How do today’s professional interior designers like David Hicks use? Just as he collects interesting objects, chosen for their form and texture, and then places them very carefully in relation to the room as a whole, so does his choice and arrangement of flowers show equal care. Since he and many other modern designers are now returning to the use of pattern on carpets or curtains – often very bold, geometrical patterns suited to modern architecture – it is not surprising that in flower arrangement the ‘interior designer’ look is often one of great simplicity, with sometimes an almost stark handling of the flowers.
The emphasis is on the use of just one kind of flower in a, not mixed bunches; and just one colour. The flowers are not ‘arranged’ in any obvious sense. They are, for instance, often plunged into a so that only their heads show above it as a solid mass of colour. Again, in an utterly plain but big glass container, a mere half-dozen flowers may stand to one side, their clearly visible in the water, and forming a graceful part of the composition as a whole. (No wire or pin-holder is used.)
Preferred flowers are likely to be those with a simple, clearcut shape like Tulips,, Hostas or Arum Lilies or a bunch of ( ). Preferred containers are equally simple and definite – straight cylinders, rectangles or cubes in steel, plain glass or undecorated china in a single strong colour. Flowers and container thus combine to make a single, emphatic statement.
An important ‘colour’ in interior design today is white, and often all-white flowers (without even their foliage showing) are massed in a coloured or neutral container for contrast. The container might, for instance, be a plain terracotta pot, a cylindrical black basket, varnished to shine in contrast with the white petals, or a green glass goblet of classic shape.
White walls may be used to show up the neat, symmetrical designs in a bunch of dried grasses and grains, their strawlike texture emphasized by the chromium tube in which they stand. Teazles and Globe Artichokes or a head of Giant Hogweed have geometric interest.
Kitchen jars in plain white pottery or in glass often provide the right effect as containers, but it is not difficult to improvise, by covering a cardboard box or tube with plain material (shiny black PVC, kitchen foil, pine-green felt – the choice is wide). and standing a jar out of sight inside it. Even a piece of drainpipe might be used, or a brass wastepaper bin. With such very simple, lighting is particularly important. A spotlight wall-mounted or possibly shining up from the floor, is ideal, particularly if the flowers are on a glass table.