Top Tips from a Florist: Which Flowers to Create Which Looks?

Flowers can transform a room – but which flowers should you use to create or complement which looks? Professional florist Libby Ferris, of Libby Ferris Flowers offers, householders a few suggestions.


A Contemporary Look

Modern, minimalist interiors are always enhanced by clean, architectural lines to echo their surroundings. Try putting one dramatic, tropical flower in a simple glass vase for maximum impact.

We like heliconia, birds of paradise and simple flowers with long, smooth stems such as alliums – the form as well as the colour is really striking.


The Quirky Look

Quirky, shabby-chic interiors look great when complemented with mismatched vases, and your dining room would look fantastic with a few sparkly cut-glass decanters, high-ball glasses and tumblers, clustered together to hold a variety of scruffy, summery flowers on the sideboard. These can be picked up at car boot sales for a few pounds.

We like to theme our containers to the room the flowers are in – so we have set cute little kalanchoe plants in tea-cup trios for the kitchen, and planted herbs in old mustard tins for the kitchen windowsill. And don’t forget the downstairs loo.

Even a single flower-head wrenched off a rosebush on the way home from work would look immensely cheering, set in a saucer or soap dish by the taps. Just don’t let the owner of the rosebush catch you …

Monstera deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa

A Fresh Style

Green flowers are very fashionable in an understated way, and will complement any interior. We like to wrap a large, glossy tropical monstera leaf around the inside of a vase.

The leaf will still last a week or so if it’s out of water, so one option is to use the vase as a fruit bowl and fill it with green apples, or limes for a contemporary, fresh, summery look for your kitchen table.

Green foliage with small pink flowers
Green foliage with small pink flowers

A Bright Look

If you have a sunny room, choose flowers, which will hold up in full sunlight. Foliate arrangements are always stylish, and tend to last better than flowers, which fade more quickly in the sun.

I like a succession of three or so vases of nothing but tall grass threaded with pearl beads – this looks really sharp and pretty, and lasts practically forever! NB: This design is not suitable for those with kittens!

Palm Plant
Palm Plant – great for hiding defects

Use Plants as Cover

Plants and flowers are great tools for drawing the eye away from decor you are not in love with, or features you would like to change in any room.

I have a large palm plant obscuring a vent in my sitting room, and who notices the paint peeling by the back porch when welcomed by a giant bowl of gaily-coloured geraniums, rioting out of their container?

Try it! It’s cheaper and more fun than DIY!

Vase of flowers
Keep things simple with a nice vase filled with all one sort of flower

A Simple Style

We often find that the simpler a design is, the more impact it achieves. Keep things simple with a nice vase filled with all one sort of flower – cheap and pretty stocks have a lovely scent, and come in colours to suit all interiors.

They will last about five days if cared for properly, and we like them for the spare room – even if we haven’t got any guests and we’re only going in and out with piles of ironing!


Think About Room Size

Fit your flowers to the space – high-ceilinged rooms always benefit from taller designs, and smaller rooms with more petite designs. What is a light, flowery fragrance in a large, open room can be an overpoweringly sugary, migraine-inducing miasma in a smaller, hotter room, so bear this in mind when giving and displaying flowers, especially lilies and hyacinths!

Use Flowers to Enhance

People do not tend to notice flowers in far corners of rooms. To get the most impact from your arrangements, place them right under people’s noses – literally! – on coffee tables, against a bare wall, in a nicely-lit niche – and remember: flowers should enhance your living space, not get in your way.

Fresh Flowers Enhance Any Style

The best tip I can offer is change the water in the vase! Don’t just top it up, tip it out and cut the ends of your flowers with sharp scissors, scrub out the vase and refill with clean water.

Aspirin, sugar, lemonade and flower food are all arguably worth adding – but clean water and a quick trim will make your flowers last two or three times as long as just leaving them.

See Also
Choose the Right Indoor Plants
Living room with plenty of plants
Houseplants Survival