How to Make a Decorative Dried Flower Installation for Your Home

Thrillist Creative Director Audra Pace had just moved into a new home and craved a chandelier in the space above her dining room table, but she ran into some redesign red tape. “The chandelier I wanted was outside of my price range, so I started thinking about other things I could do with that space—that might even be more interesting.” No stranger to epic art displays in her line of work, Pace set out to create a dried flower installation, the gorgeous, green thumb creations we’ve all been seeing (and swooning over) lately across social media. “We all love flowers, but they can be really expensive and they don’t last very long,” Pace says. “It’s a great way to create a floral vibe in your home that can be a bit more permanent.” The centerpiece is particularly appealing, Pace notes, for those residing in an apartment who don’t have the option of installing permanent ceiling fixtures, while the “aerial tablescape” also serves as an ideal solution for entertaining spacing snags. “Because it doesn’t take up any real estate, you can throw a dinner party and max out on table space while still ensuring your design element is there before you all.”

When it comes to sourcing your stems, Pace provides a few options and suggests a combination of both natural (dried and preserved) and artificial flowers:

– Source real flowers and dry them at home; Visit the grocery store or, if you live by the water, try foraging for pampas grass, Pace’s main ingredient in the photo above.
– Purchase dried and preserved flowers online. “The pampas grass that people really like to use—the stems seen in the ubiquitous ‘pampas cloud’—are big, fluffy, and long, and finding it naturally in that form can be challenging,” she says. Rather, Pace points people to websites like Etsy, Amazon, and Afloral, where at-home artists can peruse a variety of dried and preserved flowers.
– Visit a craft store for artificial finds. While Pace likes for the majority of her installations to be comprised of natural flowers, she notes the benefit of incorporating artificial stems, as well. “There are certain flowers that are extremely expensive or ones that don’t last nearly as long as you’d want them to in an installation of this nature,” she says. For that reason, she suggests a visit to a craft store to find the pieces that can help to round out an arrangement or serve as focal points in your end product—especially any varieties that are known to not thrive as well under natural conditions.

A note on ratio: To avoid any kind of unwanted retro vibes, Pace suggests adhering to the 70/30 ratio: 70% natural, dried flowers and 30% artificial flowers. In addition to the ways in which this ratio keeps things au courant, aesthetically speaking, it also helps when considering the overall weight of your installation. “Some artificial flowers can be really heavy because of the wire within them, so keep that in mind as you’re making your final picks at the store,” she says.


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