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July 13, 2018 2 min read

Elements of Design


Bright lights illuminate the entire design; spotlights throw focus on a single aspect. Colored bulbs create a mood. Side lighting casts shadows on the opposite side of the light source; lights from above create shadows beneath. Experiment with the effects of various sources of light and play with light as an element in your design.


Space is divided, penetrated and organized by the placement of horizontal and vertical lines. Even the space that is left empty, is an inherent part of the whole.


Large, soft roses go well with small shapely leaves and lacy ferns. Multi- faceted flowers like lilacs or hydrangeas look pleasing with larger smoother leaves.


The standard height suggestion for arrangements in low containers is the tallest stem be equal to 1 to 2 times the length or diameter of the vase or bowl. Some people have a natural, well-developed sense of proportion and design. If you are one of those people, trust your sense of scale.


Sometimes a design will be in perfect proportion and stand as a total unit but will look flat or boring. What it needs is a visual focal point, a center of interest or the use of an accent. By placing two or three large open flowers slightly above and below the center of the arrangement, the design gains a sense of unity or completion.

Principles of Design


Flowers, foliage, container, base, accessories... no matter how many must blend to give the feeling of a unified, complete design.


Whether your design is symmetrical or asymmetrical, the elements of the composition need a secure axis from which the design flows:

1. A dark, red rose weighs no more than a lighter color rose, but visually, the darker, brighter rose will appear to be heavier.

2. A large bloom appears heavier in feeling if it is placed at the top or on the edges of the design.

3. Warm colors move towards you, and cool colors recede.

4. For a design to feel balanced, the visual weight of one side should be the same as on the other.

5. If you center yourself as you work. Your design will reflect your own personal sense of equilibrium.


Harmony is that subtle quality of combined elements that look and feel good together.


Any curved line which not only leads to the center of interest but sweeps on through it to the outer edges of the arrangement helps create the sense of rhythm. The line may be continuous or it may be established through repetition.