Flower arrangements look best when they reflect your individuality and the style of your home. Ask yourself if you want a classic, formal look or a casual, country look for your flower arrangement. Consider if you will be placing the flowers in a big, open space in the house or in a small, intimate spot. These two questions will determine the overall size and style of the arrangement and the size of the flower container. In "The Complete Guide to Flower Arranging," author Jane Packer says that it is "important to express yourself and create a display that sits comfortably in its setting."
Classic, formal arrangements
Classic, formal arrangements look best in large spaces such as the dining room or living room. Choose flowers with a variety of colors or one color theme. Classic, formal arrangements look good with a tall vase and cut long stemmed flowers such as roses, iris, larkspur, tiger lilies and stargazer lilies. Delphiniums can add height and movement to your display.
Remove leaves and thorns from the lower stems of your flowers. Put four or five of the tallest flowers into the vase first. Add shorter flowers to fill in empty spots. Symmetry and balance create a formal look. Add decorative greens such as sword fern, leatherleaf fern or calla lily leaves. This will create a balance between colorful flowers and green leaves. You can add three or four English Ivy plant tendrils as a last touch to balance the formal height of the arrangement.
Casual, country arrangements
Casual arrangements look attractive on sideboards, bookcases, lamp tables and coffee tables. They are characterized by an unmatched variety of flowers, with little attention paid to symmetry. To begin the arrangement, remove lower leaves on each stem but allow some near each blossom. Put them in the container loosely for an unstudied look. This style creates a feeling of intimacy and comfort in a room. You can use flowers with colorful, dainty petal shapes such as daisies, miniature carnations, dwarf zinnias and miniature roses. The dark blue of cornflowers adds an instant "country look." Hydrangeas are a bushy flower and create a good contrast to smaller blossoms.
Arrangements for Special Occasions
Pink carnations are common in Mother's Day arrangements because they mean "I will never forget you" and a red tulip is always a declaration of love. For Father's Day choose flowers that have bold, distinctive shapes and colors such as bird-of-paradise, chrysanthemums or orchids. For an elegant Easter design, choose both Madonna and calla lilies.Create a casual Easter arrangement by starting with a basket and using spring flowers such as crocus, iris, and yellow roses. Red carnations, pink baby roses and wine-colored asters cut with short stems and placed in a wineglass make a good small Valentine's Day display.