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Flowers in the home bring life to the sanctuary offering a calm, buoyant presence inviting us, the inhabitants, to be present as well. Studies have shown flowers in the home increase life satisfaction and immediately increase happiness as well as social connection. Such a simple decor detail offering welcomed and desired life contentment improvement, it makes me think perhaps flowers are a necessary budget item rather than discretionary.
Of course, we don’t have to go out and purchase flowers, during different months throughout the year, if we plan ahead, we can have the floral options in our gardens, on our window sills and in our homes.
In the most recent episode of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen, the episode concluded with An Everyday Luxury about simple, yet luxurious floral arrangements and a tutorial on how to arrange your own without much fuss or extra tools necessary. I confess, I love having flowers in my home, and feel fortunate for the past five, now going on six years to have a Trader Joe’s nearby as flowers available in their store are inexpensive and seasonal which makes it a delight in February when the first daffodils arrive, and in late spring when the first peonies arrive and so on.
I try to budget for 2-3 arrangements in the home each week, spending no more than $20 unless there is a special occasion to occur in the home. If I am fortunate, an arrangement will last for more than a week as some hydrangeas have done and some gladiolus as well.
As you can see below, I enjoy placing an arrangment in the rooms I frequent – not just the dining table for example. The mudroom constantly sees me move back and forth through its space multiple times a day, so placing an arrangment on the side table by the bench has elevated my everydays in the simplest way possible – just add a single varietal bloom!
Today I would like to share with you twelve simple ideas for creating your own beautiful arrangements as well as include a few tips and tricks for making your arrangements last as long as possible.
Before I dive into my list, a few resources I highly recommend picking up for more in-depth inspiration and expertise: Erin Benzakein, of Floret’s Flower,’s most recent book A Year in Flowers shares inspiration for seasonal bouquets as well as shares in detail how to set up your arrangement station in your own home – the supplies, tools, etc.. Also, Annabelle Hickson’s visited TSLL last year and shared a detailed list of ideas and tips for effortless, statement making bouquets and arrangements when her new book A Tree in the House was released. And Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home also shares beautiful arrangment inspiration on her blog – her dahlias always delight me.
Now to the list!
1.Choose the same flower but in different shades of the same hue
Pick up on the undertones of the colors available – cool or warm and stick with a theme of the same tone, or select varying hues of orange – an ombre effect so to speak (see below). Either way, you create depth, dimension and subtle contrast that draws the eye.
2. Choose one varietal in the same hue
I have stuck with this option for years and continue to default to it as it never fails. An abundance of one bloom creates a luxurious statement as it signifies you knew what you wanted and invested – regardless of the price of the flower. In other words, you have gone all in. A message of confidence and clarity. Nobody needs to know you only spent $5 on the entire bundle of viburnum white snowball blooms. 😉
3. Add Herbs to Your Floral Arrangements
From rosemary to lemon verbena, mint in all of its different varietals, yes, even basil and parsley, add not only their unique texture and shapes, but their subtle scents as well as greenery to your floral bouquets.
I have just begun to use herbs in my arrangments as I have more options available right outside my kitchen door, so I don’t have any pictures to share yet, but I will moving forward most definitely.
4. Buy the freshest flowers if you cannot cut your own
While there are many hacks for how to prolong a flower’s fresh bloom, the truth is, sometimes they have been blooming far longer than we know when we purchase then at the store/market/etc.. By purchasing the freshest flowers, still in bud and about to bloom, you give yourself the best chance of the longest blooming time.
5. Cut at a 45 degree angle each stem, and do so every couple of days along with cleaning the vase and adding from lukewarm water.
As well, remove any leaves that will be submerged in the water to keep the water clean and free of debris.
6. Feed your flowers with a teaspoon of sugar and white vinegar or lemon juice (oh, and a drop of bleach as well)
Why sugar? Because the flower is no longer to absorb enough natural sunlight, it is not able to natural take in sucrose which is food for the plant to live and thrive. By adding table sugar you are adding a sucrose replacement to prolong the flower’s life.
Why distilled white vinegar? When you added the vinegar it reduces the Ph levels in the water which enables the cuttings to drink up the water easier as the vinegar is eliminatin microbes that make the stem slimy and clot or seal shut effectively stopping any food and water from being enjoyed by the flower.
If you don’t have white vinegar, lemon juice is also a citric acid that will do the same task – reduce the Ph levels to enable the flower to drink up the water more readily.
The bleach keeps the water clean and acts as a disinfectant in the water helping to remove any potentially harmvul bacteria.
7. Create a monochromatic bouquet of different varietals
Choose the hue that catches your eye, and purchase different types of flowers sharing that hue. The varying size and texture will create interest and depth of color.
8. Purchase a frog to enable just about every vase to become usable no matter what flowers you find
I am not a stickler for the perfect vase as for many years I only had one or two, and I still don’t have that many more, but what changed the game for me was having floral frogs available so that the flowers would stay where I wanted them to whether the vase supported them perfectly or not.
9. Refrain from placing a bouquet next to a bowl of fresh fruit
You will notice in one of the pictures above (#6), I placed my bouquet next to my fruit bowl on my island. Well, no more does that happen. The ripening fruit “releases tiny amounts of ethylene gas which prematurely ages flowers. Dying flowers do the same so always remove them from the vase.” (source)
10. Add ornamental vegetables and/or gourds
From ornamental cabbages, small pumpkins and squashes, have fun adding different interest items to your bouquet depending upon where you are placing it and what vessel you are using.
I found ornamental cabbages at Trader Joe’s last year and combined them with white hydranges to create a winter arrangment that surprised me how delightful it was to the eye.
11. Use the dried alliums and place in natural statement vases
Dried flowers have not been my favorite idea to have in the home as I usually bump into them and create a mess, but when I saw Monty Don’t dried alliums lined up in glass vases and porcelain vessels along a window wall, I took notice. (see below)
12. Bud vases for the one stem beauties
I love collecting unique bud vases, especially the pudgy, plump ones as the vase is as much about the beauty of the arrangment as it is the flower; however, together they create a lovely vignette for just about anywhere in your home.
Yep, I love flowers, and I continue to learn more and more about how to welcome them into my home in new and unique, yet still simple ways. Wishing you many beautiful bouquets!