How to Fill Your Entire Home With Flowers—for Just $8

published Apr 25, 2019
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flowers in glass bottles
(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin)

By now, you’re well aware of the clichéd pieces found in any millennial’s home: mid-century-inspired furniture, inspirational posters, wellness accessories perched on every surface, the West Elm Souk Wool Rug (or some iteration of it), and lots of plants.

But despite our obsession with all things good and calm and happy, blooms aren’t considered valuable. Perhaps their cost and short lifespan deems the purchase unnecessary—especially when a houseplant offers the same mood-uplifting benefits. But that’s not quite true. Flowers offer so much more.

With their beautiful colors, blooms symbolize abundance and activate chemicals in your brain—like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin—that make you happy.

Because of this, and the fact that I just lurve flowers, I vowed to have blooms in my home every day of the year—but I’m on a budget. I couldn’t let my flower allowance eat into my food allowance. Who knew my solution would start at the notoriously wonderful-but-overpriced Whole Foods?

Every other Wednesday, my go-to Whole Foods location gets a flower delivery. I stop in to pick up my favorite bouquet, which costs only $8. It contains seven roses in the most delicious shade you’ve ever seen—think dusty, creamy blush or pale millennial purple—and some greenery. When I get home, I split up the arrangement into three mini vases and scatter them around my place. Combined with my houseplants, they give the effect that my home is overflowing with flora. It also helps that I live in basically a shoebox.

What’s more, the flowers last for about two weeks.

Of course, it’s not that simple—you’ll need to know some tricks to keep the mini arrangements from looking sparse and sad. I consulted with Lauren Sellen, the wonder behind Toronto’s Coyote Flowers, for pro-approved tips for getting the most out of grocery store blooms.

1. Choose flowers with the longest lifespan

My go-to pick is roses, but I sometimes go with lilies, peonies, or ranunculi when they’re in-season, and therefore not too expensive. Choose flowers that have yet to open, as they generally will last longer.

If you want a more standout arrangement, Sellen suggests getting a Phalaenopsis orchid, which is super long-lasting and can be cut and added to any arrangement.

2. Use narrow-mouth vases

I use three vases: one is tall and skinny, one is short and small, and one is single-stem and artsy. Vases with a narrow opening are key for arrangements with limited blooms, and Sellen suggests choosing ones with a wider base. “It’ll give the stems plenty of space while holding the heads of the flowers closer together to create more fullness,” she says.

3. Nurture your blooms

Flowers are less demanding than most of your plant babies. “They will last longer in cool or moderate temperatures without direct sunlight,” says Sellen. She recommends cutting the stems on an angle, which creates more surface area and thereby increases the flower’s water intake and lifespan. You’ll also want to remove any leaves that’ll sit below the water line, or they’ll rot.

As for the water, Sellen recommends ensuring it’s clean and cool in temperature. “You can refresh it every other day and this will cause the flowers to live way longer than if you don’t exchange the water,” she says. “When doing this, you can also give the stems a fresh cut, opening up their drinking surfaces again.”

4. Go the minimalist route—or add dimension

With flowers being so beautiful on their own, minimal arrangements can be stunning. But, if a fuller look is what you’re after, Sellen suggests cutting the stems at different lengths—that way, the flower heads will be at different levels, creating a fuller illusion.

When adding them to the vase, create a grid using the stems for a support structure. “Add one at a time to the vase in supportive, opposing directions,” she says, “almost like you would use sticks when building a fire.”

5. Add fullness and interest with simple extras

Sometimes I add volume—and color—to my arrangements by plucking sprigs of dry lavender from a pot on my windowsill and pairing them with the fresh blooms. Sellen recommends picking up Gypsophila (baby’s breath)—it’s long-lasting and adds structure and fullness to an arrangement.

6. Slip in some artistic touches.

Flower art is a huge trend right now, and Sellen encourages you to add anything you like to your arrangement to create a look-at-me piece. “If you see a delicate and gestural branch on a tree outside—even if it’s dead or dried—or a piece of vine or a feather, try adding it for movement and interest,“ she says. “It will carry the eye to another part of the piece.”