Ask a Designer: How to Create a Unique Valentine’s Arrangement

February 13, 2019

We sat down with El Coyle, Senior Interior Designer at Formwerks (and talented floral designer), for her take on creative Valentine’s Day arrangements that break from the ordinary.

Eleanor brings a remarkable artistic eye and an innate ability to strike a desired mood through her projects and designs.

She constantly finds inspiration in flowers and greenery and is fascinated about how different floristry can help serve her clients’ various needs for a mix of functions and occasions.

Born in England, Eleanor finds herself drawn to English garden type florals and arrangements. She likes to get creative and experiment with different greens, berries and fruits. Eleanor also enjoys foraging locally in Vancouver for special, local additions for her pieces.

Eleanor learned the ins and outs of arranging and floral design from the very talented, late Hilary Miles, who was a leader in the Vancouver industry for years. Eleanor feels very privileged to have worked under Hilary for two years, and is honoured to get to share her passion for floristry and the feelings it evokes with her design clients. Follow El on her Instagram @twigandco_design.

How to create a beautiful custom tradition flower arrangement

Step 1: Look & feel


Determine the desired feel and direction for your arrangement. I wanted to create something traditional and painterly, so I selected an urn-shaped vase in a concrete finish to act as a classic pedestal.


Step 2: Build a grid


I use chicken wire or floral wire to build a grid (instead of using floral foam). It’s reusable, much more environmentally friendly, and provides the structure needed to build the arrangement.


Step 3: The base


Start building the structure and overall shape with your greenery. This piece will be placed in front of a wall, so keep in mind there is a “front” of the arrangement. I used Olive branches as the base greenery.


Step 4: Give it shape


Add more greens and larger florals to see the form of the arrangement take shape. I introduced Berzelia, Purple Alstroemeria, and Fuchsia Snapdragons to create asymmetry.


Step 5: Accents


Once your structure is built, add in accents like Skyline Roses (yellow) and Carpe Diem Roses (orange/peach) and White Lisianthus.


Step 6: Finishing Touches


Work in final pieces to create contrast and balance the composition. I introduced cream Hypericum berries to add some highlights to the final design.


Step 7: Romance without Red Roses


I wanted to deviate from the traditional reds associated with Valentine’s Day, so I opted for a fresh palette that still communicates romance.


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