Flowers are lovely even when just plopped in a vase on the kitchen table. Arranging the flowers gives them a more formal look and provides contrasts. The bouquet becomes more like a thought-out focal point rather than a last-minute look. It doesn't take a lot of time or much special equipment to have beautiful flower arrangements.
Floral designers spend time on their arrangements and don't want the flowers to quickly wilt. Flowers that are well hydrated last longer. Cut the flowers first thing in the morning before the temperatures rise. Place stems immediately into a bucket of water. Before arranging, strip leaves that will be below water in the vase, from the stems. Cut the stem ends 1/2 inch again and leave in a fresh bucket of ice water for 60 minutes.
Greenery has a number of functions in a floral arrangement. Green makes other colors pop. Greenery is used as a filler to round out a bouquet. It covers the floral foam used for table arrangements. Designers use greenery in unusual ways such as grasses to lead the eye upward, or large leaves folded back on themselves to make a ruffle around an arrangement. Bend branches and wrap florist wire around the branches so they keep the curve. Use unusual greenery like houseplant leaves, vegetable leaves or herbs.
Use odd numbers of flowers such as three, five or seven. Stagger the lengths of the stems so the flowers are at different levels. Choose one type of flower, such as dahlias, to be the focus of the arrangement and fill with flowers that don't distract. Or use a mass of just the one flower. This works well for large flowers such as sunflowers, oriental lilies and peonies.
Either use flowers all of the same shape but different sizes, or contrast the shapes but keep the sizes consistent. For example, gerbera daisies are round, so use them with carnations, mini carnations and Marguerite daisies, all of which are round but are of different sizes than the gerbera daises. Another alternative is to use roses, tulips, calla lilies, ranunculus and lisianthius, which are all the same basic shape but different sizes.
Standard vases and low containers filled with floral foam are easy to arrange but not eye-catching. Use unusual containers. Arrange flowers in a shaving mug for the bathroom, a teapot for the kitchen or a piece of driftwood for the family room. Place a glass in a paper bag. Place the flowers in the bag and they'll look like they're sitting in the bag. Find four old books. Stand them upright. Glue them together so the books form a rectangle with an opening in the middle of the books. Place the glass inside the opening and the flowers spill out of the books.