How to Decorate with Different Flower Designs

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Are you wondering how to decorate with different flower designs? I break it down, and explain what kinds of flowers work the best, ideas for vases & vessels, and how to add faux flowers to the mix.

different kinds of flowers in living room

One of the things I love most about summer is being able to bring baskets of fresh beautiful flowers indoors from the garden. When we lived on Sutton Place, I had many plants that provided abundant blooms. It took a passion for perennials, and years of trial and error, but the summer before we moved, my backyard space was very close to being a real cutting garden.

Decorating with flowers is easy, and over the past few years, I’ve shared many ways to add garden blooms to your decor. But what if, like me, you don’t have a garden? Well…no worries. Either arrange a flower delivery from a local florist, or pick up a fresh bouquet at the grocery. Read on for easy flower selection ideas, tips for putting together beautiful flower arrangements, and much more.

flower designs with herbs and daisies in blue mason jar

Designing with Daisies

Daisies are the quintessential cutting flower. They are super easy to grow in your garden, and they’re readily available to buy at the grocery or flower stand. They have a floral freshness that can’t be beat. They last a very long time, and have a strong stem. They are white, with a happy yellow center, so they can be paired with any color, and any type of flower. If you want to grow daisies in your garden, I recommend the cultivar ‘Becky.’ Daisies are a classic addition to any garden, and bloom from early summer all the way to fall.

  • Daisies pair beautifully with hosta leaves, basil, mint, hydrangeas, wildflowers, lavender, or zinnias.
  • Since daisies have a thinner stem, they look lovely in jars and bottles. They also work well in small, short vessels.
peonies flower designs in galvanized watering can

Designing with Peonies

Peonies are an old-fashioned and stunningly beautiful flower. In recent years, peonies have become amazingly popular, and can now be found at most grocery stores and flower stands. Depending on your growing zone, they are also a lovely addition to your garden. Peonies die down in the fall, and need a cold winter in order to bloom. Peony season is short, so when my plants on Sutton Place began to bloom, I cut them daily so they didn’t weigh down the bushes. There is something magical about a peony bloom. The colors range from white, to light pink, to magenta.

  • Peonies make a statement all on their own, but they can be mixed with any neutral colored flower, or any type of greenery for a gorgeous floral arrangement. Peonies and seeded eucalyptus are a perfect pair.
  • Peony blooms are big, and the stems are thick. They need a tall and sturdy vessel such as a large pitcher, watering can, or vase.
flower designs in white pitcher

Designing with Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are a summer flower, but can be found at grocery stores and flower stands year-round. Instead of being sold in bunches, hydrangeas are often sold individually, by the bloom. This allows you to highlight them in an arrangement featuring other kinds of flowers. They are also so pretty in a vessel all by themselves. There are many ways to arrange hydrangeas, but my favorite way is to place them in a tall pitcher, either on their own, or mixed with other blooms. As a centerpiece on a dining table, hydrangeas become the highlight of any gathering.

flower designs with pitchers of sunflowers on shelf

Designing with Sunflowers

Although sometimes regarded as an autumn bloom, sunflowers can now be found almost year-round. Decorating with sunflowers is not only easy, it adds amazing color to any room. They are a happy flower. When you look at them, don’t you see a smiley face? 

Sunflowers rank right up there with hydrangeas in terms of “showiness.” They make a statement no matter where they are placed. Like peonies, sunflowers are lovely on their own, but they also pair nicely with mums, eucalyptus, gerbera daisies, or berries.

  • Sunflowers tend to make the water murky, so using a vessel that you can’t see through is best.
  • Sunflowers have a thick stem and are quite heavy. To avoid the flowers falling over and out, make sure you have a very full vessel. The more flower stems, the less tipping about.
  • Another option is to cut the sunflower stems short, and make a custom arrangement in a short rectangular vase.
books on coffee table with pitcher of flowers

Designing with Roses

Roses are the most dependable bloom to add to your decor…and they are always available. I cannot ever remember visiting the floral department at my grocery store and NOT finding roses. They add warmth, blend with any style decor, and come in a wide array of colors and varieties.

All of these traits are admirable, but the best thing about roses is that they are simply beautiful. They are the perfect designer’s choice when you are undecided, and they can stand alone, or be mixed with other kinds of flowers.

  • Roses look good in anything! Excellent choices for displaying roses are vintage blue mason jars, antique pitchers, anything silver, or a tall square vase.

Flower Designs With Tulips

Tulips are one of the prettiest spring flowers, and it’s so rewarding to bring home a bunch and place them in your favorite vessel. I’ve compiled everything I know about arranging tulips, along with why they droop, and how to stop them from drooping.

close up of hydrangeas in pitcher

How to Mix Real and Faux Flowers

The key to mixing real and faux flowers is balance. A good rule of thumb is to always have more real flowers than faux. So if you plan to use three different kinds of blooms, two of them should be real, and one kind can be faux. If you only want to use two kinds of flowers, choose a real flower with a large bloom, and a faux flower with a smaller bloom.

