we like it wild: the black hearts

As Valentine’s swiftly approaches we find ourselves surrounded with dozens of red roses, $6.99 per bouquet, and other predictable offerings from the corner store. To take the edge off all the reds and pinks swirling around our heads this week, we offer an alternative Valentine’s with deeply dark arrangements of succulents and black flowers.

These black flowers aren’t really black, but have been bred using the darkest reds and purples from the garden to create hues that fall far from the pink carnations and baby’s breath on the flower spectrum. Black flowers sometime look maroon or brown. Calla lillies, roses and orchids have been bred over time to achieve deep dark hues that work just as well with other colorful flowers in arrangements as they do on their own. In fact, when paired with brighter colors many “black” flowers actually appear darker, adding more mystique to their appeal. Pairing black flowers with purples, red and other dark jewel toned flowers make ideal them ideal for evening cocktail parties. For winter brides, a black and jewel bouquet is guaranteed to be a heart-stopper.

In our arrangements we like to pair our black flowers with succulents. At times icy and at other times earthy, succulents help keep black flowers grounded in the real world and help remind us that these flowers are as wild as they are regal. If you want to give a bit of deep dark love this Valentine’s and there are no black flower to be found, a simple selection of succulents will do the trick quite nicely. Paint a terra cotta pot a darker shade of black, and give someone a nicely planted selection of resilient and colorful succulents. Add a personal note and ribbon, and remind someone how resilient your love for them is.

CLICK HERE for more beautiful black flowers arrangement ideas (and a lovely gift tag) after the jump!


LOVE the combo of white denatured alcohol bottles + flowers. the word poison + a deep red (rose?). sexy!


Ooooh, LOVE IT. I have a bakery in Memphis and we go with a similar theme for V Day- half lovely dovey pink shmoopiness and half black gothic delight for the un-sappy valentines. :)
These arrangements are beautiful and have inspired me to have some lovely floral arrangements in the bakery on Saturday. :)

Vic (the Life)

My friend is a huge fan of your blog so I thought I would check it out. She constantly give me recommendations for decorating my house from ideas inspired by your blog. I thought I would check out designsponge myself, I am a fan! I love it! Sper cute ideas for the flowers here! Im in and following!

anne marie

Please post the names of lovely blooms when they are featured on the site. It makes it easier for your adoring readers to find them locally. Thanks!

Lyndsy@ L Kae Interiors

Absolutely Stunning! Valentines Day is not my favorite and the idea of bright red roses makes me cringe.. These arrangements are such a great spin, and I love the antique bottles. Thanks for inspiring! Time to hit the local florist…..


I love the succulents mixed with the orchids! The colors are gorgeous! I would love to receive a bouquet like these!


Omg I just saw you on Martha Stewart!!!! she mentioned design sponge as one of their favorite blogs, and i was on design sponge at the same time lmao.

those flower displays? wow…they must cost a fortune. Im so jealous of you for going to that wedding show…I really want to make those pipe cleaner rings lmao


I love the dark arrangements! They are so capital-R Romantic… they remind me of Coleridge or Byron swilling laudanum and swimming across the Hellespont.


I would also love to know where I might cop some of those bottles. Lovely!

Laurie Blaswich

I love your thought provoking photography . .I just found you and I’m glad I did. I am new to blogging it’s so much fun! Please stop and visit sometime, Thank you


I love these with a passion! My wedding bouquet was burgundy calla lilies, and since then they’ve been my ‘special occasion’ flower. But, those orchids are amazing – truly, I’m envious of the entire arrangement .


gorgeous! i forget how lovely these darker blooms can be, especially all put together so nicely like this.

Studio Choo

The bottles are available at our shop in San Francisco- we will have them up online soon. And the flowers we used in this post are a combination of ranunculus, lady slipper orchids, quince branches, dahlias, and succulents. Thanks!


Although these are an alternative and beautiful arrangement, cut flowers are really quite wasteful – flowers are thirsty, not to mention expensive. Can you start posting more about potted arrangements? More (potted) succulents and flowering plants that will give year round!



the studio choo ladies have done a few lovely potted arrangement posts so far (see links below):




i ask them to focus on florals because that’s what we’re most interested in at the site, but we’ll be adding more regular “garden” (as opposed to florals) content to the site when we relaunch this spring :)



as an apartment dweller, as i imagine many d*s readers are, i just don’t have the time, space, or sun to grow potted plants, so i can never get enough posts about cut arrangements.

as for cut flowers being wasteful and “thirsty”, that’s the silliest thing i ever heard! without cut flowers many of us could not even have flowers in their lives. the purpose of a flower, cut or growing, is to bring beauty into the world. no flower lives forever, and i would much rather have a lovely dahlia on my table than to abandon beautiful things altogether.

thanks, choos! keep up the amazing work!


take another look, jenny – the succulents above are a potted arrangement. ;)


Which is the name of those little flowers in the branches tied up with a black ribbon?? I love them!