I love flowers and plants but I have to admit that I do not have green fingers at all. In fact, most plants in my care sadly tend to perish. The only species that I have any luck caring for are succulents, cacti, bamboo, and Dracena plants that practically need no care at all and are able to withstand all sorts of neglect. Although I’m ashamed to say that I have been known to kill both bamboo and cacti in the past…don’t ask me how! Whilst I do love the feeling created by having a spot of greenery and some bright and cheery flowers in my home, I do tend to simply stick flowers in a standard vase or jug and keep plants in basic plant pots – nothing too imaginative. So I was very excited to learn that interiors author and stylist Holly Becker of decor8 has brought out a new book that she has co-authored with product designer, photographer and stylist Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint.
Published by Jacqui Small, Decorate with Flowers is a beautiful book packed with original full-color photography that can inspire even the least green fingered of people with its creative ideas for using flowers and containers around the home. Whilst neither holly nor Leslie are trained floral designers, they have plenty of experience using flowers in their many styling projects and this book blends their shared love of botanicals with their passion for interiors. Unlike other publications about floral design that can prove a little intimidating for the uninitiated, Holly and Leslie have deliberately taken a laid-back approach to the advice that they have to share, making the idea of decorating with flowers a far less daunting one.
Featuring eight different flower stories that take the reader through a variety of home styles – from natural, pastels & neon, market and happy brights, to coastal, neutral pop, girly glam, and black & white – the book presents flowers that are not only easy to find, but that won’t break the bank. It offers advice on selecting, combining and arranging flowers to best complement your home decor and features many decorating tips and tricks of the trade.
The book opens with advice on trusty tools you should invest in so that you can quickly and effortlessly pull together your floral designs with minimal fuss or preparation. Brown paper, metal buckets, floral tape, flower clippers and jam jars are just a few of the suggested items that you may want to stock up on before embarking on your floral adventures. It continues with a short overview of flowers that offers guidance on choosing your flowers, prepping them and keeping them fresher for longer. Next follows an overview on herbs and how to use and care for them.
Choosing containers for your floral arrangements is an integral part of the process and the most exciting parts of the book for me are the step-by-step guides that show how to adapt and decorate containers in creative ways using ribbon, tape, paint, string and fabric. Having fun crafting gorgeous original containers would make me far more inclined to bring flowers into my home and luckily Holly and Leslie are not short on ideas. I can’t wait to try the painted wine bottles with glitter or the chalky pastel jam jars.
The book also offers a whole host of entertaining ideas for all occasions, from a relaxed dinner with old friends, a midsummer lunch, a market brunch or a kids party, to a beachy brunch, a pretty and proper afternoon tea, a cocktail hour with the girls or an anniversary dinner.
All in all, this book left me feeling inspired about flowers and how to use them in my home in a more creative and personal way. This is unusual given my catastrophic history with flowers and plants. But the ideas presented by Holly and Leslie are fun and simple and make me feel like nothing is beyond my capabilities. There are no hard and fast rules to follow but the book rather promotes a more instinctive and intuitive approach to experimenting with flower arranging.
It has reminded me of the fun I had with my mum when we were doing my wedding flowers. We took a DIY approach to keep costs down but it actually turned out to be one of the most exciting parts of my wedding preparations. We spent months collecting pretty glass jars before decorating them with buttons and ribbon in exquisite pastel colours. The final result looked great even if I do say so myself and flicking through this book has made me remember how much fun it was to create my own unique containers, which I still use to this day. I now want to take inspiration from Holly and Leslie to see what other great containers I could knock up.
The book is officially launched in the UK today so I’d like to invite you all to join me in congratulating Holly and Leslie on this fantastically inspiring read. If you, like me, lack the confidence required to decorate your own home with flowers, then this is the book for you. And if you do decide to purchase it, just hop on over to my design shop and you can buy it there. What are you waiting for?
To purchase Decorate with Flowers simply hover over the image below.