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Required Reading: Decorate With Flowers


Required Reading: Decorate With Flowers

May 6, 2014

When Holly Becker, author of Decorate, teamed up with stylist Leslie Shewring to write a book about floral arranging, the pair knew theirs would be a spontaneous approach to bringing flowers into the home. Rather than focusing on formal, studied arrangements, Decorate With Flowers offers readers simple ideas for incorporating farmers’ market, grocery store, and fresh-picked flowers into interior décor.

The book is arranged into eight chapters corresponding to a range of interior styles from vintage to “girly” to modern. Each photograph-rich chapter gives inspiration for arrangements and floral DIY projects designed to play off existing patterns, textures, and color schemes.

A useful introduction lets readers peek into Holly and Leslie’s prop closets and outlines their list of “trusty tools” for prop styling and floral arranging. Holly and Leslie also give pracitcal tips for choosing flowers, prepping them for arrangements, and getting them to stay fresh, longer.

Photographs from Decorate With Flowers, courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Above: An over-sized print of Debbie Carlos’s cascascading flowers photograph provides the backdrop for a simple arrangement of white buddleia. The chapter called “Black and White” offers suggestions for folks whose personal style errs toward the monochromatic and focuses on “bringing the outdoors in through lush foliage in white and greens.”

Above: Holly and Leslie invite readers to relax a bit when it comes to tabletop decorations. Here, they’ve plopped loose arrangements of fennel flower, Queen Anne’s lace, chive blossom, Japanese anenome, eucalyptus, verbena, mint, and dahlia into jam jars and tied plain linen napkins with sprigs of rosemary for an extra spot of green on an otherwise simple table.

Above: A festoon of flowers from the chapter devoted to natural interiors. Here, Holly and Lindsey tied individual stems of flowers and herbs along with vintage luggage tags to a single piece of string. A backdrop of vintage botanical prints completes the vignette.

Above: A cluster of flea market apothecary bottles prop stems of flowering pea, astrantia, and fennel flowers in shades of green and yellow. Holly and Leslie suggest collecting pretty meadow cuttings from the countryside to use in easy arrangements. Cautious not to advocate rampant wildflower foraging from protected lands, they encourage readers to focus on “the common ‘weedy’ ones that grow in abundance.”

Above: A festive bottle chandelier is one of my favorite DIY projects from the book. Made from wire of differing gauges, this budget-friendly project would put my ever-growing vintage bottle collection to good use. I’d fill mine with delicately scented jasmine and mint for a fragrant white and green look.

Above: My favorite bit of advice from the book comes from the chapter on coastal-inspired interiors. Holly and Leslie favor straightforward arrangements that use what you already have. In this case, wispy flower choices in clear glass bottles “keep the look light and fresh, just like a day at the shore.”

Above: Decorate With Flowers is available for $17.79 from Amazon.

See more from Holly Becker in Remodelista’s Required Reading: Blog-to-Book post. Looking for more inspiring garden reads? See our entire archive of Required Reading posts.

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