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Floral Design 101 from Olivier Giugni

Maris Callahan is the author of "In Good Taste," and, as an avid self-taught home cook, is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping women on-the-go cook healthy, delicious meals and snack...

Flower-arranging classes are on the upswing as younger homeowners and hobby artists across the country continue to embrace a DIY culture and develop appreciation for all things homemade. While established institutions offer traditional flower arranging programs, we decided to save you the time and cost of enlisting in by seeking advice from celebrity floral atelier Olivier Giugni. With the holiday entertaining season upon us, Giugini shared some of his top tips for floral design in the home.
Take Color Cues from Your Home

Take COLOR cues from
your home

When planning your flower arrangements, it can be tempting to choose flowers based on the colors or styles that you like, but for them to really complement your home design, take cues from the style of your furniture and the prominent colors in your artwork. If you're planning a design for a room that has a neutral color scheme, let your floral arrangement relfect colors of the season. For late fall/early winter, Giugini, who recenty authored his first book, Living Art: Style Your Home with Flowers, recommeds deep reds, fiery oranges, and sunny yellow.

Enhance Your CorridorsEnhance YOUR Corridors

Foyers, hallways and entryways are sometimes the most elegant areas of the home - after all, they're the areas that visitors see the most frequently. Floral arrangements for hallway tables or foyers should be clean and modern, with simple, welcoming colors and bright touches. Giugini recommends a clean, classic arrangement of white tulips or a tall vase finished with quince branches as the perfect touch to any living space.

Add a splash of colorAdd a splash of color

When you have neutral walls and simple furniture, a floral arrangement is one way to add a pop of color to your room. If you don't want to commit to flashy artwork, opt for flowers in bold colors, such as red or bright yellow. "Dahlias, orange amaryllis and tulip all help to brighten up a room," said Giugini. He also likes cymbidium orchids, marigolds,  and orange, yellow or burgundy calla lilies.

Think about the perfect finishing touchThink about the perfect finishing touch

To add a little something extra to your floral design, think about the flavors and foliage of the season. Use fruit and vegetables such as small apples, plums, grapes, baby pears, persimmons or pomegranates to brighten floral arranements. Look to walnuts and chestnuts, ornamental cabbage, pumpkins,  squash or Indian corn to add festive flair to your home.

Keep plenty of tools and supplies on handKeep plenty of tools and supplies on hand

Arranging flowers is an art and like any art form, you'll need plenty of supplies and materials to make your creation come alive. Purchase tools at your local hardware or floral supply store and keep them in a safe place, out of reach from children. Some items that are helpful include sharp paring knife to cut flower stems, pruning shears to cut branches and bind wire and flower food - which you should always mix into water before filling the vase.
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