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A master florist's guide to perfect home floral arrangements

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Create a floral masterpiece with these simple tips

Orna Maymon was new to California and desperate for a job when she encountered serendipity.

"The only job I could find was in a flower shop helping customers, blowing up balloons and placing water tubes in roses," she says. At first, Maymon thought the job was just any other job, but it wasn't long before the blooms captured her imagination. "I was fascinated about all the beautiful blooms that sit in different buckets with all their beautiful colors, shapes and textures. When you put them together in a vase, they are the most beautiful creation."

Create a floral masterpiece with these simple tips

Image: Gustavo Fernandez/Ornamento

A month after chancing upon her floral shop job, Maymon became the store manager, went to floral and business school and then founded Ornamento — a luxury San Francisco floral design shop. Although her designs are stunning and can command a lot of money, she says that anyone can play with floral design in their own home, as long as they follow a few of her basic tips for success.

1. Go to the source

By the time flowers make it to your local grocery store, they're already closer to wilting. "Buy directly from a grower or your local flower shop instead of a grocery store," suggests Maymon. With fresh buds, your arrangement will last longer.

2. Know a good flower

All flowers are not created equally, and you need to know which ones to purchase. The quality of your display is contingent on the quality of your flowers. "Touch flowers before buying them. They should feel firm and strong, not squishy," Maymon explains. She also says to buy flowers when the blooms are still tight, and that you should avoid flowers that show pollen, as these are closer to wilting.

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Create a floral masterpiece with these simple tips

Image: Gustavo Fernandez/Ornamento

3. Make it cold

When you bring your flowers home from the grower, place them in the fridge until you're ready to begin your design. Then, once your design is complete, Maymon says to return them to the refrigerator until you're ready to display them in your home.

4. Choose creative containers

"Think outside the tulip vase," Maymon says. Your design will pop if you choose unique pottery, bowls and other eye-catching vessels to display your flowers.

That's it. Even a master florist like Maymon began her career by experimenting with different buds and arrangements, so don't be afraid to play. Just remember that the quality of your arrangement is based on the quality of your flowers and the beauty of your vase — if you get those components right, a stunning home floral design is just a matter of time.

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Create a floral masterpiece with these simple tips

Image: Gustavo Fernandez/Ornamento

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