Floral Art 101

Floral Art 101

How to make the most of your flowers at home.

Lush, exquisite, delicate or robust, flowers at home are an essential luxury. Here is how to choose, arrange, and show your flowers daily love and care.

Nothing makes a home look and smell more beautiful than freshly plucked flowers or a fabulous bouquet.

Be it a single bloom, cluster of branches, or an abundant bouquet, placing them in the perfect vase and vessel is important.

Empire’s new range of tinted glass vases are our new favourite object d’jour.

Defined by their gorgeous organic forms, bold colours and patterning, the range features both hand blown and cut-glass in rich luminous colours like amber, purple, turquoise and amber.

Dramatically-shaped, each vase is easy to arrange and gives all varieties of flowers a cool contemporary look.

Flowers look lovely presented singularly as well as in groups. Focusing on colour and shape, try arranging uneven combos in small vases, or fill with flowers in a tonal palette, like pink-on-pink. Rich green leaves, overflowing green sprigs, long hanging orchids and abundant foliage always look striking and modern, as does a single overblown bloom for a bold and beautiful statement.

Because we don’t all possess the finesse of a florist, strive to keep your arrangement simple, especially if experimenting with an unusual flower for the first time. Arrange en masse or marry with just one other type of flower for a look that is wonderfully dramatic and simple to execute.


The freshest flowers come from your local farmer’s market or your florist and will typically last the longest at home. Buying seasonal always ensures you are buying fresh. Right now, look for white calia lilies, classic roses, crimson astrantias, delphiniums and hydrangea.


Sometimes we forget flowers aren’t just beautiful, but also living things that need a little daily love, especially if you want them lingering around for as long as possible.

Try these popular tricks for taking care of your blooms, for beauty that lasts longer.

What You Need

  • Fresh flowers of your choice
  • Beautiful glass vase
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Vodka
  • White sugar
  • Sharp scissors
  • Gardening gloves

1. Clean your vase thoroughly using dish soap and hot water, followed by white vinegar to ensure there is no bacteria present.

2. Add a teaspoon of sugar and a couple of teaspoons of bleach to your vase, then tepid water (unless you are using bulb flowers, like hyacinths or tulips, which need cold water). The sugar’s carbohydrates help nourish the stems, whilst the bleach helps keep the water bacteria-free. You can even add a drop of vodka to give the flowers the glucose they need and keep the water clean at the same time.

3. Remove any leaves from the stems that may be submerged in water that can break down and cause bacteria to form.

4. Place each stem under running water and at the same time, trim the end at a 45-degree angle then submerge immediately in water. If adding branches, use a sharp knife to strip the bark from their ends. Both practices expose the capillaries to the water allowing them to absorb more water for extra hydration.

5. When arranging, resist pushing too many stems into the vase. Overcrowding can make flowers wilt. As they do start to flop, remove from vase to prevent them contaminating the other flowers.

6. Place your arrangements in a cool spot and out of direct sunlight. Be sure to change the water daily, retrimming stems every other day.

STYLING — Rebecca Grace