LET'S TIP TOE THRU THE TULIPS!
Decorating with Fresh Flowers and Greenery
Designers LOVE to use fresh flowers and greenery in homes and offices. Not only do they often bring happiness to our homes, flowers add a softer touch compared to the “hard” elements of a room - wooden furniture, counters, shelves, etc, - while also adding the touches of color that can break up a neutral space without being overpowering. Plants and flowers also detox and cleanse our air, bringing freshness to our spaces, even if they don’t have a fragrance.
Basically, plants and flowers are awesome and you need them in your home. (Got allergies? Don’t worry, I’m not forgetting you!)
Today, I want to share with you my love of flowers and how I use them to transform spaces from blah to blooming, the best plants for every part of your home, and even a little bit about flower arranging!
If you’re anything like me, you’re a visual learner, so I’ve included some links to helpful youtube videos and some inspiring pictures to help you create your own floral paradise!
Plants and Flowers Improve Our Moods
When there’s someone you love in the hospital, what do you do? You send or take flowers! Not only does this brighten up a dreary hospital room, a study of patients recovering from abdominal surgery showed patients who received flowers or flowering plants had better outcomes than those who didn’t. flowers are scientifically proven to help people in hospitals get better soon. Flowers make us feel better emotionally and that spills over into helping our physical health, too!
Other studies show that having flowers and plants in our workspaces make us more productive and also improves creativity. Pretty cool, right? And it wasn’t any one flower that does the trick, it was just fresh greenery, so set a vase of tulips or daisies on your desk, or hang baskets of lush ferns around your office - either one is going to make your day better!
Indoor Plants Improve Our Air Quality
In the late 1980s, NASA studied how plants could improve air quality while in space, such as on the shuttle or space stations. The results were surprisingly positive, and numerous studies since then continue to prove the fact that plants cleanse our air.
This only applies to actively growing, living plants, as opposed to fresh-cut flowers, but the effects are amazing. In a process called phyoremediation, plants pull contaminants, chemicals, and toxins from the earth, water, and air and degrade them or balance them out to where they’re no longer harmful.
Seriously, how awesome is that?
Some of the best houseplants for filtering VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from mold, smoke, and dangerous chemicals are:
Snake Plant (Also called “Mother-in-Laws Tongue)
Variegated Wax Plant
Most of these are not only lovely, lush, and green, they’re so easy to care for, too!
Check out this video to see some of these plants and get some other ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tIs_0DZcwU
So, now that you know WHY you need to get flowers and plants, let’s talk about how to design with them!
Designing Your Home with Houseplants and Flowers
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Design is in the details” and I SWEAR by that in my career! You can have the perfect paint and gorgeous couches and tables, but it’s the accessories that give the space personality. Flower power gives your spaces PLENTY of personality, plus pops of color, and they work all through the home.
Don’t just stick a ficus in the corner, and call it done! Try some of these tips throughout your home to breathe life into your spaces:
Succulent Garden - succulents and air plants are super hardy and so pretty! These small plants look beautiful in a cluster on a table. Use different sized pots in a few neutral colors to create interest without clashing with the greenery.
Spa-Feel with Orchids - orchids are both simple and lovely and work beautifully in a bathroom. Their deep green foliage with a white or purple blossom creates a lovely color against a clean, bright bathroom, making them a popular option in spas. Plus, they thrive in humidity!
Window Herb Garden - basil, mint, and oregano brighten up your kitchen while you elevate your cooking! Create an indoor window box, repurpose jars, or get creative with one of these ideas in this video.
Use Oversize Containers - Plant multiple houseplants, such as bamboo or snake plant or a combination of green, tropical plants, in one large container for a lush centerpiece or standing floor piece.
Vertical Plant Wall - Dress up a blank wall in your office, living area, or den with a wall of living, thriving plants! With trellis, hooks, and hanging pots, you can fill your wall with all types of houseplants. Check out some more ideas for a vertical garden here.
Need some more information?
This video gives you some great ideas on potting your plants - Seriously, do NOT keep them in the gross plastic tubs you got them in.
Decorating with Fresh-Cut Flowers
If you would rather not worry about sweeping spilled dirt or watering houseplants, I completely understand. Fresh-cut flowers in beautiful bouquets add so much color to a space along with a pleasant, soft fragrance. Cut flower arrangements can greet guests when they walk through your door, dress up a dinner table, or brighten a bedside table.
Fortunately, you can get lovely, fresh flowers from most groceries along with wholesalers all year long at an affordable price, and with the right care, they’ll last for up to a few weeks:
Buy the freshest flowers (ask the salesperson about their most recent delivery)
Snip of the ends at a 45% angle and put them immediately in cool water with flower food (either enclosed or make your own with half Sprite/half water combination).
Trim dry or dead leaves and trim the leaves up to an inch above the water line
Keep them out of the direct sun or a too warm room.
Change the water when it becomes cloudy or about every 3rd day.
Now that you know how to keep them alive, use these flower arranging tips to elevate your vases and wow your guests!
Use floral foam in the bottom of your container to keep flowers standing upright
For wide arrangements, use a shallow container, for just a few blossoms, a slim, tall vase is lovely. Keep your arrangement in proportion to your container.
Place your tallest flowers toward the center, small blossoms around the perimeter, and fill in the spaces with greenery, leaves, or filler.
This video should help you if you prefer to see a demonstration in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn6ZQHWwPm4
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