Imagine you have $75 and a house that is about to go up for sale. Sure, you could spend that money on things like a few movie tickets to reward yourself for your hard work. Maybe even a beer or glass of wine. OR you could spend that money on lots of gorgeous flowers to make your house “pop”. As fresh flowers are very inviting, and lovely, it’s one of those real estate tips for selling your house quicker. Will it work? No clue. But it certainly looks and smells great.
There’s this myth that cut flowers are expensive. While some flowers are expensive, it’s just not true of all kinds, and many very beautiful flowers are inexpensive. Especially if you know where to go. Our go-to for super cheap flowers are Trader Joes and Costco (Costco has the added benefit of accepting returns on flowers — no joke). For staging our house we went to Trader Joes. We got a literal cart-full of flowers for $74. Mostly consisting of bunches of Hydrangeas, “summer” mixes (sunflowers, lilies, etc), delphinium and gladiolas.
I tried to do something a little different in each room. For the most part I tried to stick with “fun”, but in the case of the Hydrangeas bunches, it just says “classy”, so I stuck those in the classiest rooms. Like the dining room and the bathroom. Because that makes sense.
This is said classy bunch of hydrangeas. I bunched these together to get the most consistent shape I could get. At first it was resembling Richard Simmon’s hair, both in shape and texture, but with some strategic snipping, I got it to look more uniform. The more simple arrangement is very simple and streamlined, which general equates to elegant. Because the vase is clear, I removed all of the leaves so that it does not look messy. Also, I think removing them extends the life of the flower, but that may be me just making things up.
This explosion of yellow and purple eventually went into the office. Basically it’s all of the flowers I had left in a plant pot. I think that overly messy, hanging over the edges look is very fun, and since the colors are so primary, fun was a requirement.
These are the flowers in the master bedroom. I took some of the gladiolas and their leaves, as well as the delphiniums to give the bouquet height and combined them with the “summer mix” that Trader Joes was selling. I think it works well in this room, especially combined with the abstract art. It’s fun without being totally crazy town.
This is my favorite combo, so of course I put them in the bathroom (though to be fair, the larger arrangement is also in the picture of the office).
I love duochromatic (that’s not really a word) arrangements. Especially when it’s whites and pinks. I just think it’s so soft and feminine and looks very classy. The larger arragement is tall, and uses less greenery than any of the others. It was the first one I did, so I didn’t adhere to my “remove the leaves” rule, mostly because I had forgotten, but I think it still looks pretty good.
The smaller arrangement is just a hydrangea cut down so it sits in the planter/vase and fills the top. It’s a very simple arrangement that is cheap and looks good everytime. Especially when paired with larger arrangements, like the ones above and also in the dining room (That little planter gets around)
There are amazing florists out there, and many who are exceedingly talented at making flowers look like works of art. But for the average person, you don’t have to be amazingly gifted to make flowers look good. You just need to remember the following rules:
- Bunches of the same flowers look great. For hydrangeas, peonies, etc (anything really full) they look best bunched together in a uniform fashion. In the case of tulips or any other tall gangly flower, it’s better if they’re messy and not overly full.
- Vary the height on mixed bouquets. If you have a bunch of different flowers, it won’t look that great uniform. That’s why they often throw in sprigs of eucalyptus or baby’s breath. I like to put the height in the back and/or on the sides, and have it be a bit messy.
- Don’t go overboard on the color. Mixed bouquets are beautiful, but you don’t need every color of the rainbow for it to look good. Often times sticking with variations of two or three colors (with one of them white) is what looks the best.
- When in doubt, keep it simple. Often times the least elaborate arrangements are the most pretty.
As far as staging with flowers goes:
- Flowers on the living room table, a dining room table, a desk or in the bedroom are always winners. I put some in the kitchen too, just to hide a few spots that didn’t look that great.
- Don’t go overboard. Unless you live in a mansion or appropriately sized house, don’t stick a $500 4’ft tall arrangement in your space. It’s overwhelming.
- Keep it classy. Having one or two really colorful arrangements is fine (especially for kids rooms), but don’t make it rainbow brite.
- If they die, throw them away/compost them. Duh. Dead flowers smell and look gross. Plus according to my aunt, dead flowers are bad luck.
- Use that crystal clear stuff so that your water doesn’t get gross too.
Also, get creative with the vases. We went more traditional this time, but I have been known to throw flowers into a pumpkin (though I would NOT suggest that for staging).
Baskets, flower pots, etc all work well as vases. And if it’s something you already have on hand then even better! You just saved yourself a bunch of money.
As an aside, when staging you don’t necessarily need flowers. House plants also work and you can take them with you. In our case, we did both, but I’m just a plant person and will be taking them with us when the house sells. So that made sense for us. Whatever choice you go though, having something alive will (pardon the expression) liven up your space and making it feel more hospitable.
What’s your favorite flower? Mine are pink peonies but I do love me some Hydrangeas.