Grab those scissors—it’s time to get creative!

By Alicia Brunker
Updated February 12, 2018

It’s hard not to pick up a bouquet of your favorite blooms while passing a market full of lilies, peonies, and blue hydrangeas. Of course, once you get them home, you need to figure out how to make a stunning arrangement. The secret? Steer away from symmetry—it results in a close-knit, snooze-worthy bundle, says interior designer Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe.

“People too often default to symmetry when arranging flowers, which creates a tight rounded bunch,” she explains. It's easy to understand why this instinct kicks in, she acknowledges: “Symmetrical is safe and controlled, and it's easy to judge when an arrangement is complete: Vase full? Check! Shape even? Check!”

No matter the flower, from dahlias to roses, a symmetrical placement can evoke traditional sentiments of your childhood home. “Even the most vibrant flower can end up feeling restrained, and mixed clusters often emanate a ceremonial bridesmaid bouquet feel,” says Munroe.

But for an unexpected mix that really impresses, Munroe suggests configurations of varying lengths, textures, shapes, and colors, which allows for the opportunity to experiment with playful additions, like pine cones and berry branches. Longer, more linear stems can expand past the core of the arrangement, while compact greenery and flora should stay close to the center.

The best part? You don't need any new or different supplies—just a new way of looking at a bouquet of blooms. “Your existing vases will accommodate this new style seamlessly,” says Munroe. “The only new supply needed is your imagination.”