flowerssarah from blossom and branch

fall florals: pavé-style flower arrangements

by SarahB

pa·vé (noun). A setting of precious stones placed together so closely that no metal shows: diamonds in pavé.

Like so many of you lovely readers, I think of flowers as gorgeous little gems. I often identify my favorite style of floral design as “pavé”-style construction. In this week’s post, I wanted to share some prime examples of this compact and abundant, “flower-on-flower” look and describe some of its most valuable attributes.

Tips for Creating This Style of Arrangement
  • Try using one type of flower in varying shades.
  • Carefully clean stems so they are free of greens and foliage, leaving only the blossoms and stems.
  • Flowers should be cut so that the blooms fall just above the neck of the vase.
  • Work from the outside in — start by setting flowers in a ring around the edge of the vase and work row-by-row toward the middle. You will be begin to create concentric circles and the stems will form a “grid” in the vase.
  • With each successive layer of flowers, you will have more structure with the stems and you can use this structure to support the next layer.
  • Keep a “dome shape” in your mind’s eye and work to make the inner layers of flowers stand slightly taller than the outer layers.
  • Don’t be afraid of the flowers jutting out at an angle; with each new layer, they will stand a bit straighter and taller.
  • By the time you reach the middle, you should have a firm network of stems to support the taller flowers and they will stand straight up!
Image above: Garden roses in sweet peach and cream, including my peach garden rose obsession, “Juliet.” You might notice that this arrangement of garden roses doesn’t include greens or filler flowers. There is a purity to this design, yet the variety of colors within the soft spectrum and the range of rose types and shapes creates texture and movement. In this style, the technique is very accessible — simply clean the flowers of all greenery and cut them short so that the “head” of the blooms sit just above the “neck” of the vase.
Image above: An array of pavé-style arrangements viewed from above. These fresh green, purple and white arrangements are primarily single-flower, monochromatic arrangements made modern and sophisticated with a pavé design. Flowers above include roses, hydrangea, viburnum, ranunculus, hyacinth and sweat peas.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Sarah’s post after the jump!

Image above: A “creamsicle” spectrum of carnations in pavé style. YES, EVEN CARNATIONS. I am a champion of the simple, fragrant and affordable carnation. In my view, the pavé style is never more effective than when used to turn an oft-overlooked “wallflower” into a sensation. I love this arrangement because you can buy these flowers in any season and at your local grocery store or bodega on the way home from work. When cleaned fastidiously, organized into color blocks and cut short in a vase, even the most timid, amateur floral designer can become an expert with carnations.
Image above: Icy chartreuse greens and whites arranged in a snug, clean design. Flowers include hydrangea, dahlias, roses, parrot tulips, snowberry and brassica cabbage. So modern! The pavé style allows you to use traditional flowers like hydrangeas and dahlias and still craft arrangements that could exist in the future :)
Image above: A riot of hot colors create a fabulous landscape. This arrangement includes ranunculus, parrot tulips, celosia, cabbage roses, hyacinth and a whimsical touch of jasmine. Don’t you want to take a bite out of these flowers? The pavé style allows you to truly appreciate and investigate the incredible blooms on the flowers in this arrangement. Let flowers like this speak (or scream!) for themselves by cutting them short and arranging them in this chic fashion. — Sarah

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  • these are so beautiful – i love when the flowers are low. and i love that you describe them as “pave.” i’ve never thought of it as such, but that is such a great description!

  • After an arrangement of flowers has begun to fade, I like to cut the stems very short and do this sort of arrangement in a small, tallish heavy glass bowl – they last a little longer this way.

  • LOVE this type of arrangement….and yay to carnations! They look so gorgeous all bunched together. I especially love them in a deep purple – so ruffly and dramatic (and cheap!).

  • i knew it! i’ve been saying carnations were making a comeback for the past 6 months! thanks for the beautiful and inspiring post!

  • thanks for the arrangement description! I always try to make small arrangements myself and I never know if I am doing it properly!

  • Thanks for sharing the beautiful arrangements and the handy tips !! Hard to find one fav. one ..I like all of them!! can’t wait to try making them!!

  • Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen anything so gorgeous. I think I want to get married just so I can have those flowers, LOL.

    Just lovely – and keep up the good work on your blog. I adore it.

  • I’m SO inspired! Now, all I need is for the chickens to stop eating my flowers…the few that I actually managed to get to grow, and I’ll be able to make some beautiful fall bouquets. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  • Perfect idea for someone, like me, who is arrangement challenged! A color combo I currently adore is purple and red. Red roses and purple (iris?) … stunning, just those alone.