How to Pick the Best Flowers for Your Home

How to Pick the Best Flowers for Your Home

Discover these essential floral tips to freshen up your living space, literally.


By: Suzanne Topham

Bloom Basics
There is a Chinese proverb that says: "When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one and a lily with the other." Barbara Wehking, who owns the floral shop Bloomin' Buckets in suburban St. Louis, echoes that thought and adds that flowers should be fresh, unique and simple. "They add life to your home," she says. Here are some ideas to adding that vital, yet simple touch

Vases and Containers
The vase or container you put flowers, branches or plants in sets the mood and style of the arrangement. It should complement the décor of the room it's in, Wehking says, and also show off the flowers to the best effect. "People should find things at home—wine bottle, mint julep cup, mason jar, soup tureen, art vases ... rather than using a florist vase they've saved from a previous gift," she suggests. "It makes it much more personal. When people come to your house, you want it [the flower arrangement] to reflect yourself."

Bloomin’ Branches
When no flowers are in bloom, branches plucked from your yard add seasonal beauty to your house and connect the inside with nature's timetable. "You can use these all year long—evergreens, magnolia, white pine, holly," Wehking notes. "Quince is the first of the [spring] season," she says, and its small pink flowers let the artful structure of its branches take center stage as dramatic living décor to welcome spring. Forsythia can be used similarly in the spring; and when the air turns cool, colored leaves still on the branch bring autumn inside.

From Your Own Yard
Consistent with her preference for simple and original flower décor, Wehking looks to the garden rather than the florist as a source. "Pull something from your own yard," she suggests. "Use a bud vase for a single lily of the valley, peony, Knock Out roses, hosta leaves used alone or as filler." Other likely candidates include hydrangeas, roses, irises and mums.

From The Neighborhood Florist
Being able to buy flowers while stopping in at the grocery for bread or milk makes it easy to have something fresh in your house just about all the time, and with little effort. Wehking has some advice on how to make them look original. "If you buy something, get something other than mixed [bunches], which looks like the grocery store," she says. "Buy a couple of blooms [or] what's in season ... tulips, daffodils." Pick a color that adds an accent to where you want to put it.

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House Plants
Back in the '70s, it was hard to find a living room that didn't look like a greenhouse, filled with all manner of plants, hanging and not. Over the years their popularity waned. But now, Wehking says, "houseplants are making a big comeback. They don't have to be philodendrons and ficus. The ZZ plant, ponytail palm and jade look more contemporary." These plants have a more structural appearance, need little water and are low-maintenance. "They look really cool in a container that is a clear, straight-sided cylinder or a straight-up ceramic one."

MORE: 11 Festive Decorations Under $30

MORE: DIY Flower Bouquets

MORE: Floral Trends To Try This Spring

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