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Art of Design: Flower Power

Joseph Pubillones on

There are certain immaterial things that you inherit from your parents or grandparents, whether we like to admit it or not. I admit that my disdain for the smell of certain cut flowers is due to my Mother. She used to liken the fragrance of certain flowers to a funeral parlor, and thus resisted decorating with flowers. I get it; I have the same associations with certain scents. Yet there are other flowers whose perfume can make me swoon like Gardenias, Night-blooming Jasmines, Tuberoses and the intoxicating Casablanca Lilies.

Certainly there is nothing more visually impactful than a beautifully arranged bouquet of flowers. They are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, which is why they are placed to greet guests in hotel lobbies, on fancy dinner tables, presented or sent for a romantic sweep, given to say I'm sorry or even bedside to cheer one up when someone is ill. I love to be surrounded by them and I try to encourage my clients to add some flower power their decor.

Flowers are that finishing touch in the decor of a room. However, your arrangements can either be used as background with a small-subdued monochromatic arrangement, or meant to take center stage with a large over-the-top blast of color. Flowers in decorating can pick up the predominant color of a room found on walls, drapes or upholstery, or can make their own statement with a contrasting and unexpected color.

Traditions passed down from one generation to another have given certain meanings and symbolism to flowers. Here are just a few:

Red is meant to convey power or love.

Yellow speaks of happiness and friendship.

Orange means heartfelt sincerity.

White is representative of innocence, purity and elegance.

Pink is often associated with youth, innocence and delicate.


Purple used to be a royal color and now symbolizes accomplishment or admiration.

Blue is a sign of peace and calm.

Green carries the sentiment of optimism and good fortune.

The style of your floral arrangement can add definition to the style of your room. Classic arrangements can be round as in a typical bouquet, or can be shaped in a triangular arrangement. The selection of your flowers can also help define the style of your decor. For example, a grouping of sunflowers, daisies and black-eyed Susans in a Mason jar or Victorian porcelain can evoke a type of informal or rustic decor the same that a neat and tight bunch of white roses, all clipped to the same height placed in a clear crystal cylinder seems hip and contemporary.

For those with allergies, or that simply do not like the scent of a fragrant floral arrangement, the recommended flowering plant of choice for most designers are orchids. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and last a couple of months, much longer than cut floral arrangements. Orchids look great in any design whether on their own in a single color, or as a cluster in different shades. Add some flower power to your interior design, and you'll always feel good to come home.


Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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