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!




  1. sarah says:

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

  2. Emily says:

    Love these alternatives to the usual roses! Especially the purple orchids – so sexy!

  3. kayla says:

    Love this. Where might one find some of those denatured alcohol bottles? They are fabulous!

  4. lauren says:

    lovely work. i’ve always adored those orchids – they look like goblins.

  5. Kat says:

    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. :)

  6. Wow, these are so sexy and romantic.

  7. verhext says:

    I forwarded this to my fiancé, who grows orchids. SUBTLE HINT.

  8. I’m loving all those deep reds and maroons.

  9. excellent! flowering apricot branches are such a great choice in febry

  10. Marija says:

    These are stunning!!!
    Much better than giving and getting the typical red rose.

    Just gorgeous!

  11. Melissa says:

    OH, that dahlia…

  12. Novi says:

    Romantic with a mysterious flair… Love!

  13. 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!

  14. Sierra says:

    Stunning flowers! Thanks for sharing…

  15. anne marie says:

    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!

  16. 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…..

  17. Toni says:

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

  18. Dianne says:

    Beautiful arrangements! The second arrangement is my favorite– so unique!

  19. hrhkat says:

    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

  20. lindsay says:

    The second arrangement is breathtaking! So rich and moody and lush.

  21. Miriam says:

    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.

  22. Wow! I am loving the make-overs!

  23. Uni says:

    beautiful! all of them. and once you go black…

  24. Deborah says:

    Love them all, especially the rich, deep colors.

  25. Aja says:

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

  26. Laurie Blaswich says:

    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

  27. Kerry says:

    Oh what a lovely antidote to all that schmalzy stuff

  28. julia says:

    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 .

  29. Kate says:

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

  30. These are gorgeous! [swoooooon]

    The colors are so deep, dark and lovely. The flowering branches, I want right this minute!

  31. Jessica says:

    gorgeous! There’s something mysterious about those deep, dark colors. I love the bottles, too.

  32. John says:

    Superb designs, really looks natural..
    Im going to try it out……

  33. Theresa says:

    The first photo with the white alcohol bottles took my breath away. Great color contrast!

  34. Studio Choo says:

    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!

  35. Sandi says:

    I love comment #4..I’d actually like that bear as well, lol!

  36. Jenny says:

    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!

    1. grace says:

      jenny

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

      http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/01/we-like-it-wild-knitted-by-choo.html

      http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/12/we-like-it-wild-paperwhites.html

      http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/10/we-like-it-wild-terror-ium.html

      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 :)

      grace

  37. lulu says:

    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!

  38. jeremy says:

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

  39. I love the chocolate colored flowers they are so deep. I grow chocolate cosmos in the summer. They even have a hit of chocolate scent.

  40. once again…great post.
    love,love, love!

  41. These are so beautiful and unique. Love it!

  42. Andrea says:

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

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