Add flowers this winter to perk up your home

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 08, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Trinket & ring boxed blooms

Everyone has a few of these lying around. Limoges, porcelain or ceramic trinket/ring boxes double nicely as bud vases.

Take off the top or lid and set aside. Cut the roses or flowers so they are just coming out of the top of the trinket or ring box opening (see photo). Put a little water in the box to keep the flowers fresh. Freshen the water every couple of days.

Consider, also, buying a dozen roses and gathering four to six small trinket boxes and simple glass bud vases to brighten many rooms of the house at one time. A display of one or two blooms is sweet and charming and can provide a beautiful fragrance for small spaces.

These trinket box arrangements are lovely placed on a bedroom table or nightstand.

Vintage Depression-era glass salt shakers

A salt shaker can also take center stage as a bud vase. Take off the top and insert into the canister a flower or two (be sure to trim the stems to fit). These can be charming and fragrant in small spaces.

Peek through your closets and pantries for other unique vintage colored glass vases and containers you can trot out for a while. The key is color.

I found a green fluted glass vase gathering dust on a top shelf and gave it a chance to shine again by dropping in some bright roses. It brings a vibrant color into my kitchen area and warms up the winter room.

Simple glass vases or bowls

You may have received a big, beautiful glass salad or serving bowl for Christmas. And most of us have several varieties of glass serving bowls in our kitchens. No matter the size, keep them in mind for floating flowers.

Fill the glass bowl about halfway with water and cut the flower head off to float in water. Leave room for the blooms to float without being crowded.

This is an age-old way to display just a few fragrant flowers, but it looks more contemporary than flower arrangements in vases.

Magnolias are always my favorite flowers to “float,” but any large bloom looks beautiful and curious lounging atop a small pool of water.

I used a few camellias in a salad bowl and they lifted spirits in my den area. This flower-floating concept makes a quick, easy and stylish centerpiece for dinner gatherings, too.

Tea time

I’ve always loved using favorite tea tins and cups for displaying flowers. There’s just something cheery about seeing the tea cups sporting flowers instead of my favorite lemon tea.

You can use actual tea cups as your mini-vases and insert flowers directly into them, or try floating a few tiny rosebuds in a cup of water.

Set this on a bedside table on the cup’s saucer to delight visiting guests.

Gift tins for tea also can be a neat way to showcase flowers. Bury a glass condiment jar in the metal tin to hold the flowers. This way the tin will not rust and you can freshen the water with ease.

Enamelware buckets and pitchers

Enamelware is a great material to use in the winter because it has such a cool, fresh look.

If you are using a large container, put a canning jar into the enamelware container to keep the water contained while holding the flowers upright.

Cut your fresh flowers so they look as though they are blooming out of the top of the container. If you just stick them into the vessel as is, they might be too tall and could look leggy and sparse. You want blooms to be half of an inch or less from the top opening of the bucket, pitcher or vase.

Vintage toys

Many people include nostalgic toys from Christmases of yesteryear in holiday displays. If you do, too, before you put them all away, pull one aside and design it into a centerpiece.

An old toy truck made just the right container for flowers I brought home from the market. Look for a collectible toy that has a place to put a small jar that can hold flowers. You can also insert a stem watering pick that will water one flower bloom at a time for several days.

Place the arrangement on a dining table as a centerpiece or on an entry-hall table as a happy way to greet visitors this winter.

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It’s such a drag to pack away holiday decorations when you’ve been admiring them so much and remembering the memories of family and friends that they bring.

Plus, the house goes from looking — and feeling — December-festive to January-blah as soon as the ornaments go back to the attic.

Before the winter doldrums set in, perk up your home with colorful, fragrant flowers. Fresh flowers symbolize a new start and can be an easy, inexpensive way to bring New Year’s joy indoors. Swing by your corner florist for a bunch of flowers, or pick up a bouquet from your local grocery store while you are shopping for winter comfort foods.

Then let the fun begin. No pot or vase? No problem. Here are items you might have around the house that can be used for arranging and displaying flowers:

• Enamelware buckets and pitchers

• Trinket boxes

• Vintage Depression-era glass salt shakers

• Simple glass vases or bowls (to float flowers)

• Antique coffee cups or teacups

• Tea tins or other unique gift tins

• Vintage toys

Put the simple arrangements in rooms you frequent, but also in surprise locations like the powder room, a reading nook or on the bill-paying desk in your home office. (Ugh! Time to pay the piper, so we might as well make that space more pleasant.)

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