Today’s kitchen interior trends – such as more prominent windows, expansive islands and countertop space, open floor plans and creative seating areas – all lend well to another major trend – bringing the outdoors inside. But whether your kitchen is spacious or cozy, there is no better or easier way to welcome nature into your kitchen than with fresh-cut flowers.

For years, Rebecca Cole, host of Discovery Channel’s Surprise by Design, has been helping people choose flowers that are grounded to their personal style and taste. Now, she shares her simple advice for anyone who wants to add some floral flair to the hub of their home.

“Whether you want a kitchen that is relaxing, stylish, functional or elegant, you can accent with flowers to help inspire that atmosphere,” says Cole. “While there are no hard and fast rules, certain design guidelines will get you on your way to effortless, everyday arrangements.”

Rebecca’s Color and Design Truth or Dare

Whether your style is cottage or classic, modern or mosaic, B&B or urban chic, you can tailor these floral design tips to work in your kitchen. Place the flowers on your table or countertop. The most important thing is to enjoy them every day.

Truth: Try Classic or Commanding Colors and Containers

  • To be bold with color, choose just two colors at a time. Yellow and orange, for example, look amazing and bold together. Remember, in flowers, green is neutral and white is a color.
  • For a simple look, select a variety of flowers but keep it to one color. It’s a sure-fire bang of modern beauty. For the kitchen table, keep the stems cut to below eye level and about the same length as each other.
  • When bringing home flowers from the florist, have a couple of small vases and containers available so you can place a few flowers around the house. You’ll be amazed how many small arrangements you can get out of a single bunch of flowers. Be creative with containers – try a demitasse cup, champagne flute or even fun salt and pepper shakers.

Dare: Dabble in both Dramatic and Everyday Design

  • When arranging with a variety of flowers, think “scale” and “texture.” Mix large-headed flowers such as sunflowers, peonies, hydrangeas and dahlias with smaller blooms. Also try adding some fun, textured blossoms such as belles of Ireland or delphinium with softer petals like sweetpea or lisianthus.
  • Try “monobotanic,” all one type of flower, for a simple, elegant look. Roses (standard or spray), alstroemeria, lilies, tulips or gerbera daisies work well. Place them in a big jug, pail or coffee tin for maximum impact.
  • Mix everyday, “humble” flowers such as daisies, carnations and mums with “showoffs” like peonies, roses and ranunculus. Keep the color palette simple.”There are so many places for flowers in the kitchen – the room where we spend most of our waking time,” says Cole. “From the breakfast nook to the table to the countertop, flowers just belong. It’s even the most convenient room to change the water!”

Cole also suggests the following tips for experimenting with color to trying new, dramatic styles to the creative use of containers.

  • Cut flower stems short and place flowers in interesting or everyday kitchen containers such as tea tins, jelly jars, salt and peppershakers or even pretty wine glasses. Pick something to match your personal style.
  • To make a big “wow” statement, choose lots of one type of flower. Take off the leaves below the waterline and place them in a big jug, teapot, coffee tin or water pitcher for a burst of cheer. Select surprising color combinations to make a bold statement.
  • For example, try red and purple stems in grouped vases. Or, use monochromatic flowers, from one color family, to create a simple, pleasing effect.
  • Choose citrus-colored flowers for a sunny feeling. Place a bud vase holding a few stems of yellow and orange blooms inside a bowl filled with oranges. Or, place a narrow vase of flowers inside a wider, but equally tall, vase. Fill the larger vase with lemons or limes to surround the smaller vase for a fresh look.
  • Play off of accent colors in your kitchen to bring a splash of color with flowers. Look around and match flowers to decorative wall plates, placemats or curtains to pull out key accent colors.
  • Line three bud vases or decorative bottles, low or tall, along the middle of your kitchen table or along your sink for a fun, dramatic effect. It’s also a great conversation starter when guests drop by.
  • Inspire neatness. Place flowers where kitchen clutter typically congregates to prevent future messes from settling there.

“What could be simpler than bringing home a few blooms to brighten your kitchen table and your mood?” says Cole. “Experiment, design and smile.”

Originally created for The Society of American Florists

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