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Basic Designs


By watching nature,  you can see many basic design rules.  How do the flowers grow?  Are they reaching for light?  If you want a professional look in most cases, you will apply the rules of how flowers grow.  

In floral designing, you will also find terms used which we will familiarize you to understand.  Please read the bottom sentence before leaving this page!

Tools:  Examples

Wire Cutters
Sharp Scissors
Hot Glue Gun


Wire -  used in designing to support and replace or shape stems.

Floral foam 
   Oasis - This foam is very soft and used with fresh cut flowers and when saturated with water is used to anchor flower stems into your arrangement.
   Ultra Foam - This foam is used with silk flowers.  It is harder than oasis but not as hard as Styrofoam.   Also you would never saturate this foam with water.
   Styrofoam - Very hard and used for craft projects.  (I have not used this foam in arranging in many years.

Water Tubes:  Used to supply water source to fresh flowers.

Vases and Containers:  Anything that will hold water.  Unlimited ideas here.

Floral Tape, Anchor Tape, Marbles, Glue, Pins, and any items used to create your bouquet.


Color, shape, texture and space are elements to understand when doing your flower designs.


  • Color is a very important element of design and carefully choosing will bring appealing results.  The following are the four basic color schemes that have been proven to be most pleasing to the human eye.

  • Also, we have added a lesson in color to help with flower selections and basic principals of color  to help.  Click Here.


Orange              Green

Red                    Blue


  1. Complementary This is the use of colors which are opposite each other on the color wheel. Example (Purple - Yellow  or Red - Blue etc.)

  2. Monochromatic  The use of various intensities of only one color.  See example

  3. Adjacent:  The use of three adjacent colors on color wheel (Yellow, Orange and Red)

  4. Triadic:  Intensities of three colors   You will choose with care to make work. 

Also, actual color (hue) or difference in colors (light and dark) needs to be kept in mind.  Lighter tints of colors will seem closer and darker shades will appear to recede.

  • Shape/Style is the overall shape of the arrangement and the form of the flowers and foliage which also determines style.

  1. Triangular Arrangements - There are four basic triangular arrangements and are among the easiest to create.  See Examples.

  2. Round Arrangements - These arrangements seem to be easy but because they have no focal point, you must use care to keep the rounded shape from all sides.  .

  3. Horizontal Arrangements - Most centerpieces are horizontal and require care as they are viewed from above as well as from the sides.  See Examples

  4. Landscape - These bouquets are arranged to resemble a garden view.  See Examples

  5. Free Style - Great use of lines with these and are sometimes harder to achieve desired results.

There are many other styles of floral arrangements but to begin, we will start with those above.

  • Texture - is used in interior design but can also be used in floral design as well.  People see the difference between soft and hard, coarse and fine, smooth and rough, and others which provide interest to your floral design.  This will be cover more in detail later.


  • Space - provides a series of necessary visual resting places.  It helps to isolate sections and allows us to appreciate them before our eyes move on.


  • Balance - leaves the sense of stability to your arrangement.  When your arrangement is finished, you won't feel that it looks lopsided or top-heavy.  Locating a focal point will give the feeling of stability.

  • Proportion/Scale - This is very important.  Example, a tiny container with heavy flowers.  Or the height of the arrangement not being in proportion to the container.

  • Rhythm - Is the movement of the eyes through your arrangement.  Rhythm is created by using contrasts of color, form and depth, irregular lines and curving, changes in texture and more.

  • Contrast - emphasizes the difference between two elements.  Color - Shape  Texture - Space and more.  Gives your bouquets excitement.  

  • Dominance - is the ability of an element (either color, shape, texture or space) to bring interest.  The dominant feature of your bouquet is usually found at the focal point of a design.  

We will be adding examples to more clearly explain the instructions above.  By the way, I worked with flower for many years before understanding the above elements and principles.  So do not get discouraged. YOU CAN DO THIS.