Happy Wednesday, friends!
Tonight is the grand opening party for the new West Elm store here in Grand Rapids and I’m thrilled and honored to be the host. There will be drinks, bites, music and the best deal of all, 10% off any purchases made during the party. It’s going to be a wonderful evening with great friends, both new and old! In the meantime, or if you’re reading this from a far, here’s a little floral project I put together to show how you can use one of West Elm’s vases in four different ways. Bradley James Photography captured the project and we had a blast working outside in the beautiful summer weather. Enjoy! And see you tonight if you’re coming out to the party!
Start with West Elm’s Linework Honeycomb vase. It’s an awesome piece that worked perfectly for me.
LOOK ONE is a lush kitchen island type floral arrangement for any skill level. You’ll need:
10 to 20 stems of green viburnum
Step 1: Pour room temp water in your vase about 3/4 of the way to the top. Trim your viburnum stems so they aren’t too tall when placed into the vase. You can measure against the vase to get a good idea of length but you’ll want the flower part of the stems to be loose and tall to make the arrangement look full.
Step 2: Start placing your first few stems into the vase by criss-crossing individual stems from left to right or side to side. Stand back every few stems to see if you’re loving the shape of the arrangement.
Step 3: Add in the last couple stems as needed. Voila!
LOOK TWO is an easy color blocked floral arrangement. You’ll need:
5 stems of hot pink gladiolas
6 – 8 stems of peach stock
6 – 8 stems of ivory spray roses
Step 1: Pour water in your vase. Trim your gladiola stems so the first blooming flower on the stem sits at the rim of the vase. Place all five stems in the vase with the tallest ends of the stems jetting of to one side.
Step 2: Slightly trim your stock stems and begin filling the middle portion of the vase with them. Use the front and back rims of the vase and the stems of the gladiolas to help anchor the stock stems into place. Feel free to reposition the gladiolas as you go, playing around with the overall shape of the arrangement.
Step 3: Add your spray rose stems to the other and last open side of the vase next to the stock stems, creating a color and texture blocked arrangement. Gently pull down some pieces to cover the vase rim while pulling some pieces up a bit higher than the rest to create dimensions and shape. From there, you can admire your work!
LOOK THREE is a textural medium-level arrangement with succulents and greens. You’ll need:
6 – 10 succulents of various sizes
6 – 10 wood kabob skewer sticks
2 – 3 stems of green viburnum
3 – 4 stems of mini pittosporum
1 roll of waterproof floral tape (optional)
Step 1: Fill your vase with water and create an X shaped grid of waterproof floral tape over the opening.
Step 2: Fill the two sides of the X shape in the grid with sprigs of pitt greens and a few stems of the green virburnum. The more greens the better! You’ll want some pieces to drape down over the rim to give a base shape to the arrangement but you’ll also want some pieces to be more vertical to fill in negative space once you add the succulents. Feel free to forage some greens from your yard for extra variety!
Step 3: Once you have a great greens base, you’ll want to start adding in your succulents. Gently insert the pointed end of the skewer sticks into the bottom stem portion of each succulent. Twist and push it in until it’s securely onto the stick. If you push it in too far and it shoots through the front middle of the succulent, just pull it back down a little so the stick point isn’t visible.
Step 4: Start with the largest succulent you have as the focal piece to your arrangement and use the smaller ones to fill in space around it. The skewer stick will serve as the succulent’s ‘stem’ and the stems of the greens in the vase will help anchor the sticks into place. Fun tip: Home Depot and Lowes has a really awesome selection of potted succulents in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures that you could use for this!
Step 5: Continue adding in your succulents until you have a look you love. The arrangement I created for this project is one sided meaning it would be perfect for a buffet, end table or somewhere where it may be styled and placed against a wall. However, to make your arrangement lovely from all angles I would recommend doubling or tripling the amount of succulents used.
LOOK FOUR is a tricky floral arrangement made with various floral varieties and textures. You’ll need:
3 Sarah B pink peonies
3 stems of fuchsia spray roses
2 stems of white ranunculus
2 stems of green virburnum
4 stems of pink astilbe
3 stems of ivory spray roses
3 stems of jasmine vine
4 stems of peach stock
3 – 4 stems of mini pittosporum
a handful of foraged greens
Step 1: Pour water into your vase and create an X shaped grid of waterproof floral tape over the opening of the WE vase. As with look three mentioned above, fill the two sides of the X shape in the grid with sprigs of pitt greens and the stems of virburnum. The more greens the better because those will help cushion and highlight your blooms. Again, you’ll also want some pieces to drape down over the rim to give a base shape to the arrangement but you’ll also want some pieces to be more vertical to help give the arrangement shape and height.
Step 3: Once you have a great greens base, you’ll want to start adding in your big statement blooms like your peonies (or if you can’t get peonies you can try dahlias, garden roses and hydrangeas). Try staggering the placement of your big statement blooms to give visual interest and a more organic look to your design.
Step 4: Working around the two peonies, start adding in the next biggest flowers like the spray roses and stock. Fun tip: to make your spray roses a bit lovelier gently pick out the center petals and manually pry open the outer petals to reveal the bloom’s stamen. Step back after every two stems to see if you like the placement.
Step 5: Continue adding in your filler florals like the ranunculus, jasmine vine and astilbe. Have fun with the shape of the arrangement and don’t be afraid to move a stem to a new location if it’s not working where you first put it. Flowers are pretty resilient and since we are working in water and not floral foam you can do it this way nicely. The arrangement done for this project is also one sided like the succulent one shown in look three. To make it lovely from all angles, I would suggest doubling the amount of each floral and the greens I mentioned.
Happy floral designing, friends. I’ll see you tonight at the party! Xoxo