Tag Archives: flowers


This weekend we had some guests over so I went through my usual get ready in a frenzy clean up routine. It felt amazing to have clean surfaces, disinfected floors, flowers on the table.

The amount of effort I went through made me realize that I wished I was a guest in my own house! Why only save all the pomp for guests? So I am going to make the goal, although somewhat ambitious with a house with 4 very small people in it, to as much as possible, feel like a guest in my own house. Here are my new found top tips for hosting guests / making yourself feel like I guest that I will carry over to my house after my #canningreno is completed, and actually stick to (I promise!)

Every day, I promise to do a 15-minute tidy. I am going to keep an attractive basket in my living room (and when I say basket I mean BIG TIME wire bin) that will be the catch all for all the toys, papers, crap that does not belong in my pretty living room- the basket will get hauled around to all the appropriate rooms where things have a place to live. Maybe if I am lucky I will make encourage my children to do their share!
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I find cleaning such a chore (tell me I am not alone?) So it makes me so happy when I have products like my Rowenta Delta Force Extreme Lithium 18V Stick Vacuum that make cleaning easy with its cordless capability. And somehow I feel stylish doing it when it is this happy shade of teal. And I try to stay natural with the cleaning products with brands like Method or Seventh Generation. I am also going to make a schedule for cleaning and put it as an appointment in my iPhone. With a really loud obnoxious alarm!
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My #riverdalereno clients, without fail, have had fresh flowers in their home every time I have gone over since they moved in. I don’t care how much this costs, even if it’s $10 tulips at the grocery store- they just feel special. Maybe I will even take up floral arranging classes?!?!?!
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I want to eat with cloth napkins, not paper towel ripped up haphazard. I would love to drink out of beautiful mugs or tea cups and actually try to enjoy my cuppa rather than leave it to get cold on a shelf. The same way the guests get the gorgeous plates- let’s make everyday gorgeous plate day.

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How do you make your guests feel special? And what do you do to feel special too?



A large part of styling a finished room is great floral arrangements as they provide a pop of colour and sophistication to any space. I have spent $20 and $200 on floral arrangements for various uses and have learned you do get what you pay for. Here are a few of my tips on creating great floral arrangements and how to use them effectively in a space.

The classic orchid. This particular orchid sits in the office of a recent commercial client IA:MM Showroom (can’t wait to share images from this fashion showroom when it’s finished- note the wallpaper, so glam). It was picked up by one of the staff for $20 from Costco and they are going strong 3 weeks in. Be warned- orchids are high maintenance. They require just the right amount of light, water and food but when taken care of properly (not my area of expertise) their delicate silhouette can provide an elegant accent in a space. Orchids are often my go-to flower when I feel a space is missing that little touch of something feminine.

When in doubt go green and white. If a room is full of colour but you still desire that breath of life flowers provide, go green and white. In this arrangement I used for my Interior Design Show project, I went to professional florist and paid over $100 for this bad boy. My local florist has been in business in the community for over 50 years, so I trust him when he tells me what flowers will last under the heat of showroom lights and will be hearty enough to travel. This mix of hypericum berries, alstromeria, hydrangea, and chrysanthemum lasted (I kid you not) 2 weeks, in pretty much original condition. I had the florist wrap the stems in a large green for a more sophisticated look.

How to extend the life of a floral arrangement: The arrangements above (used for a birthday party I threw for my dad last week) are the remainders from my IDS exhibit arrangements shown above (I was serious when I said they lasted 2 weeks!). But to extend their life, I swapped out some of the flowers that were starting to wilt with $7.99 roses from the grocery store. The roses filled the center arrangements enough that I was able to clip a few to make smaller side arrangements. I love how they provided another element of detail against the Marimekko wallpaper remnant I used as a table runner (this was a total last minute decision when I could not find my Chilewich place mats in the disaster that can sometimes be my house). Resourcefulness can yield beautiful results.

Hello sophisticated. While I love a good DIY, going to a pro is pretty amazing. This floral arrangement was a gift to a client and it is breathtaking. The skillful layering of colour and shape creates so much visual interest- and I love how the large green leaves have been folded into architectural beauties all their own. When you want something truly unique, go to a floral designer and trust their green (and glamorous) thumbs.

All images by Lisa Canning Interiors & Arnal Photography.