5 Arrangement Ideas That Will Brighten Up Any Room

5 Arrangement Ideas That Will Brighten Up Any Room

From elegant to modern and striking, try out some of these easy centerpieces today.


By: Kelly Lee-Creel

Fresh flowers can put the finishing touch on any room — just ask the pros. There is a reason so many decorating shows end with the designer carrying in what must be a bucket’s worth of flowers just before the big reveal.

Maybe, like us, you’ve tried to play florist and quickly discovered two things: First, there is a reason those ginormous bouquets are so expensive. And, secondly, florists have what we do not — practice.

Well, the good news is that we’ve learned a few tricks (the hard way) so you don’t have to. Oh, and did we mention that they are nearly foolproof and budget-friendly?

Mason Jar Bouquet
Quality Counts.
Those pre-mixed bouquets you find on sale at the grocery store have potential, but sometimes they need a little help. Are the blooms already open and spent? Are the petals bruised or wilting? Try to find a bunch with some open and closed buds for a longer-lasting arrangement.

Consider Color. Is there one flower that drew you to the display in the first place? Perhaps it was a punch of pink or a surprising purple. If it makes your heart sing, choose that one. And remember, you don’t have to use all of the flowers together just because you bought them that way.

Arrange. Once you get home, lay your bouquet on a covered work surface and separate out the greenery and flowers. Insert flowers one at a time into a Mason jar to determine the best height for your stems. You will want a range of heights — from an inch or so above the lip of the jar on up. With a pair of sharp shears, trim the stems at an angle and remove any excess leaves or greenery from below the water line. Insert your stems at an angle to create a crisscross base. Save your focal point flowers for last and then fill in the outside edges with greenery.

Lovely Low Arrangements
Squashy, low arrangements of ruffled flowers are the ultimate femininity. Cabbage roses, ranunculus and peonies make us swoon — but you can achieve a similar look with carnations or roses, too.

It’s a Cinch. Vases with a narrower mouth are easier to fill and require fewer flowers. Try to avoid making the arrangement look too controlled.

Keep it Soft. Choose open, fluffy-looking flowers in a range of softer tones. Keeping your palette monochromatic and subtle can elevate the look of less expensive flowers — even carnations!

Seasonal Showstopper
Very often the best deal is a single type of flower that is currently in season. Try a mass arrangement of daffodils, tulips or irises. Enjoy what is blooming at that very moment.

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Buy the Bunch . For the most dramatic effect, buy more than one bunch, so you have 10 or 15 of the same blooms instead of just five.

Rule of Thirds . When arranging a single type of flower, the proportion of the blooms to the vase is the most important part. Try to select a vase that is 2/3 the height of the overall arrangement.

Succulent Sensation
Succulents have been enjoying a comeback and are finding their way onto coffee tables and into trendy terrariums.

Living Art. Since these little plants are hardy, take the time to find a container you’ll love as much as the plants inside. Succulents are sculptural and striking, so select a container with some contrast like a smooth, glazed porcelain pot or a metal and glass greenhouse.

Create Contrast. One succulent just isn’t as impressive as three or five or seven. Plant several different types in the same pot to create interest. If you’re feeling extravagant, you can even create an ombré effect from dark green to light.

Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables can make for mouthwatering centerpieces, but the truth is that this can fall flat fast. If your fruit looks more like dinner than decorating, don’t fret. Try these tips.

Break it Down. Find an inspiration image like a bowl of lemons. Before you dump some lemons into a cereal bowl, consider what makes the arrangement striking. Is it the addition of some lemon leaves to give the arrangement a punch of green? Or is it the scalloped edge of the bowl that makes the arrangement work? Sometimes it’s not the fruit, but what’s in the background that matters. Perhaps other pops of yellow in the room help turn the fruit into a design statement.

Shape Up. Choosing the right container for your fruits and veggies is just as important as selecting the right vase. Bowls that are too small or very wide can look less intentional than a fluted or footed shape.

Glass cylinders often work well for apples, limes or artichokes. That being said, a lone vase full of fruit may not do the trick. Vases need friends, so play around with your arrangement.

Kelly is a fabric and craft designer in Seattle and the founder of Ever Kelly, a popular craft blog where she posts projects and tutorials for a vibrant community of online crafters and parents. Her line of fabrics and patterns from Andover Fabrics hit store shelves in 2012.

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