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arrange flowers—tips + tricks from a pro

Flowers make me SO happy.

Pinkish purple floral arrangement by Britt Summers from the hōm market's master class with florist Ingrid Carozzi of Tin Can Studios

Turns out—flowers make you happy too! Which is reason enough to fill your home with them, never mind how beautiful they smell or the atmosphere they create, mood-boosting properties alone have me setting bud vases around the house. 

And who better to take us through arranging the most exquisite florals, but Ingrid Carozzi of Brooklyn's Tin Can Studios

Ingrid is known for her romantic arrangements and large scale designs for Burberry, Christie’s, and Vogue. Alongside her beautiful blooms, she uses branches, fruits, weeds and unique vessels for her jaw dropping works of floral art.

Her third book is coming out this spring (featuring the hōm market's very own, Britt Summers!!!).

Ingrid shared her tips for designing that perfect, personalized arrangement in a master class with the hōm market. This is what we learned:

Florist Ingrid Carozzi of Tin Can Studios in Brooklyn, New YorkPhoto: Tin Can Studios
RECIPES FOR FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS

We love how Ingrid refers to the flowers and all the stems as ingredients to her floral arranging recipes (we love recipes!)—it's a metaphor that clicked instantly.

Like cooking, the outcome is influenced by the person creating: the arrangement reflects your tastes, your preferences and we love that. 

Bloom Box from Tin Can Studios in Brooklyn, New YorkPhoto: Tin Can Studios

STEP 1. Choose your ingredients. Combine flowers you love, maybe within a similar color pallet, different textures, sizes, some greenery. If this is a difficult step for you, florists like Tin Can Studios has created Bloom Boxes (pictured above) that you can buy—stems already chosen for you to create your arrangement or head to your local florist for inspiration and guidance.

How many stems? 25-33 total with two to three types of face flowers (these are your stars, the main event), three types of fillers (it's great if one of these has some color variation within it to tie together the other main colors of your arrangement), and some greenery.

We love working with odd numbers of stems: three, five—it allows your eye to move around the arrangement and not get stuck in pairs. 

Getting tools and flowers ready to arrange

STEP 2. Prep your tools. Wash and rinse your clippers and buckets/vases. Make sure everything is clean, as bacteria in the vases or on your tools can decrease the life of your flowers. Fill your containers with clean water. (These buckets/vases hold your flowers while you're designing into your main vase.)

Prep the stems: Remove leaves, especially along the bottoms of the stems and in some cases all the leaves. Leaves should never be in the water, as this causes them to breakdown and release bacteria into the water (which turns yellowish and stinky.) If you receive your flowers dry and flat-packed, give them a clean cut before putting in water. (The stems are like straws that close up when out of water to survive. For the flowers to drink again, a clean cut needs to be made to open the straw. If the flowers are out of water for even 30 seconds while designing your arrangement, you should give them a fresh snip.)

Place the flowers in water. Let them drink for at least four hours, a full day in a cool place is best. Once perky, they're ready to arrange. (Some blooms never perk up, this is sad and typical—toss those. 

A fantastic tip from Ingrid: If some of your flowers are droopy (ranunculus and astrantia can be sometimes) hold them upside down and wrap gently in paper, making a sort of cone. Tape it. Keep stems in water. The paper cone acts as a cast and helps the stems stand up as they become perky.

Photo: Tin Can Studios

STEP 3. Location. Location. Location. Where will your arrangement sit? This will determine the vase you use. If it's a table, a lower vase is best (5" wide x 6" tall is great) so people can chat above the arrangement. If it's a mantle, a tall vase is a lovely choice, a bedside table is beautifully suited to a bud vase or a tall vase—whatever you have is perfect.

vases from Ingrid Carozzi of Tin Can StudiosPhoto: Tin Can Studios

TIP: While considering the vase, the total height of the arrangement should be about 2.5 times the size of the vessel. So if your vase is 10", the whole arrangement from bottom of vase to tippy top of the flowers should be about 25" high. 

STEP 4. Set up your vase with chicken wire and a grid of floral tape. Cut a 8" x 6" piece of chicken wire. Bend it into an 'S' shape or a ball (depending on the size and shape of your vase) and place it within your vase. Then using floral tape, create a grid over the opening of the vase. The chicken wire and tape grid will help secure the stems in place. 

STEP 5. Start cooking. Play with a few greenery stems to begin with. If you're going for a low, romantic arrangement, let the stems spill to the side. Play with asymmetry—a longer stem to one side, two to the other. Some longer than others. Move to your filler stems. Place these. Then move on to your stars of the show: the face flowers. Make sure there are no competing stems in front of them. These face flowers are often in the center, though not perfectly so. Play with it. Remember to snip the stems as you go. Keep little bits to use in bud vases after you're done with your main arrangement.  

 If this inspires you to design your own arrangements, show us! @thehommarket with #myhom and #hommakers so we can see your creations. 

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