7 Ways to Help Cut Flowers Last Longer!

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Valentine's Day is right around the corner! It's time to start thinking about what kind of flowers you'll be sending to your loved ones! Since giving and getting flowers is pretty much one of my favorite things, I've done a lot of research on how to make arrangements last longer. There are all sorts of crazy tips out there, but I feel like only a few of them actually work. I've partnered with my friends at The Bouqs Company, my favorite flower delivery service, to share my very best tips with you here as well as some of my favorite flower and vase combos below! (PS For the next week, receive 20% off your Bouqs.com order with the code VDAYBLOOMS!)

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The first tip is probably the most important one -

TIP #1: BUY FRESHER FLOWERS

It makes sense, right? The faster those blooms get from the grower to your coffee table, the better! The Bouqs Company is a great resource because there is no middle man. The flowers are cut the day you order them, not just sitting in a floral wholesale warehouse! The eco-friendly Bouqs.com farms are on mineral-rich volcanic soil in Ecuador, where they follow strict responsible farming practices. Also I really love that they carry special flowers that can be harder to find - like ranunculus or the garden roses I have here in the post, as well as super cool accents like thistles and succulents!

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TIP #2: BLEACH YOUR VASE

You want to do everything you can to keep bacteria from growing in your arrangement. Cleaning out your vase beforehand with really hot, soapy water or even a light bleach solution will help a lot!

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TIP #3: REMOVE THE LEAVES

A lot of people overlook this step. It's really important to remove any leaves that sit below the water line, otherwise the leaves will rot and accelerate the bacteria growth and wilting process.

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TIP #4: CUT THE STEMS AT AN ANGLE, UNDER WATER

Everyone knows that you should give your blooms a fresh cut before arranging them in your vase. But if you cut the stems at a long angle, the flower will be able to suck up more water. It also seems like the flower does better if the stem is submerged in water during the cut.

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TIP #5 USE THE FLORAL FOOD PACKETS

In my experience, the little packets of floral preservative alone will double the life of any arrangement. The packets contain preservatives and anti-bacterial solutions that help keep the flowers happy and fresh. Don't skip on the packets! I keep a stash of them in my pantry and use a full packet every time I change the water in my arrangements. I've gotten two packets with every delivery from The Bouqs Company, which I really appreciate!

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TIP #6: KEEP THE WATER COLD AND FRESH

Heat and bacteria are the enemies of fresh floral arrangements. It's a good idea to fully change the water in your arrangement every two or three days. I have some friends that also put their arrangements in the fridge at night and that seems to work wonders for prolonging the life of the flowers, but that requires more thought and energy than I usually have at bedtime! So when I first cut my flowers and make my arrangements, I fill up my vase with ice first and then water (and the preservative packet). I add a few ice cubes every day or whenever I happen to think about it and I swear it works SO WELL! It's just like keeping the flowers in a refrigerator!
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TIP #7: PLACE YOUR ARRANGEMENT IN THE RIGHT SPOT

I've read that you should never keep fresh flowers in the kitchen because fruits and veggies sitting on the counter emit gasses that speed up the wilting process. Interesting, right? Direct sunlight is also bad for cut flowers. If you want them to last longer, keep your flowers sitting in a shaded and cool area in your home.

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What tips would you add to my list? I've tried all the crazy ones - add a penny to your vase, use a crushed aspirin instead of the floral preservative, pour bleach in your vase water (!), but these ones above seem to work the best for me!

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This post was sponsored by The Bouqs Company. Receive 20% off your order this week with the code VDAYBLOOMS!

La Cornue and Inspiration from Nashville

So I don't want to jinx it, but I found a La Cornue range on Craigslist for a great price (!!!) and I really, really want it for our kitchen remodel. It's a bit of a drive from my house, but come ON! Wouldn't you make an extra long road trip for one of these?

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These images are from the portfolio of Pencil and Paper Co out of Nashville (a company and a city I totally have a crush on). Aside from the fact that the talented husband and wife design team seem to love La Cornue as much as I do, I'm obsessed with their preppy-modern style. Their interiors definitely have that great Southern look, but there's an edge that's super refreshing!

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What I love most about their work is it seems so thoughtful, like every single detail was considered and executed beautifully, you know? I really admire that. What a gorgeous way to live a life - so deliberate and purposeful.

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There are a lot of accessories in many of their rooms, but nothing looks like junkie filler stuff. Just a lovely, well-traveled and collected vibe.

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So pretty right? Here are a few things that are oozing with that Pencil and Paper Co vibe!


