Floored by flowers

Floored by flowers

Simple decorating One of the easiest ways of enhancing the beauty of any space is to use flowers. What’s more, flowers can complement any interior decor scheme. From lotuses floating in urlis to a lone long-stemmed flower in a vase, the choice is for you tomake, writes Lakshmi Unninathan Arvind

Flowers are always a popular decorative theme, no matter which culture or country one is part of. They create a distinctive look in whichever space one places them in. They bring an instant warmth to all corners of our homes. Fresh flowers are what give life and make your home a happy place. Always look for ways to display them. Flower arrangement should be done in such a way that the inherent beauty of a flower is never lost. Cut flowers enhance the beauty of the interiors. A bunch of simple home grown flowers picked straight from the garden bring a relaxed feel to the room.

Perfect choice

Take your pick of flowers, from the red hibiscus to purple orchids. Look for ones that complement the colour pattern of your interiors. Then decide whether you want them to be displayed as a single stem or bunch. Using multiples of a single flower is the simplest method and is always visually effective.

Roses, gladioli, tuberoses, chrysanthemums, daisies, carnations and gerberas work best this way. Lilies, whether Asiatic or oriental, are beautiful and most appropriate in contemporary interiors. Anthurium flowers with their white, red or pink spathes look arresting as single stems or in clusters. Heliconias, gingers and ornamental musas also find their way into living rooms these days.

Having chosen the main flowers, it’s now time for filler flowers to be arranged. Traditionally, filler flowers like baby’s breath (that make a delicate white cloud), limonium (statice, that comes in shades of blue, yellow, pink, yellow, white) and solidago all prove that fillers in bunches look absolutely beautiful.

The flowers used in rituals and traditional festivities have also have found a way into our living rooms.  Hibiscuses and lotuses floating in urlis, marigolds in parats (wooden plates), plumerias floating in small tea glasses are all welcoming and inexpensive and always visually effective.

Brightly coloured flowers, even if they are few in number, make for an arresting composition in an all-white room. Their presence is much stronger than the mixed bunch of flowers.

Large branches of neem flowers, dracena with their orange fruits, cassia, acacia, alstonia, lagerstroemia, bougainvillea, amaltas, bottle brush, saraca, etc need no accompaniment other than a very simple and stable container.

Displayed against a pale wall, they take on an architectural quality.Leaves also make their way into arrangements. Leaves of palms, colocasia, musa, zebrina, thea, ferns, begonias, gingers and so on make for a nice colour contrast.

We can either use leaves as an arrangement or put them along with the flowers. The tropical flowers would look singly or in bunches along with the leaves.

Colocasia leaves and palm leaves alone would look stunningly beautiful in old squash bottles. Zebrina leaves could be paired with anthuriums or orchids.There can also be a happy setting where there are different levels of arrangement in a single vase: high, medium and low.

Arrangements can be made according to the seasons also. In summer, try arrangements with summer roses, gladioli, tagetes, jasmines, lotus, marigolds, etc. In autumn, try the autumnal hued flowers like chrysanthemums and in winters, try the white chrysanthemums, carnations and red roses. Try these in mixed bunches and also separately.

Alongside fresh flowers, dried flowers can also be arranged in beautiful combinations and colours. They can be beautifully displayed in light weight containers, woven wood or bamboos. If the container is unstable you can try putting some pebbles in it for stability.
But never forget to dust them and try rearranging them occasionally.Artificial flowers can also be occasionally used in arrangements alongside fresh leaves to make them look real.
Fake ivys creeping along a rail, from the top of the cupboard, small bunches of pansy in the kitchen, etc work well.

Style

Flowers should match the style of interiors whether it’s a period style of decor or contemporary settings.  Roses, chrysanthemums, tuberoses, lotus, jasmines or marigolds can be used for very traditional settings, while tulips, carnations, gingers, heliconia, orchids, etc can be used for modern settings. Such combinations can never be at fault.
The more exciting way is to contrast them with the surroundings.

Place a container of flowers to the side of the table rather than in the centre. Vases need to be packed full to bring out the beauty in the flowers.

Containers

Utmost care has to be given to the selection of containers. There should be a wide selection of containers at home, when you play around with a lot of flowers at home. Simple glass containers bring out the beauty of the stem and the water also.

Pottery containers, cups, plastic bottles, tea glasses, terracotta pots, antique brass containers like pots, brass glasses, antique kitchen utensils like the urli, parat and thalis can give the modest flower a sense of grandeur.

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