No rules apply: Flower arrangments make magic in the home

Courtesy of Lauren Edith Andersen
Celeste Randolph's kitchen island features a potted hydrangea inside a pewter champagne bucket her mother gave her.

With spring in full bloom, it is fun to brighten any home with fresh flowers. From the farmers’ market to the grocery store, flowers are easily accessible. There are really no rules that apply. Arranging flowers is up to the eye of the beholder.

A few months ago, my family and I flew to New Zealand to check in on our son, who wanted to experience a gap year abroad before attending college. Mount Maunganui was our first stop, the place he now calls home. When we travel, we love to visit a gallery to see the local art. I spotted a white hand-thrown pot painted candy-apple green on the inside. It now holds pretty purple tulips, stems cut down, purchased from the grocery store. Seeing that piece reminds me of my son and the gorgeous country we visited.

My mother gave me a beautiful pewter champagne bucket the first year we moved into our home. A potted hydrangea from the grocery store usually finds its home there, sitting proudly on my kitchen island, next to a bowl of colorful fruit. This simple act gives a feeling of freshness, my home renewed. It was as easy as buying the potted plant and placing it in the unique container.

My home is decorated in a transitional style, so roses and tulips feel right in my home. I find cutting the stems down and simply placing them in vases or containers under 10 inches tall the easiest to arrange. It takes me just a few minutes. I like using glass cube containers purchased from the grocery store, vintage silver pieces that have been passed down from family or purchases from Etsy like a piece of handmade pottery in a bright green, orange or simple white. I usually make up three to create a grouping on my table and a small arrangement to place on the sink in the guest bath.

For my clients whose homes are on the modern side, I arrange flowers differently for them. Orchids with exposed roots in a glass cylindrical container with added bark to fill in the spaces between the roots and glass feels organic, modern and unexpected. Succulents look great as a centerpiece on their table or placed on a desk in a clean, modern container. Not only is the look cool, but both orchids and succulents are low-maintenance plants.

There are so many layers to the joy of fresh flowers, from the type of flower to the color, texture, scent and vessel you choose to display them in. Flowers can do amazing things for your home and for your mood.

Celeste Randolph is an interior designer in Los Altos. Visit for more information. m

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