Flower arrangements enhance the atmosphere of a room, whether in a restaurant, at a wedding or other special occasion – or just in your own home. And like any form of decoration, choosing the right style is key in creating the right mood or tone for your event or living space.
There are as many styles of floral arrangements as there are flower arrangers. But as with any art form, there are a few classic approaches to arranging flowers that always remain popular. So, whether you’re looking for floral design inspiration for your home or an event, or would like to have a go at your own arrangements, it’s worth learning about these.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to the basic types of flowers used in arrangements – as well as 17 of the most popular styles for both static arrangements and bouquets.
Recognising the different types of flower arrangements
The key to understanding the many different styles of floral arrangement is knowing the difference between three types of flower – line, mass, and filler.
- Line flowers are tall, and are used to give height to an arrangement. Thinner flowers with long stems work perfectly, but bare branches and other foliage also do the trick for some variation.
- Mass flowers, as the name suggests, are the shorter, fuller variety of flowers that give mass to an arrangement. They’re usually round (think roses), and are often colourful too.
- Filler flowers are small flowers and bits of foliage that can be inserted into areas of space in an arrangement to fill it out. Though this is the main way that filler flowers are used in a floral arrangement, they can still be used on their own for a unique effect.
Putting together a well-crafted and striking floral arrangement requires careful consideration of how the three types of flowers interact. In order to give your arrangement an interesting shape, it’s important to make deliberate choices about where (or where not) to place each flower.
If you want to see what an arrangement using mostly line flowers can look like, check out the YouTube video below.
Or, to see a floral arrangement using mass flowers, check out this video…
17 of the most popular and classic flower arranging styles
Flower arrangements that use basic shapes
A compact flower arrangement involves mostly mass flowers, which form a low, rounded dome shape. These arrangements can be any size, but they’re an especially appealing style for smaller table centrepieces.
A loose arrangement has a wilder, more natural style that doesn’t really have a controlled shape.
Loose arrangements often use a mix of different flower types, and have line flowers poking out of the general shape or overflowing from the container.
3. Bud vase
As the name suggests, a bud vase arrangement is a simple arrangement where flower buds on a single stem are contained within a vase.
These small-scale arrangements can look pretty on their own – but they work especially well when used to complement larger arrangements of the same flowers or colour scheme.
Hydrangeas, orchids, irises, tulips, and roses are all great choices for bud vase arrangements.
4. Long and low
Long and low arrangements involve rectangular trough-like containers, in which flowers are arranged with a lower centre of mass. And unsurprisingly, this style calls for plenty of mass flowers.
However, adding in a few line and filler flowers can really elevate the arrangement, if done well.
5. Single flower
Straying from the usual conventions of an art form can be a great way to create something fun and unique, and that’s certainly the case for these more minimalist arrangements.
By only using a single type of flower, the colour, shape, and even the flowers’ container becomes much more important to the arrangement’s overall appeal. As the old adage goes, sometimes less is more.
Sweet peas, gladiolas, and lilacs all look great in single flower arrangements.
Floral colour combinations
Along the same line as single flower arrangements, using flowers in shades of the same colourcan be a great way to create a dramatic, striking effect – especially if you go for one of the warmer or brighter colours.
Perhaps even more so than usual, subtle colour differences will determine the overall tone of the arrangement.
On the other hand, cooler, less dramatic colours like blacks, whites, and greens can produce a more elegant tone.
Arranging neutral-coloured flowers can create an earthier, less manufactured effect – which is ideal if you want to create arrangements for a more relaxed, casual atmosphere.
For an even more down-to-earth vibe, sturdy, green plants like succulents can be added to your arrangement.
Flowers in warmer colours like reds, oranges, and yellows can produce a more energetic tone, while those in slightly cooler pinks and purples evoke a sense of calm or romanticism.
Brightly coloured flowers can be arranged in taller, looser, more minimalistic arrangements if you want to emphasise each flower’s vibrant beauty.
Flowers in darker shades such as deep reds, purples, and blacks work well to create a romantic tone.
Arrangements with more central mass suit these colours particularly well – and roses are a classic choice for a luxurious, velvety vibe.
The cascade bouquet is a very popular and dramatic style of bouquet that gives the impression of a waterfall through long, trailing vines and greenery that hang down below the flower stems.
Due to their flowing, elegant style, cascade arrangements are especially popular as wedding bouquets, as they complement a traditional wedding dress.
This lunar flower arrangement style uses a mix of flower types and shapes to create a rounded, tapered crescent shape.
The end result is a dramatic, yet classy bouquet that’s both beautiful and delightfully unsubtle.
A more classic and traditional style, the posy bouquet is a small, full, and rounded assortment of flowers with an almost spherical shape. Flowers with a lot of mass are ideal for this arrangement, so roses are a common favourite.
