Floral Arrangements: How to Decorate Your Home With Fresh Flowers and Foliage
A well-curated botanical arrangement works wonders in any space. Experts share their tips on how to liven up your home with a refreshing floral display, no matter the size of your room
Flowers have long been a language of expression. Whether it’s a rose for romance or cherry blossoms to mark the start of spring, one can communicate the mood of an occasion with the right selection of blooms. Similarly, you can elevate a space with a stylish floral arrangement at home.
The first step? Try crafting your design around distinctive species. Melissa Wang, creative and production head of floral studio, Wonderland Botanicals, advises beginners to start by narrowing their focus to tropical flowers such as the popular anthuriums or birds of paradise. Pair their vibrant colours and unique shapes with ferns or monstera leaves to create a simple but striking arrangement.
Such exotic varieties are also trendy options for bolder arrangements. Natalie Seng, e-commerce and marketing manager of botanical design studio This Humid House, suggests using a combination of tropical and evergreen flora and foliage in orange, pink and green tones to create a contemporary and unconventional centrepiece.
“Some varieties we recommend include the pink ginger flower, balloon cotton-bush (a small, shrubby plant), and large white lilies and mimosas, which can be styled with a mix of green foliage like the pittosporum (an evergreen shrub) and panicum (large, perennial grasses),” says Seng, who is also a trained floral designer. “Fruits such as limes, lemons and passion fruits can also be incorporated into the design.”
Choose seasonal varieties for the freshest picks
While we enjoy perennial access to tropical flora, this does not mean you should overlook seasonal blooms. According to Singapore-based florist Charlotte Puxley, spring is a peak season for flowers, as this is when flowering bulbs and delicate blooms abound. These annual varieties can be found at established wholesalers such as G.G Fresh Flower, Far East Orchid, Sing See Soon or even the local supermarket.
“Some of our favourites are tulips, anemones, ranunculus (buttercups) and hyacinths—think sprightly yellows, pops of orange and pastel touches,” says Puxley. “We love to incorporate hardy beauties such as anthuriums, orchids, chrysanthemums and lush foliage (with these spring varieties), so as to bring the European spring to the tropics.” To maintain these flowers in our humid weather, she recommends cutting the stems at an angle and placing a cube of ice into the vase to keep the stems cool and hydrated.
Mix and match flowers and foliage
Wherever you choose, Wang advises opting for a cool environment, away from direct sunlight. As the plants start to age, extend their use by gradually redistributing parts of the arrangement throughout your home.
“The flowers should last five to seven days, but the foliage will have a longer display life,” she says. “You may remove the flowers progressively and place foliage or even single stalks in smaller vases. These can decorate the vanity, side tables or countertops.”
Choose the right spot
Floral arrangements should be placed in a spot that affords maximum exposure. Other than the hallway, dining area or living room, the TV console might also be a good alternative.
“These consoles are usually elongated, so you can place a floral arrangement at one corner to break the monotony of a stretch of empty space,” says Jeremy Tay, director of interior design firm Prestige Global Designs.
He adds that you could treat your floral arrangement like a sculpture. “In every home, there is always an empty corner where you can display your creations, like an area where you might place a sculpture. If you’re showcasing a shorter arrangement, you could use a pedestal to add more height.”
A lush tablescape on the dining table is a great way to impress your guests, but there are some factors to consider before you go all out with the foliage. “Although it is annoying to have your tablescape impede the view of your guests, you may be able to get away with lighter flowers that allow for visual porosity,” says Seng.
Another tip is to showcase flowers in a variety of low vessels that complement one another when placed together. She continues: “We favour using a combination of bowls and footed bowls, as these subtle height variations add sophistication to your tablescape. Don’t be afraid to cut some of your stems short, as this allows for maximum height variation. Lastly, work on your tablescape as a whole. It’s helpful to start with your vessels exactly where you intend for them to be, and go from there.”
If you’d like to keep your tablescape simple, however, Tay suggests using repeated elements, such as arranging vases of the same design and height together. “You could also use a mix of items, like a cluster of different vases and ornaments—some with floral arrangements and others without—to form a composition,” he says.
If the vases used are transparent or opaque, this will affect the treatment of your floral arrangement. “If you are using a see-through vase made of glass or crystal, you can use pebbles or leaves to conceal the stalks,” says Tay.
Your tablescape may take precedence as occasion decor, but Nikki Hunt, founder of Design Intervention, reminds us that we should not neglect the other elements of a properly-dressed table when entertaining.
“A well-designed tablescape ensures that your guests feel special,” she says. “Placemats, napkins, candles and centrepieces all play their part in setting the mood; celebratory events are made extra special by creating the ideal backdrop.”