Can you tell that the tulips in the image above are not real? I’ve tried many varieties of faux tulips, and these are by far the best I’ve ever had. Another trick is to use faux greenery with real flowers. Once you have invested in the greenery, you can splurge on fresh, big, beautiful blooms.

eucalyptus sunflowers mums in pitcher
Pitcher no longer available.

The Best Filler Choices

Many combinations of blooms need no filler at all, but you can take your flower designs to a whole new level by including foliage. Seeded, silver dollar eucalyptus, or spiral eucalyptus are always good choices. If you grow hosta plants, clip the leaves and add them to your flower bunches. Fern fronds, ivy, and myrtle are also excellent choices for greenery. Leather leaf fern greenery is readily available at florists and groceries. Filler can also come in the form of branches or berries. Curly willow and red or green hypericum berries are the most readily available to purchase.

pitchers of different kinds of flowers on table

Flowers Make The Perfect Gift

Don’t forget that giving the gift of flowers reflects an added personal touch, and is very easy. The recipient will definitely feel special, and they will have a lovely bouquet to add to their own decor. Place a small bouquet of fresh flowers in a gift basket. Give a stunning arrangement for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s, or any special occasion. And nothing is better than the gift of Mother’s Day flowers. Floral gifts come from the heart, they are perfect for any unique occasion, and they show that great care was taken with a hand-arranged bouquet of beautiful blooms.


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Flower Suggestions

  • yellow tulips
  • peach tulips
  • orange lilies
  • yellow snapdragons
  • hot pink mini carnations
  • yellow button poms
  • hot pink gerberas
  • coral gerberas
  • white roses
  • coral roses
  • purple larkspur
  • white or yellow asiatic lilies (available around Easter)
  • alstroemeria


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Wishing everyone a beautiful day, wherever you are. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. There are no words to express how grateful I am for your friendship.

sunflowers in mason jars on end table

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  1. Elaine McKenna says:

    Thanks for this post, it’s a definite keeper. Great advice and ideas!

  2. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Ann, I just love to see your pictures with the flowers and your gorgeous pitchers. You have given us so much helpful info. I had never thought of mixing faux with real but will definitely be giving this a try! I think I just might have to order the Liberty Blue pitcher! I have always admired your pitchers. Have a great week! Thanks, again, for sharing with us.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Thank you, Ann. I wish I had more flowers in my yard to go out and cut. So far, I haven’t had success with daisies but maybe I haven’t tried the right one nor properly prepared the soil for them. I will have to try again. All of your arrangements are lovely.

  4. Lillie Burton says:

    purchased the faux tulips you recommended in an earlier post and was well pleased. Everyone has to touch them to make sure they aren’t real. Thanks for always being creative and helpful.

  5. Gayle Minkus says:

    I love the idea of combining faux with real flowers, but the one thing you did not touch on was how you protect the faux stems when they are in water with real flowers. Thanks for helping us have fresh, beautiful homes.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Gayle…actually I have never worried about that. Most stems are some sort of plastic, and do quite well sitting in the water. Before I store the faux flowers away, I just make sure they are very dry. Thank you!

  6. Karen S Hardtke says:

    4 stars
    Love, love, love that you give a list of where to purchase items in your decoration….much appreciated.

  7. I love your post today. The flower arrangements are beautiful and the pitchers are lovely.

  8. Love todays post. We have had a lot of rain here in Minnesota and things are finally starting to get green.

    Love your posts. Thank you for all your hard work. I always get inspired to tweak things in my home after reading.

  9. Love love love this post so much!! You definitely had me fooled with the faux tulips… :-)

  10. Thank you for this post, it was perfect timing. Today I’m having a reception for a friend and put a mixed flower bouquet into an ironstone pitcher rather than glass vase ——-—beautiful. I often use flowers in a vintage blue canning jar, per your post several years ago. I’m adding a table decoration of fresh lemons in a white lace-like bowl (Michaels), instant beauty. Love your posts and have used many of your recipes.

  11. Oh what a great informative post. Love your photographs. ❤💐❤

  12. The flowers are the perfect topic for today. Our peek at spring last week here in northern Indiana has disappeared behind chilly skies again. I am planning a new flower garden and will look for Becky daisies as one of the plants to include.
    What fun you had gathering those blossoms to photograph over time!

  13. I look forward to your posts SO much, Ann!
    You have wonderful taste as well as a great sense of style. You provide me with a lot of inspiration!