With tomorrow being Floral Design Day, I thought I’d turn to Real Simple to give us some techniques and ideas on floral arranging.

With the help of Real Simple’s tips, tricks, and styling shortcuts, you’ll never have to shell out money for a store-bought bouquet ever again.


Flower Arranging 101
1. Create a foundation with foliage. This is the framework for the arrangement. Build a pleasing, asymmetrical shape that leans on the lip of the vase and has a high point in back. Make sure it’s not too thick, so there’s room for the flowers.

2. Add large “face” flowers, cutting stems at different lengths so some blooms nestle low and others extend. The crisscrossed foliage stems in the vase work like webbing to hold flowers where you want them. Take your time, experimenting until it looks good.

3. Weave in wispy elements, like climbing flowering vines or ferns, in three strategic spots: up high on one side, down low (spilling out of the vase), and in the middle, as if they’ve pushed their way through a cluster of larger blooms.


Dark, Dramatic Peonies
Fill a ceramic vase or jug with peonies cut at different lengths, then tuck begonia and coleus leaves around the flowers.


Pink-on-Pink Profusion
In a widemouthed footed urn, use begonia stems (with buds) as a foundation. Separate showy peonies so they don’t overtake the display. Make a concentrated cluster of garden roses to the right. Use sculptural black-centered scabiosa as a loose divider between the roses and the peonies. Tuck in additional begonia buds and blooms to spill unevenly over the lip of the vessel. Black polyresin urn (7 inches high), $8.
Carnation Cluster
In a low oval container, pack a single color of variegated carnations cut at different lengths, creating a shape that’s more like a wavy landscape than a solid mound. Gloss Brown ceramic oval vase/planter (similar shape to shown), $26.

Floral Design Day

Mostly Green Display
Use leafy Solomon’s seal (with its little white “bells”) as a foundation, loosely filling a column-shaped vase and extending from both sides. Nestle bright, velvety cockscomb deep in the middle, just off-center, like a buried treasure. Fill holes with spearmint and poppy pods. Add tall sweet pea vines, placing them to arc toward, not away from, the arrangement. Tuck fronds of wispy maidenhair fern around the bottom on one side to spill out and down, leaving plenty of space to show its delicate shape. Sea Garden Vase.


Floor Planner


Floor Planner

Today I was searching for a free drafting program my students could use for class. In my search for a simple, user friendly, basic floor plan website, I discovered floorplanner.com. This website makes drafting out your floor plans a breeze! I drafted out the floor plan above for my students in about fifteen minutes this afternoon. Try it out, but beware… it’s extremely addicting!



Red arouses the senses, stimulates the appetite, attracts attention, stimulates to action, and conveys emotion (danger, love, war, peace, passion, anger).


Orange is related with the earth and with autumn; it is an organic, energetic color that is packed with personality.


Yellow gives off a feeling of warmth, cheerfulness, and sunshine.


Green is a calm color that brings feelings of life, hope, rest and balance.


Blue tends to be a very conservative, soothing, truthful color that represents honor, repose, coolness, peace; blue, in darker hues can be depressing.


Purple is a very royal color that is associated with drama, mystery, pride, wisdom, and in lighter tones with girlish childhood.

Organized Design Ideas


Line Flat Extension Cord 


Each kid has a hook and a “inbox” and “outbox.”


“Take your load up the stairs when you go, please!”


How to tastefully put a dog kennel in your bedroom.


Have a laundry basket for guests in the guest linen closet. No more awkward wandering around the house trying to find the laundry room.


If you’re like me, you love planning out about a week’s worth of outfits and this corner rod makes that very easy and it a great use of space!


Three aggregated, mounted nesting baskets for towels, hand towels, and wash cloths.

Organized Design Ideas

Use a wine rack for wash cloths.



Awesome accent color. Be careful about putting a desk in the middle of the room like this unless you have floor outlets!



Bright and crisp office space


Mounted clipboards t display ideas/current work. I also love that mini filing cabinet…


Tiled flooring isn’t usual for an office, but it works in this corner space of an office.


Antique desk with two different legs. Love the splash of blue of that lamp!


Would love this work space! Great, solid desk with some really fun over-sized wall pieces. The idea board would get a lot of use- the key to idea boards is making sure you update it every few months to keep it from getting cluttered.


Make your own desk with two bookcases!


Floating shelves create visual mass without the weight of a desk hutch.


Designer’s dream office…. It just needs an antique gumball machine in the corner…