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Decorating with Flowers & Vases

Decorating with flowers and vases in the home.

From the problems of fireplace decorating to the arrangement of flowers is a far cry, but we are just now concerned with matters essentially miscellaneous, and flowers are so important and can achieve so much that some space must be given to them. They do more to humanise a room and create the personal, lived-in atmosphere than any elaborate and carefully studied effects in the placing the furniture. Whether they float in a shallow bowl, or cluster in a tall vase, their short-lived brightness confers the benefit of living colour and beauty on the dullest schemes of decoration and the most unsightly furniture.

Some suggestions for flowers in different colour settings were given in the opening chapter on decoration, but like the selection of paintings this is so much a matter of personal taste that choice cannot be guided by anything more definite than inclination.

There is not a very wide selection of vases and bowls in glass to choose from, although the shallow, coloured glass bowls, ranging in tone from cream and yellow to indigo and black, in which primroses, violets and other flowers with small petals can float, are very charming when they are obtainable. They can be displayed on tables, torcheres, or iron stands. Apart from this the days of glass are passing, for it has been found how very delightful flowers can appear when they are displayed in earthenware pots and jars.

Walloon pottery, which is rather coarse earthenware, and suggests "sang de boeuf" in its colouring, is pleasant in effect; and there are many varieties of Italian jars and pots, with or without handles and in varying tints and finishes, that are most attractive and may be used in any type of room. Big flowers, such as Canterbury bells and hollyhock, look their best in tinted pottery, which forms a most picturesque setting for big, old-fashioned garden flowers.

To have a special table devoted entirely to flowers is an excellent idea, and clearly the place for such a table is in front of a window, so that the light can filter through a screen of many-tinted blossoms, making the most of their colour effect. A group of vases and pots need not give an impression of overcrowding or suggest a florist's counter if the flowers in them are skilfully arranged.

A word should be said for artificial flowers, for they are no longer the flimsy, obvious imitations they used to be. Much skill and real artistic ability is expended on their making and the results are excellent in every way. In vases and jars in the winter time, mixed with evergreen leaves, they can create an effect that almost equals the beauty of natural blossoms.

Flowers are the most beautiful of all ornaments, and from the consideration of their arrangement we pass to the placing and selection of home decorating accessories less effective, though often beautiful.

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