One of the best things about Instagram is all the wonderful people you meet through it. I met the lovely Rebecca from @myenglishcountrycottage very shortly after joining Instagram. To be honest, there’s nothing not to love about Rebecca’s account – her posts and pictures never fail to make me smile, and I love the daily dose of humour and gorgeous pictures of her cottage and garden. It wasn’t long before we worked out that we live near to one another, and soon I was writing a regular gardening blog for her fabulous website.
We finally met last year, and it was funny as it felt a little like a blind date – I found myself saying “I’ll be wearing….. and I’ve got brown hair, oh and I talk a lot when I get nervous so just ignore me if I do that”. I can confirm she is as lovely and as funny in real life as she is on her channel. We got talking she told me about her upcoming Christmas photo shoot and whether I would like to do some flowers. Fast forward to a December morning and there I was in her gorgeous cottage, faffing with flowers. It was here I met the stylist Naomi and photographer, Rob. I was so nervous about it all, but I really didn’t need to be aseveryone was lovely. I then met Lucy who provided the wonderful food for the shoot. I was soon pleading with her to cook my Christmas dinner! My goodness her food is so delicious!
Rebecca subsequently reached out to me to say that Naomi and Rob were coming back to do a couple of retakes, and to ask if I be happy to have my home photographed. Obviously I had to contain my excitement and act incredibly ‘cool’ with my response – she says responding within 2 minutes with a big ‘YES’ So, I found myself cleaning the house from top to bottom and planning my flower displays – the cleaning part not so enjoyable but the flower part – oh I was in heaven! Here are a just few of my favourite pictures from the shoot and some of my top tips when it comes to styling your home with blooms.
Flowers – in my eyes the perfect accessory
Start as you mean to go on.
There really is no better way of welcoming your guests at the front door than with a wonderful wreath. You can go big or small, it doesn’t matter, and remember, there are other uses for it to, such as a table centrepiece or even hung up on a wall inside.
There are lots of options throughout the year. In the Spring I love gypsophilia whereas in the Summer I love pampas. Pampas sheds, so in the summer, when there is less wind and volatile weather conditions you are more likely to keep pampas looking good if hung outside.
It’s not always about big impact.
While I love a big vase full of blooms, I also love using lots of little bud vases to display mini arrangements. I tend to use these for dining room table displays as I find the height and movability of them, make them ideal.
This type of arrangement is particularly useful for a rectangular table, where you are trying to fill a long area. I tend to opt for producing 5-7 bud vases and popping them in a zig zag down the centre to create interest. I also like to vary the heights of each vase, to stop the design from becoming flat, just be mindful that people also need to be able to see over them. I also tend to avoid anything too heavily scented that may interfere with the taste of the food being eaten.
Whenever I stay at my mother and father in laws, they always pop a little posy of flowers on the bedside table – it always makes me smile and feel so welcome. As a result, I always do the same for my guests. I just love how pretty they look but I’m also a great believer that they put me in a good mood to start the day with. Remember, your bedroom is the last place you’ll find yourself at night and the first place you wake up to in the morning, so creating a beautiful surrounding is key for a good mood.
My advice is to keep it simple; you don’t want anything that is so huge that you can’t fit anything else on the table nor do you want anything with a too overpowering scent on it. One of my favourites is just a few springs of greenery. Rosemary is also lovely and comes with a lovely, relaxing scent.
Don’t forget – Colour & style
Always look at where your flowers are going and the style of the room. If you are going in a room that has high ceilings, then you can accommodate a vase of tall thin flowers. However, if you are going into a cottage that has low ceilings, then you most probably should opt for shorter style arrangements, such as a posy.
Also, consider any pictures on the walls and their colours. For example, I often do a huge vase of flowers in front of ‘Olga’ my painting in my sitting room. One of the things I consider is that the colours do not clash. I often tend to go quite neutral as I feel it showcases the colours within the portrait beautifully.
However, don’t be afraid to choose stronger shades. Adding a strong ‘pop of colour’ to a serene interior or a softness to a vibrant space can really help keep the eye interested.
Also, remember that different flowers will go better with and can create a different style. Roses are good at creating a traditional or classic interior, whereas sculptural flowers such as orchids work well in modern looks.
Don’t forget about the vase
Vases are just as important when it comes to styling a home with flowers. You can create a completely different feel and style just by using different vases. For me the vessel is part of your bouquet.
For example, I used this very simple vase from Neptune during my photo shoot and I just love not only how it holds the flowers but also how it helps to create a clean, simple look. However, for Lucy’s photo shoot on the second day, we used the same arrangement but put them in this wonderful blue and white vase from The Nine Schools All of a sudden, a completely different look was born – bringing a lot more drama and depth to the arrangement. Just perfect for Lucy’s sitting room.
Can flowers go in every room?
Oh yes they can – well that’s my excuse! Besides the obvious places – like kitchens and living rooms, adding flowers to your home office can be an immediate mood booster, and having small bunches of flowers scattered in your bathroom is a lovely way to instantly create a spa feel. I love hanging eucalyptus from my shower to create a wonderful scent while showering, particularly good for clearing a stuffy heads. I also think it looks rather wonderful too.
I really could go on and on but I will stop here, finishing off with some thank you’s.
A huge thank you to Rebecca for being such an amazing support and the amazing team that is Naomi Jones (https://www.naomijoneshomes.com/) & Rob Sanderson (https://robertsandersonphotographer.com/) for creating some magical magazine worthy interiors, Lucy Hoyle https://www.instagram.com/lucyhoylecooks/, for her incredible food that looks amazing and tastes delicious and to Emma Perring https://www.emmaperring.com/ for loaning (in my case not loaning) her amazing paintings.
With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –
Find out more about me – www.flowersandlifestylebymargot.co.uk