Tag Archives: flowers

Bring on the Blooms

Christopher Kane  S/S 12 via style bubble

It’s been more like perpetual spring than winter here in Toronto and even though I know it’s much too early I’ve caught myself once or twice peeking in the garden for signs of green. I find the only cure for this sort of spring wishful thinking is to bring home a bouquet of fresh flowers, but adding a floral print or two to your surroundings is another way to give spring a bit of a kick-start.

image via The City Sage

Floral sometimes gets a bad wrap for being old-ladyish or too femme, but it doesn’t have to be. Floral when done right can also be bold and beautiful, like this wallpaper by Josef Frank. A rustic  floral print anchored on a more modern shade like black, coupled with some vintage flair, creates a dramatic effect in this dining room.

Blythe Chair  from Anthropologie

I love Anthropologie because Anthropologie loves flowers, as evidenced by this bursting-with-blooms chair. A modern print, beautiful colour scheme and a timeless silhouette make this chair a stunner.  I can’t help picturing it in an all white room, but I’m always a fan of a single pop of bold print or colour in an otherwise minimalist space.

Flowers for Cam by Lulie Wallace via You are my Fave

I just discovered the work of painter Lulie Wallace. Her acrylic paintings of floral arrangements are vibrant and modern, and the way she loosely captures the colour and shapes of the various flowers is wonderful. She titles her work after the recipient or giver of the flower arrangements which gives them a personal touch.

Throw Pillow by Laura Oakes from Liberty of London

This collage print pillow by Laura Oakes lets you add some blooms to your room in a cool and edgy way. The juxtaposition of flowers, planes, power lines and birds takes this beyond a simple floral pillow. Throw pillows can be a low-commitment way to add some art to your space and there are many other fantastic options out there.

Muscari arrangment by Amy Merrick via Design Sponge

Muscari grouping by Amy Merrick via Design Sponge

If you prefer the real thing when it comes to flowers, a beautiful bouquet of your favourites can brighten things up temporarily.  Flower arranging is not one of my strong suits, but this photo series by Amy Merrick is completely inspirational. She makes arranging flowers look so easy. So easy, in fact, that I might just give it a try this weekend.

Happy Friday Everyone!


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DIY Valentine Ideas

I’m not a fan of crappy drugstore chocolate and clichéd greeting cards.  Valentine’s Day is a pretty commercial affair for sure. And I don’t like to exclude those uncoupled (hello smug marrieds?).  I do, however, like to indulge those I love – and myself – and am all about taking some extra time to prepare a thoughtful meal for my family, or send a love note and sweet surprise a special someone’s way. (I also love when all this is reciprocated.)

Here are a few swoon-worthy DIY Valentine’s Day day-brighteners:

Treasure Hunt

Tiny love notes containing lyrics from favourite songs. Sweet idea from Daisy Chain

Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?  I’ve been known to put together some elaborate ones involving sidewalk chalk and some good-natured shopkeepers and neighbours.  So why not put together a treasure hunt this Valentine’s Day?  Make it a family affair by hiding notes of affection for the members of your household along with small treats. Or do something sexier for your beloved.

Click on through for instructions on how to put together the tiny love note hunt from Amber at Daisy Chain. Lovely idea!

Romantic Decor

Scatter the flower petals, light the candles, put out some red accessories.  Or go all out like designer Justina Blakeney and create a totally awesome love fort (via Design*Sponge.  Visit D*S for more great images and how-to info!)

It's lush, plush, romantic and fun - designer Justina Blakeney's Love Fort via Design*Sponge

Unique Love Notes

Your message needn’t be long or even poetic, but heartfelt words go along way to brightening a day.

Williams Sonoma cookie cutters also give you the option of personalizing the message

Use these in packed lunches throughout the year. Thanks Twig and Thistle!

Here’s a wonderful free fruit sticker template from Twig and Thistle (via Not Martha).  This is only one of many crafty design downloads available on this site that are as adorable as they are genius.

Say it with flowers

Tips for assembling your own bouquet

Whether you’re surprising your loved one, or sprucing up your home, arranging your own bouquet is cheaper than visiting a florist and more beautiful than the grocery store’s bouquet.  If you lack an intrinsic talent for understanding what bloom shape, size and colour work together, these tips can help:

An arrangement of beautiful tulips with a few filler flowers to give it volume and depth. Image via Interiordec.about.com

Less is more: stick to lots of one flower type for a dramatic bouquet.  You can spruce it up with some greenery and filler flowers (typically tiny bloomed flowers and berries) in the same colour tone, if you want a fuller bouquet.

Beautiful! Image via Dolls House Heaven

Alternatively stick to two complimentary colours, such as the blue hyacinths with a pale yellow tulip pictured.  A perfect kick of spring in the dead of winter!

Here’s a handy video from the good folks at Sweetpea’s in Toronto on arranging flowers in a tapered vase:

The symbolism of flowers

You don’t have to stick with red roses to convey love.  Flower symbolism has been practiced for centuries, gaining momentum during the Victorian era.  Here’s a quick list of flowers with their modern day symbolic meaning via Living Arts Originals (visit their site for a full list of flowers, some cool floral history and mythology.)

Amaryllis – Pride

Bird of Paradise – Freedom

Calla Lily – Magnificent beauty

Daisy – Innocence

Lily – Chastity and Virtue

Magnolia – Nobility

Orchid – Love and Beauty

Peony – Happy marriage

Tulip – Perfect love

Zinnia – Thoughts of absent friends