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x bench  //  capiz chandelier  //  serape bracelet  //  red shibori chair  //  magic hands lino cut print  //  gold side table //  indigo pillows (pair!)

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tufted wingback  //  diamond jute rug  //  lavender brushstrokes lamp  //  beach print  //  $30(!!!!) black sconce  //  black and white embroidered pillow  //  hanging rattan chair
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Rothko print  //  woven seat chair  //  brass desk organizer  //  pink and white pom pom throw  //  blue shibori chair  //  red drip ginger jar  //  indigo pillow
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brass and steel mirror  //   Pendleton throw  //  blue planter stand  //  leather lion bookend  //  bistro stool  //  accordian sconce ($60!!!)
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brass lantern  //  gray stain dining table  //   strawberry print  //  blue lacquered nightstand  //  red and black striped throw  //  black leather sling chair  //  pottery bowl

Thoughts on Wood Flooring (and My Favorite Engineered Wood!)

My kids know that if the car makes a sudden U-turn, Mama found a new thrift store or saw an open house sign. :) A few months ago I flipped one of those big U's and walked through this pretty home that was for sale in Mesa's downtown historic district. 

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The house had recently been gut-renovated and was gorgeous in person! The cabinetry and millwork everywhere was especially TOP NOTCH. I wish these photos did them more justice!

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The staging was so much more tame than my style, but it was really pretty and soft. Those bobbin chairs have my hearth though. They were from Home Goods apparently!

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I also fell in love with the floors. So much so that I poked around on the instagram feed of Project Beautify, who had rehabbed the house, and discovered that the floors were from my favorite flooring place Floor & Decor!

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Later that week I went and checked out the product in person. It's called Montpellier and it's an oiled French Oak in almost a 9" wide plank. And it is only $5.49/sq ft! If you've ever shopped for wood flooring before you'll know that price is pretty unreal for the size of those planks!

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Floor & Decor has a great selection of every type of wood flooring - solid (including Timberclick!), engineered, laminate, and everything you need to install the floors yourself if you're a DIYer.

It can be overwhelming to figure out what type of wood flooring is right for your house, but I always ask three questions that usually help narrow down the playing field:

1) Will the flooring be in a kitchen or bathroom? 

How terrified are you about the idea of potentially needing to pull up and repair areas effected by future leaks? If your answer is highly terrified, then you might want to consider a product like Aquaguard (which is a water-resistant laminate).

That said, I put engineered wood in kitchens and baths all the time. Rugs help a lot with day-to-day water spills and if a bigger issue happens, the wood can usually recover if the problem is caught the same day. I always suggest buying 50-100 sq ft of extra wood as a precautionary measure, just in case a few pieces have to be popped up and replaced down the road.

2) Wide or skinny planks?

Planks under 4 or 5" wide are usually only found in solid woods anymore or unfinished engineered wood. Usually wider planks are more expensive, especially in solid wood. Once you're looking beyond that 5" width in solid wood, the prices start to get astronomically higher. If your budget needs to be under $14/sq ft and you are wanting a 7-9" wide plank, you'll definitely need to be looking at pre-finished engineered wood or laminate.

3) Most importantly, what is your existing subfloor? 

Solid wood is a great option if you already have a plywood subfloor (though you'll want to get verification that it is level and does not need to be replaced before laying your beautiful new floors on top!).

And while I love the idea of being able to refinish a solid wood floor five or six times in it's lifetime, I almost always recommend engineered wood, especially in places like Arizona, where most houses are built on concrete slab. Speaking from experience, it can be a very expensive and time-consuming process to add plywood subfloors to a slab foundation. Also it is comforting to know that engineered wood is a more stable product than solid wood, which means the planks are more resistant to changes in humidity and moisture levels.

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Laminate is another great option. Every time I look at the latest offerings, I'm blown away. So many of them look very similar to engineered wood and often they are half the price! Just don't skip on a good underlayment, which helps with the swooshing sound that old school laminate flooring is notorious for.

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Here are a few of my favorite wood flooring picks from Floor & Decor. I usually prefer an ashy undertone to reds and pinks, but I don't usually want anything too bluey-gray either. All of these are gorgeous in person - and super affordable!


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C - Oak Coffee Wirebrushed - $4.99/sq ft
E - Allegheny Oak Laminate - $2.29/sq ft

Do you have any great tips for picking a wood flooring? What type did you chose in the end? I'd love to hear!

A big thanks to Floor& Decor for partnering with us on this series. Read about wood-look tile here and accent tiles here!

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