey

Photo by M.K. Sadler

You were involved with floral design for years – what brought you to the world of photography?
My husband, son and I were in a terrible car accident in the summer of 2012. I broke my back and could no longer do flowers for big events because it is so labor intensive. I was very depressed and couldn’t let go of flowers completely so I started to photograph them with my phone.

We’re so grateful and happy that you recovered from your terrible car accident – thank goodness! How did this experience, and your recovery, influence your design process? Thank you! Me too! Oh gosh-the car accident changed the way I do everything. For one, I now work with the flowers that I love and have zero parameters on my choices. I really let the flowers do the talking and try to go into the wholesaler with no plans – I buy what is the most beautiful that day.

Ashley Woodson Bailey Wallapaper Rustic White CREAMY

Photo by Rustic White Photography

We read that you use an iPhone and an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II to shoot – what’s the editing process like?
The editing process is different with both the iPhone and the Olympus. I use an app called Afterlight on my phone to edit every single image. I put so many layers on top of each image to create that dark, romantic and mysterious effect. When I shoot with the Olympus I am normally going for a very different look. One that is much crisper and cleaner and can be printed in a much larger way. I edit all of those images in Photoshop.

Ashley Woodson Bailey Frida Blue

Photo by Ashley Woodson Bailey

How does photographing and designing with flowers make you feel?

What a great question! It makes me feel like I am where I am supposed to be and it makes me feel like I am on cloud 9. I never did any of this with the intention of starting a career-I did it to make me feel alive and to bring me out of a very dark place. The place where I am now with my career is very literally a dream-I wouldn’t pick any different profession if I had to.

Your prints and wallpaper have a very dark colortone – what inspired you to go dark?

The darkness truly comes from within. It started when I was personally in a dark place and it was the only way I could express myself. I have overcome many challenges in my life. The way I express it is through the life of the flower. I also studied Art History in college and was always influenced by Dutch masters.

 Ashley Woodson Bailey Wallpaper Magic

Photo by Ashley Woodson Bailey

What are some of your best-selling prints and wallpapers?

The best selling wallpaper is without a doubt Dutch Love. The Hunt I would say comes in a close second. We haven’t officially launched our new patterns yet but some of them have so much more color and have a totally different feel to them. The best selling prints are Dutch Love, Scabiosa, Alex, Mi Amor Idioma, Syd, Rest and many more!

Ashley Woodson Bailey Rest

Photo by Ashley Woodson Bailey

Can you name some spaces featuring Ashley Woodson Bailey prints and wallpaper that you’re particularly proud of?
I am proud to have Rest hanging in Jessica Alba’s bedroom and Banks hanging in Erin Foster’s kitchen. I am proud to have Primavera wallpaper hanging in Holly Williams’s powder room in her home in Nashville. Honestly I am proud to be in the homes of all the people who have spent their hard earned money on the beauty that I create. What I am most proud of is that my parents have Primavera wallpaper hanging in their entryway and that makes me feel like they are proud of me.

Ashley Woodson Bailey Wallpaper Rustic White Wallpaper Primavera

Photo by Rustic White Photography

What are 3 tips of “best practices” you can offer interior designers for choosing the right wallpaper and making the most out of wallpaper when decorating a space?
1. “Don’t be afraid of pattern”. I think so many people are so concerned about resale that they don’t decorate their homes the way they really want to. I am about to put one of my new patterns in a bathroom in my house as well as patterned tiles on the floor and I just can’t wait! Pattern everywhere!

2. Wallpaper can be expensive, but it can also change the space. If budget is a concern I would pick a focus wall and put your wallpaper there.

3. Don’t be afraid to go BIG! I am dying to see an entire bedroom covered in wallpaper-even the ceiling!

How do interior designers typically use your designs?

I have seen a lot of designers use my wallpaper in powder rooms and main bathrooms. Many of them use the paper on a single statement wall. I would love to see someone use it in a dining room! I think it would be out of this world dramatic.

Ashley Woodson Bailey Pink Poppies

Photo by Ashley Woodson Bailey

What’s your focus for 2017?

My focus is to concentrate on the wallpaper, launch the upholstery fabric and grow the business.

Contact Ashley Woodson Bailey

W: http://www.ashleywoodsonbailey.com/

E: hello@ashleywoodsonbailey.com