Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.
One of my favorite things about spring is sprucing up my home. Once the spring-cleaning is complete, I like to revive the high-traffic areas in my house with unique flower arrangements that I’ve assembled myself. It’s amazing how a simple bouquet of flowers can enliven a room and instantly boost your mood.
Whether you’re preparing for a party or just wanting to channel your creative side, use these tips to create the perfect floral arrangement to freshen up your home.
Flowers can be collected from a variety of sources. If you have a garden, start there. Maybe you have roses, wildflowers, honeysuckle or climbing ivy—they’re all attractive (and free!) options. Your local grocery store offers an array of flowers at a fair price—a high-impact arrangement doesn’t require the most expensive, exotic flowers from a ritzy florist. As you look for flowers, prioritize color harmony and select a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. Dig through the flower bunches to find blooms that are healthy, slightly budded and without brown stems. Don’t forget the greenery! Doesn’t matter if it’s store-bought or from your own backyard, greenery gives your arrangement much-needed structure and depth.
Be creative when it comes to picking a vase. Sure, putting a bouquet in a clear glass tapered vase is the classic choice, but mix it up with a mason jar wrapped in some craft paper or your grandmother’s ceramic water pitcher. Try using an opaque vase if you can, as it hides the crisscrossed stems and complements the color of the blooms. As for size, the rule of thumb is that the bouquet should be one and a half times larger than the vase itself.
Have all your tools on hand before you start arranging the flowers. Things you might need include floral tape, twine, floral scissors, rubber bands, a rose stripper, wire and wire cutters. When you get the flowers home, immediately put them in tepid water and cut a solid inch off the stems using a sharp knife. Regardless of the bouquet shape you plan on creating, it’s a good idea to make a grid on the mouth of the vase with floral tape before you start. This helps the flowers stay upright as you build the arrangement.
And now for the fun part! As you arrange, try to sit down so you’re working from eye level, not from above. After all, the top of the arrangement is not what people will be looking at. Remember there are no set rules when it comes to arranging flowers. The most beautiful bouquets mimic the randomness and asymmetry of nature.
Start building your bouquet with greens and foliage. This will help you create the shape the flowers will fit into. Greenery should hang over the lip of the vase and have a high point in the back. Next add filler flowers; black-eyed Susans, milkweed, and Spanish lavender are colorful choices. These smaller flowers help to create additional webbing that will hold your show-stealers up. Bold blooms such as roses, gerbera daisies or sunflowers should be placed last. Maximize the impact of these big flowers by placing them in strategic positions throughout the arrangement.
Check fullness and color variety as you go, taking a step back from your arrangement and moving it around to view different angles. As mentioned before, prioritize with color, i.e., one bouquet with pinks, reds and oranges, another with blues and purples. Don’t be afraid to play around with scale—leave small flowers on a longer stem, and cut the stem of a larger flower rather short. Every flower arrangement is unique, and the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be in your arranging.
Flowers can go just about anywhere in the house, as long as they’re out of direct sunlight. A few places I like to display flowers are on the bedside table, on the dining table and in the bathroom (especially when entertaining guests). The proportion of the arrangement is important to consider. In general, I like to make sure the size of the arrangement is appropriate to the room it’s adorning, e.g., a bathroom is best paired with a small bunch of fragrant flowers. If you’re hankering to build a sprawling, multi-tiered arrangement, make a place for it on an entryway surface or family room side table.
As you plan the arrangement and placement, be practical. If it’s a petite bedside table arrangement, go for a vase with a wide base and relatively short blooms so you don’t knock it over in the night. If the arrangement is on the dining table, it shouldn’t be so tall that people can’t see each other. (An easy way to check this is to put your elbow down on the table, and your fist in the air; make sure the bouquet’s height is not taller than your fist.) The last tip here would be to protect the surfaces you’re adorning by using cork coasters. Fitting a coaster to the vases you fill will help prevent unsightly water rings on your furniture.
Once you’ve worked hard to create the perfect arrangement, be sure to care for your flowers so they last as long as possible. Strip the stem of any leaves that will touch the water in the vase. Leaves sitting in water rot and make the flowers die more quickly. Trim the stems often, change the water daily and keep the bouquet away from direct sun.