Exclamation point

I propped myself back on my elbows and let my head turn upward until all I could see was sky and light. Boom! Boom! The sound broke through the night air, the hum of voices grew to collective oohs, and aahs as we celebrated America’s exclamation point in time. The bright tendrils of light dripped toward the earth as each blast dissipated and a new one took its place. As I watched the fireworks display, my mind wondered to thoughts of punctuation. We know exclamation points can make a difference in time, but what about in spaces? In the world of decorating what’s the exclamation point? Flowers are nature’s explanation point and you can make them yours in decorating! They have the power to stop the eye, accent the background, and they command attention. So when using flowers to decorate the home, punctuate wisely. Let’s take a peek at few options and concepts in floral design that may help you in your home somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Floral design throughout timeHydrangea in glass with shells - Interior Design - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer.
I think floral design is not discussed enough in decorating and flowers are a finishing touch to each space. Flowers have been used in design since the times of the ancient Egyptians. It is recorded that they made garland centerpieces for banquet tables with flowers. From some of the beginning records of time throughout every culture and every historic period floral design has played a significant role in the life of the elite all the way down to the most common man.

• Floral design today
I think there was a backlash beginning in the late nineties to all the faux florals we used in the eighties and I think HGTV had much to do with that backlash. Often, designers on shows would promote only the idea that all plants must be real in the home. This was a type of design poison that made those who could not invest in real plants feel like they could have no plants unless they were real and I reject that altogether. Think about it, a real orchid in a pot might cost $15 and unless you are good at keeping it nice, the blooms may fall in a months’ time. So $15 a month for twelve months is 180.00 a year and I could buy a realistic Winward orchid potted with leaves for $179 and that would last for many years.

• Faux is the way to go
I do not have a green thumb. I do not have time to nurture real plants in the home and if I did my cats would eat them. I have no choice if I want to have flowers as accents in my home, they must be faux. The secret to good faux flowers is purchasing good faux flowers. A quick perusal of the floral departs of different retailers will give you a good idea of what looks realistic. For example, if you have never seen a flower in nature that is navy blue then don’t buy a navy blue flower to match a pillow that you may have on the sofa. The closest nature gets to blue is Agapanthus, Hydrangea, and a few other small varieties of flowers. Most blues in nature are a purple based blue giving the flower brightness and lightness that a navy blue silk flower cannot capture. So, the best rules of thumb when purchasing faux flowers is don’t buy it if you cannot find its twin in nature.

• Choosing your container
The overall size of the arrangement is generally 1 ½ the height or width of the container. Use this concept when considering your container and as a guide for the proper height or width to cut your flowers. If you choose a large container, the arrangement will be large. This is guideline not a rule. I break that guideline when using hydrangeas because I like the tops of hydrangeas full and spilling over the top of its container. I often take a picture of the space I am buying an arrangement for and carry it with me when shopping so I will have a visual at all times.

• Focal Point
The focal point in an arrangement is more commonly called the center of interest. This is the point in the arrangement the eye moves toward first. This can be created by on large flower or a cluster of flowers to draw attention into the arrangement.

• Repetition
If you are unsure how to mix different flowers, buy many stems of the same flower. Using the same flower in bulk always looks great. I love to use orchids, heather and hydrangea in bulk.

• Space
If you do not like a tight cluster of flowers then leave space between each bloom. Try not to let the petal of one bloom touch another. Fill in the spaces between the blooms with foliage.

• Southern tradition
Hydrangeas are a must. They are beautiful and a southern standard. Cluster many, and “I mean many” stems together to make an abundant and overflowing arrangement. This is a great seasonal arrangement you can replace when fall comes to town. Hydrangeas work great indoors or on a front porch.

• Follow the accent principle
If you like to have lots of flowers treat them like an accent. Spread accents throughout the room in three different places. This helps move the eye around the room and distribute the color.

• Silk flowers do have a shelf life
Technology used to create silks has improved and flowers today look more realistic than ever. If the arrangement is ten years old, it is probably ready to retire! The goal of silk flowers is to last longer than nature, not forever.

P.S. –Attention, all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at www.finishingtouchfl.com and you can always e-mail us at ruth@finishingtouchfl.com or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

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