Rooms In Bloom: 14 Fabulous Floral Arrangements from Our House Tours

Rooms In Bloom: 14 Fabulous Floral Arrangements from Our House Tours

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Tess Wilson
Apr 18, 2015
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Fresh flowers are one of life's ultimate indulgences: they're beautiful, they're fabulous, they're gone before you know it. Here are 14 gorgeous, ephemeral arrangements from our House Tours and a discussion of just what makes them work so well— besides their own gorgeousness, of course...

Danielle's Charming, Classic Chicago Walk-Up: Ranunculus
Ah, the sweetest little cabbages of the floral world. I love them when they're tightly budded and I love them when they're wide open, revealing their millions of petals, and I find them irresistible when they're massed like this. Standard ranunculus tend to be fairly affordable meaning you can buy a big clump like this without breaking the bank (although just a few stems are delightful, too).

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Sarah's Curio Filled Studio: Ranunculus and Lisianthus
Here, a million ranunculus are interspersed with viney, budded stems of lisianthus for an elegant, cloud-like effect. There are ranunculus at every stage, meaning the arrangement will continue to evolve in fascinating ways.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Lauren's Happy, Inspired Studio: Ornamental Cabbage, Eryngium, Ranunculus, Veronica, and Scabiosa
Speaking of cabbage, here's an excellent use of the ornamental variety. Stems are usually pretty affordable, and they take up a ton of space in an arrangement. Here, the classic cabbage greens and whites collaborate perfectly with the dusty blue-green of eryngium (often called thistle), bright white veronica, ranunculus, and scabiosa, and nearly-black burgundy ranunculus. Just be sure to change the water daily because ornamental cabbage will stink it up but quick.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Gregory + Jenny's Relaxed Hippie Bungalow: Clover
I adore the country charms of clover as well as its gently tangled habits and fresh, not-perfume-y scent. It's rare to find for sale (at least in my experience) so keep an eye out for it at farmers' markets. It's worth the effort, since as Jenny pointed out, "It lasts forever!!"

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Sarah's Curio-Filled Studio: Ranunculus, Anemones, Jasmine, Waxflowers, and Tulips
This arrangement is sensational and I would like to carry it down the aisle, in line at the grocery store, and everywhere else I go. Jasmine vines have the most lovely arch (though I can't stand the scent), so they enliven any arrangement. The anemones, tulips, and ranunculus are a riot of springtime, and the evergreen-esque waxflowers keep everything from being too fluffy.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Sarah's Curio-Filled Studio: Jasmine and Anemones
This is such a brilliant floral move: use the bits left over from the showpiece display to create a simpler, sparser arrangement in another room. It allows the individual blossoms and greenery to be fully appreciated, while creating continuity.

(Image credit: Bridget Pizzo)

The Figgle Family's Cozy First Home: Peonies + Baby's Breath
My best advice to you is to either plant your own peony bush or befriend someone who already has one because the blooms are sensational and generally pretty pricey. However, they can often be found at Trader Joe's in May and/or June for reasonable prices, so pounce if you do see them. Placing them in mismatched yet coordinating vessels allows you to change your display as the flowers themselves change. I'm not crazy about baby's breath unless it's in an enormous, crazy pom pom, so let's move on.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Lauren's Happy, Inspired Studio: Eucalyptus, Dahlias, and More
I can't quite tell what all of the elements are here, but I appreciate the relaxed, just-picked-from-the-garden style. Once the dahlias and other blossoms are spent, the silver dollar eucalyptus can be moved to other arrangements or displayed on its own. Eucalyptus can often be found for super cheap, it lasts an insanely long time, and its grey-green hue works very well with pale peach, cream, and pale blue flowers.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Jesica's Mix & Match Studio: Roses and ? (Help!)
I'm a big fan of keeping different type of flowers separate, and am intrigued by Jesica's technique of placing contrasting homogenous displays near each other. The frilliness of the white roses works nicely with the streamlined white pitcher. Dried-looking flowers such as these pink mystery ones don't appeal to me, but they do last a very, very long time— just remember to change the water, as it's easy to forget that they're actually fresh.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Sarah's Modern Global Loft: Calla Lilies
Sarah's casual arrangement captures two invaluable floral lessons: Spend your money on flowers not vases, and fresh flowers class up any space, even the back of the toilet. Callas last quite a long time, and come in colors from creamy white to blood-black. I prefer to place them all off to one side in one glorious arch, since I love asymmetrical arrangements, but you really can't go wrong with callas. One stem in a narrow vase or jar is enough for an arresting display.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Lauren's Happy, Inspired Studio: Godetia
I'm always recommending that people treat themselves to a single stem, both to save money and to better appreciate the flower itself. Here, a single godetia adds a spot of ruffly brightness to a starkly elegant side table— and I don't think the effect would have been enhanced by adding more blooms. This is also a great way to make the most of the last hangers-on of a bouquet: once their compatriots have died, let them shine on their own, trimming them as needed.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Danielle's Charming, Classic Chicago Walk-Up: Tulips
Welcome to the tulip portion of this post! I love tulips, and find them to be incredibly versatile. Also, they continue to grow taller after they are cut, which I find insanely charming.Here, a generous amount of double tulips create a wild, luxurious, and fresh arrangement (yes, I know all of these flowers are fresh, but white and green tulips are the freshest).

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Danielle's Charming, Classic Chicago Walk-Up: Tulips
Standard tulips have cleaner lines, lending themselves well to simple, elegant displays. It is probably approximately tulip season right now, depending on where you live, meaning tulips are at their best/cheapest, but a good florist/flower market should be able to keep you supplied year round.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Danielle's Charming, Classic Chicago Walk-Up: Tulips
Here we have double tulips again, their fury of petals creating a rich, glamorous effect, even though they're just plunked in a jar on a windowsill. If you can find double tulips, you will be treated to a breathless display in their final hours— they might die the most beautifully of any flower, with the whole show lasting up to a week. Even if you can only treat yourself to just one stem, please do it!

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