Vintage flower arrangement in old picnic basket. Cottage Flower arrangement inspiration.

7 Tips For Creating A Floral Arrangement

One of my favorite creative spaces is the middle of the botanical aisle. Be it real or faux floral, to me each stem carries such inspiration and beauty. As I am working on design and decor for our new home, I have noted a couple cavities of empty, dull space in need of something special. Faux floral arrangements are a great solution for spaces like these where a living plant wouldn’t get enough sunlight (or you don’t want to deal with the upkeep of a real plant). For us, this ends up being inside a hutches, top shelves, or even on top of the fridge. Faux floral arrangements can transform boring, forgotten spaces but I have learned the act of creating such an arrangement can be quite intimidating to some. It need not be this way! I have compiled a list of 7 easy tips to creating a beautiful floral arrangement perfect for your space.

ONE: Know the space you wish to fill.
Does your arrangement need to be tall, wide, spilling, hanging, full or just a few stems? By knowing the answer to this question you can select the perfect base for your arrangement AND from there gather the best stems.

TWO: Select your base.
This is a great place to add in a touch of vintage. Let your creativity roam! You could use an old basket, pot, pail, vase, pitcher, tea pot (you name it). To me, the most stunning floral arrangements have a unique base. The more interesting and unexpected the better.

THREE: Take a color inventory.
If you are anything like me, I may THINK I know what I am shopping for, but after blissfully strolling down the 3rd or 4th aisle of enamoring florals I am totally off track and have forgotten the purpose of my mission all together. It’s helpful to go in with a plan. Knowing what colors this arrangement is near will help you eliminate some options. Think about the color(s) of the wall or shelf acting as the backdrop, the base it will be in, and other colors in the room within line of sight. I would recommend using colors already in the space OR introducing a pop of a single complimentary color.

PROTIP: If your home is decorated in jewel tones, I would caution against using pastels. Similarly, if your home is furnished with soft hues steer away from deep vibrant florals.

FOUR: Select a floral theme.
This may sound odd, but it will help your arrangement looks cohesive and you stay on track while shopping. What is the setting your botanicals were gathered from? Tell the story. If your home is farmhouse style maybe your arrangement is a collection of wildflowers; if modern, perhaps it’s more abstract. If your house feels rustic with natural textures maybe you incorporate some feathers into your design, or in the south a stalk of cotton or wheat could tie it all together. Whatever it may be, decide on the theme of your arrangement and brainstorm about what might naturally grow or be gathered in that setting.

Vintage flower arrangement in old picnic basket. Cottage Flower arrangement inspiration.
Arrangement for above the fridge. Base is a vintage picnic basket. Colors are neutral, ivory. Theme is picked from an English garden. Includes: 1 bundle leaf greens, 2 sprigs silver dollar Eucalyptus, 3 ivory rose stems, 1 spilling ivory garden flower and 1 tall budding ivory stem.

FIVE: Greenery.
Bundles of leafy greenery will ground and fill your base, giving your arrangement much dimension. I recommend gathering 2 different types of greenery. Try to find bundles of similar green hues and of equal size. For example, if you select one bundle of tall dark greenery, compliment it with two or three smaller sprigs of something else in a similar color.

restored 1900s mantel. Fall mantels. A pretty solution to incorporating a TV into your living room design
Autumn Mantel. My base was the vintage mantel. Colors are neutral. Theme is spilling vintage pumpkins. Includes: spilling sage green stems pieced into preformed matching garland, 7 pumpkins in shades of white and brown (all different sizes) in place of flowers.

SIX: Stems.
I recommend at least three different stems and each of different quantities. These stems could all be the same color, or they could be complimentary colors. Remember your space, your base, the colors already at play in the room, and your theme. If you are going for a traditional, ‘fresh out of the garden’ look, narrow your search to only the most beautiful fairytale flowers. If you have a neutral home and want to go with a natural, earthy arrangement, find stems which might actually grow in your area such as cotton, branch structures, feathers, wheat, pine needles, etc.

spring toolbox with terracotta pots
Coffee table centerpiece. Base is an old tool box filled with odds and ends. Colors are springtime pastels. Theme is wispy, handpicked wildflowers. Includes: a few light yellow and blush stems cut into smaller, shorter pieces.

SEVEN: Put it all together.
This is the final and most important step. Hold your greenery and stems all together in one extended arm fistful. You may squint your eyes and tilt your head, whatever helps you capture the essence of your bouquet. Don’t worry about those other shoppers, they are probably just admiring how effortlessly you threw together that arrangement. Does anything stand out? You don’t want your eye landing on one single item. If it does, rearrange the fistful and look again. If that same item is still catching your eye, take it out. It doesn’t matter why it stands out, just that it does. You want your arrangement to have depth and variety, but to be visually cohesive.

There is no exact science to making a beautiful floral arrangement. It all boils down to what your eye calls pretty. I have been known to lay all my botanicals out in the middle of the aisle while puzzling and playing with different combinations. No shame! It may be a ‘touch more of this and a touch less of that’ kind of process, but you can always make adjustments, so really nothing is at stake.

Happy Arranging!

Share your thoughts or questions!