I’ve umm-ed and ah-ed over the recent vogue for pampas grass and dried flowers, because I love the look, but I don’t know if I love it for me. I was dying to play around with some though because I’ve been so drawn to all the amazing inspo on Pinterest, like this, this and this.
I hit on the idea of doing an arrangement for my daughters’ room and jumped on the subway to Chelsea Flower District in search of some dried flowers. There’s really only one shop on West 28th Street that has a big selection of dried flowers in New York City and that’s Abra Flora (no website) at 120 w. 28th Street, which currently has a large stall of dried flowers outside. There aren’t any prices marked on any of the flowers, so you have to just take them to the counter and see what they tell you. Sadly dried flowers in NYC aren’t cheap, ranging from $15 to $25 for smallish bunches so I had to be pretty selective. On the plus side, they will last such a long time! So it’s not like fresh flowers where you’re only buying a temporary thrill.
I already had a simple white vase that I had in mind, so I tried to get a mix of tall fluffy things, spiky architectural flowers and one really structured kind of flower to put in the front. I think having more structural shapes in dried flower arrangements is what makes them look young and modern vs. old and granny-ish! I also kept the colour palette pretty uniform. I asked the guy in the shop to pack them up in one of their leftover cardboard flower boxes so I could take them home on the subway, and I’m so glad I was overly cautious because when I got home I was amazed by how fragile they were!
While one of the touted benefits of dried flowers is that in theory you can arrange and rearrange them as many times as you like, I found the bunny ears got tangled very easily, so once they were placed, they weren’t going anywhere! Because I knew I was going to lean my vase against the wall, I really only cared about how it would look from the front, so I went with the largest items at the back, with the palm fronds and these mysterious bright pink flowers right at the front (which I think I think are constructed and not natural).
The girls’ room is teeny-tiny and really just a place for them to sleep, with two twin beds side-by-side, but it’s nice and clean and white, with some pink and red touches and this orangey-pink art print, so I popped the arrangement on their chest of drawers and when they came home they were thrilled! If I were going to do another arrangement for a kids’ room, I might be tempted to pop some marbles or stone in the bottom of the vase to add some weight, because I do worry that it might get tipped over at some point as it’s very light. You can spot me in the reflection in the glass, kneeling on their beds to take a photo!
We’ve had these animal prints in the girls’ room since they were babies, and I think they’re very close to growing out of them, but they’re so cute I’m hoping they can last a bit longer!
Try searching for the following kinds of dried flowers:
Dried Palm Fronds (I think the dyed ones look better than the natural ones!)
Echinops Globe Thistles