For the Love of Fresh Flowers

I love fresh flowers. I love to have them in my home as often as possible. However, I am not the best at making fabulous arrangements, so I was really excited when I was listening to Nate Berkus on XM radio and on his guest was Jeff Leatham, a floral designer and artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris. Which is the most fabulous hotel in Paris, or so I’ve heard, Katie and Tom stay there…

Jeff is crazy talented and even better, he is from Ogden, Utah. Can you believe it, a Utah boy?! On the show he gave some of his tips on floral design so that we can create beautiful arrangements at home.

  • Make sure you have a nice collection of vases. Before you go out and spend your money on flowers, you should buy vases to enhance the flowers you put in them.
  • Avoid confusion in working with flowers—stay monochromatic, or at least in the same family of hues; it is the density of the color that creates impact. If you must mix colors, avoid white because it attracts the eye and everything else disappears.
  • The straightforward vertical placement of flowers creates astonishing lines for achieving strong, confident arrangements.
  • Just when you think there are enough flowers, add one more.
  • Lean or tilt flowers against the rim of containers to showcase their hearts.
  • Place flowers in translucent containers so you can see the whole, and use a diverse variety of containers to stimulate the senses.
  • Never select a container that is larger than the flowers—the container must be smaller than the floral composition.
  • Minimize or do away completely with leaves to get closer to the essence of the flower, thereby keeping the focus on the flower’s silhouette.
  • Try not to push stems down to the very bottom of containers, but if the stems do reach the bottom, only fill the container with about one inch of water, as too much water makes stems rot faster.
  • Add a splash of sparkling water to containers—the bubbles cling to the stems.
  • At night, consider surrounding flowers with flickering candles.
  • Bring personality into your flowers and have favorites. It's fun to change the flowers in your home as the seasons change too, Jeff says. He changes the floral design of the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris every three weeks to keep things new and inspiring—you can do the same at home
  • Take loving care of your flowers—change the water and re-cut stems daily, and consider using a fine mist in the morning and again in the evening to prolong the life of your arrangements.