Round flowers like daisies, roses, and peonies are classic choices for posy bouquets.
For an earthier, more natural style of bouquet, a hand-tied arrangement is the perfect choice.
Tying your flower arrangement together with string, wire, or ribbon gives it a casual look, and is also quick and easy to do yourself.
Nosegay bouquets, like the posy bouquet style, are usually round and on the smaller side.
Unlike posies, however, nosegay bouquets use a generous mix of greenery to complement the flowers andgive the bouquet a more untamed appearance. A good mix of different flowers can also go a long way when arranging a bouquet in this ‘wild’ style.
Presentation (or pageant) bouquets are large and impressive-looking. They use a variety of extravagant flowers and pieces of greenery to create a loose, sprawling arrangement.
This luxurious bouquet style combines the wild, natural style of loose flower arrangements with the sophistication of a traditional wedding bouquet.
Orchids, roses, lilies, and delphiniums are classic choices for this extravagant presentation bouquet.
Pomander bouquets go against the traditional appearance of a bouquet because they lack the usual stem-handle.
Instead, pomander bouquets are spherical arrangements which hang from a string or ribbon. These bouquets can be carried, or hung as traditional floral arrangements for decoration.
Naturally, rounded mass flowers like sunflowers, carnations, and anemones are the go-to flower type for these bouquets.
The composite or glamelia bouquet is a beautiful yet unusual type of arrangement. Individual petals are meticulously arranged to look like a large, single flower to create something delicate yet bold.
Any kind of flower can be used to create a composite bouquet – but for the best results, you’ll want to make sure you’re using flowers with broad, sturdy petals, such as roses.
Learning to arrange flowers - helpful resources
Or, if you’re thinking about turning flower arranging into a career, have a read of our article; How to become a florist. There are also plenty of courses available on our website that you may find helpful in developing your floristry skills.
When it comes to flower arranging, knowing the basics can be an important first step towards creating something unique and beautiful. And this can be true whether you want to arrange your own flowers, or you’re just trying to pick out a style that works for your event or home decor.
Either way, we hope that our list of classic flower arranging styles has provided you with the inspiration you need.
Flower arranging can be a fun, mindful activity – and with a little practice and creativity, it won’t be long before your floristry skills are blossoming.
Flower arranging is a popular art form that can enhance the atmosphere of any space, whether it's a restaurant, a wedding venue, or your own home. Choosing the right style of flower arrangement is crucial in creating the desired mood or tone for your event or living space. There are various styles of floral arrangements, and understanding the different types of flowers used in these arrangements is key to creating beautiful compositions.
The three main types of flowers used in floral arrangements are line flowers, mass flowers, and filler flowers. Line flowers are tall and are used to give height to an arrangement. They can be thinner flowers with long stems or even bare branches and foliage. Mass flowers, on the other hand, are shorter and fuller, giving volume and mass to an arrangement. Think of flowers like roses that are usually round and colorful. Filler flowers are small flowers and bits of foliage that fill in the empty spaces in an arrangement, adding texture and depth. While filler flowers are typically used to complement other flowers, they can also be used on their own for a unique effect.
To create a well-crafted and striking floral arrangement, it's important to consider how these three types of flowers interact. Deliberate choices about where to place each flower can give the arrangement an interesting shape. For example, using mostly line flowers can create a tall and elegant arrangement, while incorporating mass flowers can give it a fuller and more rounded appearance.
Now let's explore some of the most popular and classic flower arranging styles:
A compact flower arrangement involves mostly mass flowers, forming a low and rounded dome shape. These arrangements are particularly appealing for smaller table centerpieces.
A loose arrangement has a wilder and more natural style, without a controlled shape. It often incorporates a mix of different flower types, with line flowers poking out of the general shape or overflowing from the container.
A bud vase arrangement is a simple arrangement where flower buds on a single stem are contained within a vase. These small-scale arrangements can look pretty on their own or complement larger arrangements of the same flowers or color scheme.
Long and low
Long and low arrangements involve rectangular trough-like containers, with flowers arranged with a lower center of mass. This style calls for plenty of mass flowers, but adding a few line and filler flowers can elevate the arrangement.
Single flower arrangements use only one type of flower, emphasizing its color, shape, and container. This minimalist approach can create something fun and unique, where less is more.
These are just a few examples of flower arranging styles. There are many more styles to explore, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques. Whether you're arranging flowers for your own enjoyment or for a special occasion, learning about different styles can provide inspiration and help you create beautiful floral compositions.
Remember, flower arranging is a creative and mindful activity that can be enjoyed by anyone. With practice and creativity, your floristry skills will blossom.