Each week, Mansion Global tackles a topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week, we discuss tips for brightening a room with fresh floral arrangements.
Every room can benefit from the color, texture and life of cut flowers. A bunch of just-picked hydrangeas or bouquet of orange stargazers can quickly liven up a bare wall or dull corner.
“My rule of thumb is to have some sort of plant or flower in each vignette you create in a space,” said Megan Dufresne, principal designer at MC Design in Los Angeles. Ms. Dufresne suggests placing floral arrangements in every seating area as well as the foyer since flowers in an entry make a great first impression and often set the tone for the rest of the home.
We asked several design pros for their tips on sprucing up a room with colorful, cut flowers. Here’s what they recommend.
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Complement the Interior Design
“Styling with fresh flowers can maximize the impact in a space or add subtle hints of color and texture. I do love peonies––they can be soft and elegant, or bright and vibrant.
“I am careful to be selective in integrating florals in a space, as the goal is to complement the design, not overwhelm. Flowers can fill a void in places that either need some color or camouflaging. For example, many living and family rooms have a coffee table in front of their fireplaces. Positioning a large vertical arrangement in front of the fireplace can break up the black box, as well as create a pretty silhouette.
“I often use flowering branches, such as forsythia or cherry blossoms in a space as they can add some height and drama.”
— Designer Kristina Phillips in Ridgewood, New Jersey
Balance Is Key
“There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right flowers for a space. Scale and color are the top two things I look for.
“The rules of scale stand whether we are working with wall art, furniture or flowers. The key is balance. Arrangements that are too small or too large can be distracting and will detract from the overall decor of the room. Choose the largest arrangement that fits into the space without overpowering the items around it. Don’t block views or sightlines with large arrangements.
“Color works in much the same way. We want the floral palette to be complementary to the overall color scheme of the space. Don’t try to match your florals with the main colors of the room, instead use hues of the room color to add a bit of differentiation.
“I gravitate towards flowers that tend to stay fresher longer like gladiolus or certain types of lilies. I also often incorporate green plants like eucalyptus and succulents that last quite a long time.”
— Megan Dufresne, principal designer at MC Design in Los Angeles
Go for a Relaxed Look
“I like to use flowers to interject a pop of color into a more tonal space or to ground a colorful or layer-driven room. I think seeing pops of green through plants is always so nice in a room and helps tie the outside landscape into the interior. You can mix all different types, but I usually stick to a few colors for some cohesion. I love white tulips. They are just so timeless.
“For a more contemporary look I like to use all one type, but the majority of time I prefer a more relaxed look. One that feels like you went out to your garden and effortlessly pulled together a beautiful arrangement.”
— Designer Marea Clark in San Francisco
Feature Seasonal Colors
“Good spots for flowers include in a powder room in a pretty vase, and of course, in the dining room on the dining room table. When having a sit down dinner, I like to use individual vases at each place setting as well as a centerpiece, making sure that the centerpiece is low enough for diners to talk and see over.
“I often use hydrangeas for a big impact because of their size and texture. Also I use white lilies quite often or a mix of flowers, but often the same color with greens included in the bouquet.
“I definitely like the colors to blend with the room’s scheme. However, it’s also a good idea to feature seasonal colors: rust or jewel tones for fall; spring greens for spring.”
— Kelley Proxmire of Kelley Proxmire, Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland
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