Lush and distinctive, the peony is among the world’s most versatile blooms. As flowers go, it is especially striking. Who can resist that pillowy texture and those ruffled petals that almost seem like little tufts of whipped cream? They’re sweet, innocent, and a wonderful representation of all that spring has to offer.
That also makes them a great addition to your springtime décor. Delicate peonies are symbolic of so many different emotions, from love and romance to prosperity and good fortune. People traditionally give peonies as an expression of their best wishes to another. They’re suitable to give as a gesture of goodwill, too.
Whether for a friend, a family member, or a significant other, there’s virtually nothing that a peony cannot express. It’s just that type of flower — and it also happens to be a gorgeous addition to the home on top of that. This is largely why peonies are so popular. They make decorating a joy! Here are some ideas to give your home a spring-fresh update with peonies.
Filling a basket with loose peony stems is a simple way to add just a pop of color to any space. This arrangement can easily liven up any part of the home, whether it’s the front table in your foyer. The advantage of peonies is that their texture is so rich and complex that you can easily get away with this casual style of decorating.
Spring is a wonderful time of year to add a few peonies to your tablescape. Warm-weather table décor calls for lighter, airier, and joyous hues that capture the sunlight and joy of the season. A bouquet like The Sunburst radiates happiness, adding a pop of vibrancy to your tabletop and commanding attention from every angle. Place them in a decorative vase, then complement those colorful accents with low-key accessories, like rattan candle holders and placemats. Gold or bronze candlesticks add a touch of glamour to the presentation.
Celebrating the contrast between lights and darks is an effective way to create a focal point in virtually any room. The crisp white hues in The Pearl, for example, counter a deep inky vase beautifully. That balance is just enough to draw attention to your dining table or your mantel. If you’re setting up the table, keep the continuity going with a tablecloth in the same color family as the peonies. That will allow the vase to stand out even more.
It takes just a little while to create a wreath worthy of a place in any florist’s shop. You’ll need a medley of faux peonies in assorted colors to start. Fluff them open a bit if necessary. Then snip off the stem wires, leaving approximately five or six inches behind. Bend this wire and pass it through a loop in a grapevine wreath, which serves as a blank canvas for your décor. Make sure to pull the wire all the way through so that the faux peony sits flush against the surface. Follow this step continuously until you’ve covered as much of the wreath as you would like with flowers. When it’s done, you should have a perfectly lush accent for your front door or walls!
Dried flowers continue to enjoy their moment in the spotlight and with good reason. Peonies happen to look just as beautiful in their dried-down state as they do when they’re fresh. Dry yours by trimming the stems down to about six inches. Rubber band the stems together, then suspend the peonies upside down on a hanger. Keep them in a dry space, like a dark closet, where there’s no chance of exposure to sunlight. Give it a couple of weeks — the flowers won’t fall limp when you hold them upright if they are completely dry. Then you can place them anywhere without the need to perform any special care or maintenance.
Pressing flowers is a lovely way to preserve them. It’s also a simple process. Because the peony boasts such a rich texture, however, it’s best to snip the flower in half so it will compress more effectively. Then, set your flower on a piece of absorbent paper that will comfortably fit inside a heavy hardback book. Place this paper in the book, then cover it with another sheet of absorbent paper. Close the book firmly, and add a couple of other extra heavy books on top for added pressure. Let the books do their job for at least two weeks. Make sure all of the moisture has dissipated. When ready, the flowers should be firmly pressed and have a papery consistency.
There’s something so whimsical about a basket full of hanging flowers. It draws the eye upward to an area that is often underused. That alone might be reason enough for you to experiment with this design technique, especially if you have some blank space that you’d like to fill. You could hang a basket on your porch or flank your doorway with hanging baskets full of peonies on each side. You could even hang some inside your kitchen or your dining area. The Reina will bring immediate visual intrigue to your space since it combines other iconic flowers, including anemones and orchids.
A garland gets a dramatic update when you add a few pops of colorful peonies to the design. While it’s customary to use faux flowers for this project, fresh peonies add a particularly special touch to this piece. You’ll want to cut away the flower heads and leave at least an inch or two of the stem behind. Thread a needle with a fishing line, taking care to add a few more inches so you have extra wiggle room. Snip and tie it at the end, then thread your needle carefully through each peony. It’s usually easiest to thread through the center instead of the petals, which are considerably more delicate. Take your time through this process. When you reach the length you prefer, just tie off the end. Drape it over a doorway or a mantel for a decorative touch during a party or other special occasion.