Spruce up Your Entire Home with a Single Bouquet

The challenge: one basic bouquet and a whole home in need of zing

Credit: Terry Guscott / Styling by Heather Cameron

A ready-made bouquet can go a long way if you follow these simple tips

How to stretch one bouquet into four elegant arrangements without wasting 
a single petal 

Simplicity often implies luxury. A single orchid seems more special than say, a colourful collection of roses, tulips, orchids and greenery. Go figure.

But you can save your pennies by purchasing one ready-made bunch and breaking it down yourself. Pick out one variety, one colour or even one stem from your bouquet at a time. Place these against a simple but contrasting background and voila! – the serene feel of an exclusive spa. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Kitchen – Bright Flowers

Pop an odd number of the brightest coloured flowers into individual containers: vintage milk bottles, soda bottles or Mason jars. Group on a tray or pretty platter. The pink tulips shown here work because the kitchen is mostly white. A room with darker cabinets or busier patterns calls for white flowers.

Tip: Stem ends gradually seal over after cutting, reducing flow to flower heads. To reopen, hold stems underwater and snip off a few centimeters at a 45-degree angle. Cutting underwater prevents air bubbles from sneaking up the stem and blocking water uptake.

Foyer – Bold Blossoms

Deeper shades of plum and purple are dramatic, even on the low down. Roses trimmed short and wedged tightly together create a showy centrepiece for your entryway table. Intersperse the bold blossoms with delicate wax flowers for added texture and contrast. Finally, trim with a ribbon or strip of paper (shown) to keep the stems from showing through the vase.

Use clear tape to create a grid across the top of a short wide-mouthed vessel. Start with bigger blooms and then tuck smaller blossoms into the gaps until tape is no longer visible. 

Mantel – Tall Bloomers

Place your star performer on a pedestal. Cymbidium orchids, with their delicate petals, get lost in a rambunctious bouquet, but look quite enchanting on their own. As the tallest in the crew, they’re ideal candidates for mantels where they have elegant impact.

Tip: Note the fallen blossom in the brandy glass set inside the vase. While sitting in water will speed up decay, the extra bacteria can’t harm the larger spray. (Though it will still emit ethylene gas as it rots, affecting any nearby flowers.) Always strip away lower leaves and pick off any finished blooms immediately to lengthen the lifespan of cut flowers. 

Dining Room – Foliage

Thinking of foliage as just filler wastes your bouquet’s best asset. Give each type of leaf its own vessel to encourage diners to compare and contrast. Suddenly, instead of a bunch of green stuff, they’ll notice the amazing shadow cast by the palm leaf, the particular hue of the salal, and the incredible glossiness of the philodendron. Pop the tops of mums into small Asian-style bowls for exotic appeal. 

Tip: Pay closer attention to greenery than blooms when judging freshness in the store. Give any bouquets with brown or crumbly leaves a miss. A few wilted petals, on the other hand, can be peeled off and scattered across a table.

Originally published in BC Home Magazine. For monthly updates, subscribe to the free BC Home e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine.