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How to: make a small flower arrangement

Interior Trends: Enduring or Fads?

Category: Interior Styling

How to: make a small flower arrangement

On June 17th, 2014 by .

This feature is a step-by-step on how to make a small flower arrangement.  I created the following display for Fathers Day, using flowers from our garden, and thought it might be useful to explain the thought process of how I put flowers together.

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Things to think about…

- Colour
Don’t be afraid of colour, use the same rules for flower arranging as you would for interiors to a) create a palette that you like and b) one that would work in your home.  For a rule of thumb, opt for one strong colour, a few mid tones and lighter hues for highlighting. For single colour displays, a simple formula is to stick to three types of flower, this avoids an overly busy design.  Even with single colour displays, I would still recommend a splash of green foliage for contrast.

- Height
Keep the flowers to a similar height.  You will need to vary the stem height slightly to create depth, but no more than an inch above the top of the vase.  The only time I would suggest using something higher would be the introduction of a tall feature, such thin grass stems.

- Pruning
Remove the leaves from all stems in the water, what you are aiming for are clean and modern lines, not bushy and dirty stems.  I would also thin out the leaves around the flower head to simplify the display.

- Arranging
Make sure you have an even spread of colour with a good mix of dark, mid and light tones.  The same applies with shape and size; avoid placing the fuller flowers next to one another, instead, group small and large together to create an even balance.

- Choosing your vase
Base your decision on the type of flower and reflect this in your vase; i.e for a small and pretty arrangement, I would choose a delicate tumbler like the one I used below.  For tall simple stems, such as Arum lilies, a tall cylinder vase would work well. Oriental displays look great when wrapped around the inside of a goldfish bowl, and all hydrangeas look fab in enamel or galvanized jugs.  A good place to look for inspiration is Pinterest as they have some beautiful flower images.

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To create my display, I used a pretty tumbler from John Lewis, I loved them so much I bought six as they are perfect for little displays such as these. My finished arrangement sat on our white dining table, but I wanted to show you what happens when you move the flowers to a different location; with colour.  The pale grey backdrop compliments the soft pinks and purples whilst the mustard base makes all the colours pop, just something to think about when you are deciding where to place yours.

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Top tips for creating the perfect display
- Think about the colour of your flowers and whether the combination works
- Decide on your vase before you begin and make sure it compliments the style of flower
- Leave no more than 1 inch of stalk to sit above the top of the vase
- Know when to stop adding flowers, do not let the stalks get cramped
- Cold water prolongs the life of flowers
- If the flowers are from the market then re-cut the stem at an angle to allow more water in

If you are a designer of any sort then you will enjoy the following video. Ken Marten, Senior flower designer at McQueens, shows us how he interprets a brief for Mulberry.  I find it fascinating to watch a designers journey from concept to a finished product.

Introducing 'Copenhagen' by John Lewis

On May 14th, 2014 by .

John Lewis are embracing the passion for Scandinavian design by introducing a new collection called ‘Copenhagen’.  Typical of this style, the furniture is all about pared-back forms, function and quality craftsmanship, whilst the textiles have gone one step further. In line with current trends, the solid and simplistic patterns that you would expect to see have been replaced with more pixelated print methods, their Retreat and Rosendal cushions are a good example of this (image below). The colour scheme has a familiar base of pale grey, black and cream teamed with splashes of lemon, mustard and coral.  It really is a lovely collection with a reasonable price tag, and will start to filter into store from July with the full range available by September 2014.

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Loki medium sofa, £1500, Bromley floor lamp, £250, Why Wood coffee table, £175, Listrado rug, from £80

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Bromley table lamp, £150, Why Wood coffee table, £175, Marble hexagonal candle plate, £25, Marble candle holder from £10, Marble teardrop, £8

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Bicycles print, £70, Why Wood bench, £199, wire basket, £62, woven felt basket, £18, Retreat Monochrome wallpaper, £22 per roll

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Copenhagen double bed, £999, Mirror, £499, Bedside table, £275, Lars bed linen set, £40, Striped Mohair throw, £50, Bromley floor lamp, as before.  Image below: Caro Sideboard, £599

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Crown paints: Geo style

On May 12th, 2014 by .

With the interiors world going crazy for Geo patterns, it is no wonder that the main paint houses, including Crown Paints, are keen to show you how to apply this technic to your walls.  It is a fresh and dynamic design style and as you can see from the image below, not just for modern homes. The shot has been created with thought and skill; the muted pastel palette sits well with the luxurious velvet chair, whilst the dark furniture and accessories add contrast and drama.  What do you think?  Is it a look for you?

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To create this look, make sure you plan out your colour scheme and find a way to bring the look together with the rest of your furniture and accessories.  Crown paints have incorporated their colours and pattern with the geo cushion and balanced out the pink tones with some pretty flowers.

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Walls: Classic Duck Egg dead flat emulsion – £24.99, Homebase, 2.5L. Velvet Plum dead flat emulsion – £22.98, 2.5L, B&Q. Flagon dead flat emulsion –  £24.99, Homebase, 2.5L. Wood: Aged White Period Colours Eggshell – £26.98, 2.5L B&Q, Crown Paints.