Just like big, leafy plants, flowers are scientifically proven to have a number of health benefits. Not only have can they help boost cognitive function and creativity, but they just make people happy. In fact, a 2008 study from the American Society for Horticultural Science found that placing flowers in a hospital room had therapeutic benefits for patients, noting they can be a “complementary medicine” for those recovering from surgery.
But with more than 400,000 plant species around the world, picking out the perfect blooms for your home can be a daunting task. Fortunately, Christina Stembel, founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers, a San Francisco-based florist delivering fresh and unique blooms nationwide, is offering up her expert advice. Here are some of the best flowers for every room in your house — and even your office!
1. Living Room: Tulips
Tulips are associated with a variety of meanings, depending on the color, says Stembel. Red represents passion and perfect love; purple is often associated with royalty, abundance and prosperity; and pink signifies affection. The perfect place for all that significance? The living room.
“They’re polished enough to accessorize that bookshelf you just arranged by color, but casual enough to look like you didn’t try too hard,” she says. They’re not only easy to find and easy to arrange, but they’re one of the few flowers to grow past their cutting. “You’ll notice your arrangement will grow up to an inch in the vase, which only adds to the wild feel!” she says.
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2. Bedroom: Garden Roses
While flowers in general have been scientifically linked to sparking romance, no other bloom speaks the language of love quite like the rose. From Shakespeare’s plays to every Valentine’s Day marketing campaign, it’s impossible to avoid the association. Rather than hating on the cliche, Stembel suggests embracing it.
And there is no better place for the gorgeously fragrant blooms than the bedroom — where the magic usually happens. As far as color goes, don’t feel limited to sticking with red. There are more than 150 species and thousands of hybrids to choose from. “We are big fans of garden roses,” she says. “Their lush heads are chock-full of petals and, especially in a warm tone like coral, orange or yellow, there is nothing closer to waking up to a window full of sunshine than a bedside table full of bright blooms!”
3. Bathroom: Lavender
With the rising popularity of essential oils, lavender’s stock is also rising. Often bottled up in amber glass or dried and encased in silk eye pillows, it’s easy to forget it starts as a flower. The scent of lavender flowers is soothing and promotes relaxation and sound sleep.
“We love lavender because of its hardiness” Stembel says. “Once cut, you can enjoy them in a vase for two to three days.” Additionally, it holds its scent. “We think this makes it the perfect pick for the bathroom, which, if we’re being real, can use a little perfume now and then!” she says. Plus, its soothing aroma will also help relax you during a hot bath or quick morning shower.
4. Kitchen: Carnations
Try to forget that carnations are often paired with baby’s breath and a bad tux (blame it on the ’80s). The hardy and colorful flower is your best bet for sustainability, says Stembel. Because changes in temperature and moisture in the kitchen are common and so many blooms are sensitive to both, a bouquet of carnations is a great option for your cooking space.
“We’ve neglected a small vase full of these flowers with no stem trims or water changes for weeks and haven’t seen them drop a head or a petal,” she says. To maximize their aesthetic capabilities and add both texture and color to your kitchen, group them together in different colors and sizes of carnations.
5. Dining Room: Mixed Bouquet
Just as any great dinner party tends to be a mix of friends, co-workers, family and the occasional friend of a friend of a friend, your dining room flowers should be a mix of beautiful varieties too. “After all, if (OK, when) the conversation stalls, there’s nothing more refreshingly neutral to turn the chitchat to than flowers. How ’bout them roses, eh?” Stembel jokes.
She suggests curating a mixed bouquet featuring the best and freshest blooms of the season. She likes to mix four or five different styles of flowers, including one or two big-headed varieties (roses, ranunculus or peonies), one or two taller blooms (calla lilies and snapdragons work well) and a few bits like amaranth, scabiosa pods or heather. But avoid fragrance. “Go for unscented or lightly scented varieties,” she says. “Heavy perfumes — whether in the form of flowers, candles or room sprays — can interfere with taste.”
6. Office: Anthurium
While bringing fresh flowers into the office every week may be a little over the top, adding a little bit of color can help raise morale during those middle-of-the-week blues and even boost productivity, according to a 2014 study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
Stembel suggests adding an anthurium plant to your desk decor because it is low maintenance (you won’t need to add water changing or stem trimming to your daily to-do list). And like other plants, anthuriums have been shown to be amazing at removing toxins from the air. An added mental health benefit? “When your 9-to-5 schedule is feeling a little more 9-to-life, we love that anthuriums make your office feel like a mini vacation with their gorgeous tropical foliage and flowers. Life is not exactly a beach, but your office feels closer to one with this guy!” she says.
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7. Guest Room: Ranunculus
High-thread-count sheets and luxurious candles can definitely do their part in warming up a guest room. But if you want your friends and family to feel next-level welcomed, fresh flowers are in order. One of Stembel’s favorites is ranunculus.
The rose-like blooms are not only available in nearly every hue imaginable, but their multiple layers of delicate and crepe-paper-thin petals look like they are constructed by an origami expert. “With so many varieties to choose from, it’s easy to put together a quick bedside bouquet!” she says. “We recommend a fistful of a few colors or varieties in a bud vase. It’s a quick and simple hostess hack.”
What Do YOU Think?
What are your thoughts on Christina Stembel’s flower recommendations? Do you regularly invest in fresh flowers for your house? What are your favorite types of flowers, and do you put them in every room in the home? Let us know your thoughts below!