Western Elements in Floral Design
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
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
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
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