Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Flower power: How to transform your home with a DIY floral arrangement

Cheryl Ann Cox from Maison des Fleurs in Dubai shares her best tips for amateur and keen florists alike

Introduce autumnal hues into your floral arrangements for a festive feel. Courtesy Maison Des Fleurs
Introduce autumnal hues into your floral arrangements for a festive feel. Courtesy Maison Des Fleurs

Fresh flowers can sometimes seem like an unnecessary investment, but they can play a major role in transforming your space. Even a simple bunch of flowers by your bedside table or on the breakfast bar will make a big difference, introducing colour, a touch of greenery and, best of all, visual variety to your interior. For example, you can invest in the best-quality tablecloths or the finest cutlery, but all you actually need to create a stunning table setting is a beautiful floral arrangement. You can then experiment with different colours and varieties, and play around with receptacles – whether you want to use a marble, glass, ceramic or plastic vase, this is an easy way to change your interior on a regular basis.

Florist Cheryl Ann Cox says the festive season in particular invokes thoughts of colour and texture, shades of orange, auburn, brown, yellow and deep reds. Well-placed flowers in the cooler months can provide an instant fix to a dull space, whether with radiant berry branches or seasonal striking petals. Here are her tips on how to transform your home with festive flora.

Flower survival 101

During this season, every leaf is a flower. To help keep your display hydrated, use sharp scissors or a knife to cut the stems by an inch and place them in water to maximise absorption. Fresh flowers last longer when water and containers are washed and refilled daily, or at least every two to three days. For optimum lifespan, recut the stems of the flowers where possible when changing the water. It’s commonly believed that adding sugar to the water used for flower arranging provides nutrients, but I would avoid doing so, as it also encourages bacterial growth.

Location is everything

Cheryl Ann Coz, head florist at Dubai’s Maison Des Fleurs
Cheryl Ann Cox is head florist at Maison des Fleurs in Dubai

Think about where you want to place your arrangement to work out the height and width as well as the size of the vase needed. Your blooms will last longer in a room with cool temperatures. Avoid displaying your flowers in direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat, or your flowers can dehydrate quickly. You also shouldn’t display your bouquet near fruit; ripening fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas that can reduce the longevity of your fresh arrangement.

Utilise the season’s best

Get your creative juices flowing this season by adding different textures and accessories to your floral arrangements. Use foliage and branches to outline the shape you want and then fill with adornments such as mini pumpkins, flowers, seeds and robust fruits. To truly accentuate festive decor, experiment with bold colours, unique vases and nontraditional flowers.

Some vibrant bloom breeds to work with this season are dahlias, blackberry scabiosa, brown lisianthus, quicksand roses, sanguisorba, rose hips, viburnum berries, physalis, cotinus and corylus leaves.

Finding your inner floral artist might prove more challenging than you imagined – it’s certainly not as simple as throwing a few stems into a vase. But with the right practice and a can-do attitude, you’ll be well on your way.

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Read more:

Not just for the A-list: How interior stylists can help you create a budget-friendly home

Made in the UAE: Meet the creatives starting a design revolution

Conscious minimalism: the less is more approach to interior design

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Updated: November 28, 2019 04:45 PM

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