Thursday, September 16

Champagne taste on a beer budget: flowers in your home

Don't you love having fresh flowers in your house? I do. They bring vibrancy and beauty into a space in a way that few other things can match.

Image courtesy of

For years, though, I shied away from having fresh flowers around. I had the idea that having flowers in the house meant having a "flower arrangement"--you know, a formal piece of work from the florist. And I do so love the work that florists do--"flower arrangements" are among my very favorite things. But I've learned that I can enjoy fresh flowers in my house without the expense of employing a florist.

The easiest and least expensive way to have fresh flowers is to grow them yourself. I love the early summer months because of the abundance of hydrangeas, one of my favorite flowers. My hydrangeas are gone now, but I still have some gardenia blossoms on my bushes. Look how pretty just a few blossoms look floating in a crystal dish:

(Yes, that's a picture of the back of my powder room toilet.
In addition to looking pretty, the gardenias make the whole room smell delicious!)

When you don't have any home-grown flowers to use, try the floral department of your grocery store. At my local grocery store, the best buys are usually the bunches of one type of flower. These pre-packaged bunches come with a "Fresh Thru" date, so I always look for the bunches with the latest date. You can get a lot of bang for your buck by buying a single kind of flower, like these lilies:

Those are in a silver pitcher that I found at a thrift store. It didn't clean up well, so I just spray-painted it heirloom white and then rubbed off a bit of the paint with fine-grit sandpaper. I think it makes a beautiful vase. A good trick is to cut off the long stems so that you don't see a lot of stem above your container. You want to see the blooms, not the stems.

To tell the truth, I use alternative containers more than I use vases. For instance, look how pretty simple gerbera daisies look in water bottles:

My newest acquisition is this galvanized metal six-pack drink caddy from Pottery Barn. I had a Pottery Barn gift certificate, and I thought this was a pretty good deal for $29.

Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

As I looked at it, I realized that it would be just the right size to hold the plain glass cylinders available in the candle section at Dollar Tree. So I bought six of the cylinders.

And presto! A instant flower arrangement! Look at just a few grocery store stems in the caddy:

I took this photo when I'd had these flowers for six days. That's another trick: look for long-lasting flowers, like these spider mums. Daisies, alstromeria, lilies, carnations, and mums are all really good choices for long-lasting blooms. Roses? They're beautiful, but they droop after one day.

Do you have fresh flowers in your house? Have any tips to share? I'd love to hear them!

**Check out Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest and Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous for other great frugal finds!


  1. I do love flowers in the house too. I grow dahlias and they can make any room look gorgeous. Another alternative container that I use a lot is a toothbrush holder. The holes make "arranging" so easy! If I could figure out how to send you a picture - I would! But my skills are not that great!

  2. Figured out a way to add some pics.

  3. Yes, love flowers, especially Gardenias!! That smell IS heavenly!
    Good ideas, and I love the drink caddy!


  4. I have a bud vase in my guest bathroom and there is always a fresh flower in there (in the fall I might put a little branch with a leaf or two and in the winter I might put a sprig of holly or greenery) - many guests notice it and compliment and its nice that they notice!

  5. Richella great tips and beautiful ides. Love the holder from PB. That looks so pretty with the bottles.

    Have a good day!
    ~Melissa :)

  6. I have flowers outside ... but I'm hooked on the look of flowers in your home. Oh the joy! I do have plants but flowers would bring a splash of color.

    Delighted to meet you today! Hope you don't mind if I splash around for a bit. This looks like a refreshing spot.

    happy day,

  7. A flower brightens any room....and does WONDERS for my soul!!!

    I grew a Gardenia bush from a cutting!! I was so excited that it lived because I Do NOT have a green thumb. You are correct though...just one blossom makes the whole room smell great! Try putting one in your car. It is the best air freshener you will ever use!

  8. I would love fresh flowers in my house all the time but I think it's extravagant. This is a great idea. I know sometimes my local grocery store will have small bunches of flowers for as little as $5 - I'll have to start doing something like this as a weekly treat for myself ;)

  9. I love alstromeria because it is so long-lasting! I just treated myself to a $10 shopping spree at Lowe's yesterday to buy potted flowers for my front porch. It is amazing how far $10 can go! I also bought a few silk flowers for indoors, because I wish I had fresh! Your swag turned out beautiful, btw!!! Blessings!

  10. I used to love to buy a handful of fresh flowers from Sam's Club. However, I've not been doing that lately.

    I love your ideas! How creative you are. I love the Pottery Barn idea; how pretty the flowers looked. I love hydrangeas. However, I cannot grow them in the hot dry climate of Phoenix. But I love to see photos of them.

    Blessings and love,

  11. I love all these great ideas. You may have a beer budget but you definitely decorate like the rich and famous.

  12. I love fresh flowers in my house. The caddy that you bought is great. I saw one at an antique store in the spring but didn't buy it. I have been kicking myself ever since. Maybe I will find another. Thanks for sharing such great tips. Carla

  13. I often put daisies from Sams in a glass milk bottle I have from a local dairy. It makes such a happy centerpiece!

  14. I am so happy when I make the effort to cut flowers for my home. I love your Pottery Barn drink holder used as a flower container. My grandmother used one to carry flowers to church to use in arrangements. You can do so many things with yours. Every season can have a new look with different foliage and flowers and even ribbon.

  15. I love that metal caddy. I'll have to remember that little trick with the spider mums! They look so lovely in the separate vases.

  16. Richella, I totally agree that fresh flowers are the way to go. I have flowers in my garden but not many that are good for cut flowers, except all my hdyrangeas which are amazing you are right. I also love real plants, I think they add just as much as flowers do. I really like your about me section too. I also love how we get to peak into peoples homes, through blogging, isn't it great. Thanks for sharing your home, and tips. I am host to a new party over at my place and I would LOVE for you to keep me in mind when you link up next time. Mine starts on Tuesdays, but goes on all week, till the next one starts. Hope to see you!!! Bella :)

  17. That is an adorable little container from Pottery Barn, and those yellow flowers make it simply wonderful. I do have flowers around my home, and I grow them myself in summer, until the blistering heat zaps everything. I frequent the grocery store and enjoy separating the big bunches into smaller vases and vintage bottles. They just add a special touch around the house.

    I'd love to have you link up with my Simple Pleasures series some Thursday. This would've made a great Simple Pleasures post.

    Lovely blog.

  18. Oh, I loooooove gardenias! They smell so good! And they look like mini magnolias, so that's a plus too. : )

    Nothing picks my spirits up quicker than my husband walking in the door with a simple bunch of flowers from the grocery store. So simple, but so pretty!

  19. I love that PB caddy!
    You know, I like flowers, I think it's nice to have flowers in the house, but I almost never do. I'm more of a homegrown cut flower or wildflower person than florist arrangement person, and I have neither at this house.

  20. Fresh flowers make me smile! Love your ideas. If you mix 2 parts water with 1 part lemon-lime soda pop (not diet) they'll last even longer. The citrus helps fight bacteria growth and the sugar feeds the flowers. And if the stems have been out of water for a little while (i.e., on the way home from the store), cut them under water on an angle. That'll help 'em last longer, too.

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  23. love yours...check out our milk bottle blog - this glass caddy from Pottery Barn is so similiar


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