A Fling with Flowers: Make your own inspired arrangements
March 26, 2018
Spring may be officially around the corner, but it's hard to get excited when your home is still in winter mode. The simplest, fastest way to give any room a visual shot of the season is with fresh flowers. Flowers have an uplifting and calming effect and add warmth to any space.
You don't need formal training or a thick handbook to create original table settings and arrangements. You're not aiming for a perfect art piece (it's best to leave trimming a 200-year-old bonsai tree to the professionals). These 11 tips are a good place to start. So sharpen your scissors, snoop in your garage, forage the mountainsides, and prepare to be bloomin' brilliant.
- Don't be timid. Flowers are perishable, so your creative efforts won't affect their shelf life. Really work those stems.
- Take a hike into the woods and scout for any budding branches, berries, or items that may add intrigue to your arrangement.
- Create a relaxing, inspiring mood by playing some of your favorite music while you work—professional florists often have a soundtrack in their studios.
- Work on a large open surface so you have a good 360˚ view as you create your arrangement.
- Snoop around in your garage and basement, looking for unique containers and vases. Scrub them clean and pay attention to their height and width. And, of course, make sure they don't leak. (If a container isn't watertight, you can always insert a smaller glass jar.)
- When prepping flower stems, remove all leaves in order to avoid the growth of bacteria in the water. Next, cut each stem on a diagonal angle and place immediately in lukewarm water.
- You'll probably need to insert wet oasis or use transparent floral tape on top of the vase to stabilize the flowers. These are available at craft stores.
- Clip some foliage from your houseplants to add dimension and greenery to your arrangement. Asparagus fern and ivy are good choices.
- If your vessel is short and squat, select flowers with small blooms that complement the color of the vessel. Crowd the flowers together in a compact manner for impact.
- A general rule of thumb is that your arrangement should be about one-and-a-half to two times the height of your vessel. When deciding where to place it, proportion and scale are important. If your arrangement is tall, put it in an area that commands attention. If your arrangement is short, it might be best suited to a bathroom, windowsill, or side table.
- When your masterpiece is completed, help ensure it lasts. Change the water and cut the stems every other day to prolong the shelf life of the flowers.
Blending Old and New
This tabletop blends glass with copper for a wonderful transitional look. The copper-colored sheer adds a soft, fluid movement to the glass top. Place settings command attention with large copper chargers, high relief-patterned white dishes, etched wine glasses, and contemporary flatware. Centerstage, the large Turkish vessel of hammered copper overflows with hot pink tulips, blue and white hydrangeas, orchids, pink lilies, and trailing plumosa ferns. The mini beaded glass vases with tulips and alstroemeria are another detail that punctuates each place setting. It's a burst of spring, but when you look closer you'll sense the whisper of intrigue and warmth from those patinated copper chargers. Old and new stories, unveiled.
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Elevated Mountain West
An organic tablescape can include your favorite colorful linens, bold dinner plates, earthy stemware, and bronze flatware to complete the mountain theme. The hand-hewn plank centerpiece, created by Annie Zivkovich, is 4 feet long and 10 inches wide. While the one shown here has a holiday theme, it can easily be tweaked for spring. For example, Annie suggests creating a rectangular or round plank that includes mini succulents, fresh mosses, and mini blooming quince branches juxtaposed with lemons, limes, and tulips. Antlers are optional.
Toddlers and tykes tend to nibble, sip, and run, most happily with their own playmates. Find a small bench or table and dress it up with carefree dishes, spoons, and sippy cups. But don't stop there. Mini polka dot ceramic rain boots are just their size, fun to fill with pink and purple tulips and prickly asparagus fern. Don't invest in pieces that are too pricey: Besides being colorful, these little rain boots beg to be touched, sniffed, and snagged by your toddlers. After all, isn't that the intrigue of flowers for all of us—to awaken our senses?