It’s the beginning of the wedding season, which means that brides-to-be everywhere are swooning over-elaborate bouquets, over-the-top centerpieces and all sorts of flower arrangements. But even if you’re not in wedding planning mode at this time of year, you can still bring lots of beauty into your home with floral decoration that’s so right for the season. Christopher Sidoli, manager and floral designer of the florist Bloom in New York City, to get some pointers on how to put together gorgeous arrangements at home — no groom necessary.
Stay in Style with Floral Decoration
Just like in fashion and interior design, floral decoration trends come and go. While the monochromatic design was in vogue a few years ago, Sidoli says last year saw a return to vintage/garden-style arrangements.
“Bold colors and contrast of texture are what’s really fun right now. Our ‘wild beauty’ arrangement, for example, is purple and orange with several different textures,” he says.
Fall in Love
Knowing which flowers to pick is sometimes the hardest part, but Sidoli says it’s an educational process and you should challenge yourself to try new things.“Pick flowers that you love and don’t be afraid to try a flower you’ve never seen before. Similar to the movie Julie & Julia, the way to learn is to expand what you know by trying new things.”
Roses are, however, the easiest to work with for beginners as they are so strong and durable. But try to branch out from a monochromatic look if you want to be a little more creative. Select various colors that you might not usually put together, suggests Sidoli. Or, if you always keep them long in a tall vase, try cutting them down to create a dome-like bouquet – longer stems in the center and shorter stems on the outside.
Give Some TLC
Just like any relationship, some tender loving care will make things last longer. So when you get home from the florist, get out your vase and fill it with cool water. “Always, always give your flowers a fresh cut when you get home, right before you put them into the water,” Sidoli says. “This is key.”
Changing the water in your arrangement every few days is a must, as is keeping the flowers away from direct sunlight or any kind of heat source, he says. “Heat always shortens the duration of the flowers,” he said. “There’s a reason we keep them in a cooler … the cooler they are, the longer they last.”
Variety is the Spice of Life
Think outside of the box when it comes to vase selection. Sidoli says a quirky vase can add a lot to whatever you put in it and can become a great conversation piece. He’s been collecting glassware in all shapes and sizes for years and has a whole section of his hallway closet where he keeps his collection.
“It’s always fun to mix it up with a different container from week to week,” he says. “In a way, sometimes the vase dictates what the arrangement will be. Some people design a bouquet for a vase, others pick the vase and let that determine the direction of the bouquet. I think both schools of thought are fine.”
And don’t be afraid to look in unusual places for interesting pieces. “I love to shop for unusual containers for flowers in vintage stores, flea markets, antique stores … that’s always an adventure,” Sidoli says. “One time I found an amber glass vase made for the Kennedy campaign that originally contained alcohol. And now it’s one of my favorite vases.”
Different vases also allow you to play with height. For a very tall vase, you can add branches or twigs to an arrangement that adds texture and interest. Save your miniature vases or decorative bottles for those stems that broke off and place a single stem on a desk or nightstand for a mini dose of color.
So next time you buy flowers, take a little extra time selecting something you might usually shy away from. Be bold and go for it.
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