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Nurturing flowers

Arrangements in pastel shades and the softest yellows, peaches, warm pinks, creamy whites and subtle greens make us feel safe, snug and loved. Consider a nurturing floral arrangement for a new mother, a sick friend or a grieving loved one – anyone who would benefit from a caring, loving embrace. See five emotional color palettes and the flowers that bring them to life.

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Romantic Floral Designs

A sensation of intimacy, nostalgia and comfort is captured in this color palette, a blend of delicate warm and cool colors with lavenders and pinks at its heart. Romantic arrangements express loving sentiments and admiration to mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, best friends, significant others and brides-to-be.

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Ready Your Home For Holiday Guests PDF Print E-mail

The holiday season brings with it great meals, presents, beautiful decorations and guests… lots and lots of guests coming and going.

Holiday guests -- be they family members or friends -- often show up early, stay late or even pop by unexpectedly. And with them can come hectic, harried moments as you rush to get your house company-ready.

Organizing expert Vicki Norris calls this phenomenon the “dash and stash” -- when we frantically rush around hiding clutter, hanging up coats or even strategically placing a plant or floral arrangement before opening the door.

“I recommend people strive to keep the most visible spaces of their home organized 24/7. It’s not nearly as hard as it sounds,” says Norris, author of “Restoring Order to Your Home.”

Norris suggests several simple tricks that can help keep your home’s public spaces, such as your entryway, living room or family room, neat for holiday traffic.

“For instance, placing flowers or a favorite accessory where clutter typically congregates does two things: it brightens the room and prevents future messes from settling there,” suggests Norris.

While your family room probably is your home’s superhighway, a few tweaks can eliminate those piles of roadway rubbish, such as toys and magazines. And quick fixes that yield permanent results can help ensure your entryway (the natural “drop zone” for your family’s coats, shoes, and keys) doesn’t become an unruly hazard.

Because the entryway is the easiest place to drop things, and is the first space guests see, your focus in this area should be clutter control. Determine what types of items are left here and then implement a clutter capture system.

  • Look around. Do you see a handful of coats or an entire closet full? Do you spy a few shoes or a shoe mountain?
  • Select and install the right storage solutions, whether they are hooks, bins, shelving, benches or other furnishings. Think about your aesthetic preferences. If you prefer not to see clutter, consider a narrow armoire to neatly store your belongings.
  • Then personalize your entryway. Welcome your guests with an inviting display of family photos, a favorite collection, or fresh flowers to suit the season. Having these items on tables actually will prevent future clutter from collecting. Also, a strategically placed floor plantcan divert attention from less appealing areas.
  • As for the family room or living room, Norris recommends determining the room’s direction, de-littering and finding homes for such nomadic items as backpacks, toys, magazines and everything in between.
  • First decide upon the room’s direction. For example, should it be an off-ramp of the kitchen or an entertainment hub where you will gather to watch TV and play games? Set up a “go-elsewhere” basket, so at the end of each day you can relocate items that don’t belong here back to their proper places.
  • Create a plan of attack for accumulating papers and other misplaced possessions, including a reference binder to create a permanent home for take-out menus, gift certificates, coupons and commonly reached-for phone numbers such as the dry cleaner, your florist, hair stylist and movie theater.
  • And don’t be a litter bug! Keep surfaces such as ottomans and tables clear, and beautify the room with flowers or a plant to reclaim the space and make it a nice place in which to spend time -- both for you and those holiday guests.

“Perfection is unattainable and should never be the goal,” stresses Norris. “By clearing out the clutter and reclaiming your space, you create more time for the things that are truly important in your life.”

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Flower Meanings

Iris = Inspiration

Iris Flowers

See more Flower Meanings.

Aboutflowers.com is the information resource on flowers, florists, plants and gifts.

Aboutflowers.com features photos and images of flowers, floral arrangements, bouquets, floral designs and plants, as well as tips on flower and plant care, a comprehensive list of flower meanings, the latest flower holiday statistics and numbers, flower design trends, sample card messages, flower gift-buying advice and a directory of local florists.

Aboutflowers.com offers flower gift and decorating and entertaining ideas for all occasions, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, Secretaries Week and Administrative Professionals Week. Brides-to-be will find tips for wedding flowers, including bridal bouquets, ceremony and reception flowers and advice for working with a wedding florist. Sympathy flowers help comfort a relative, friend or associate who has lost a loved one. Aboutflowers.com also features get-well flowers, prom flowers, and tips for ordering flowers and sending flowers to a man, and ideas for flowers for every room of your home.

Florists have always known that flowers make people happy, and now scientific research proves flower power. Aboutflowers.com highlights university research proving the emotional and behavioral benefits of flowers and plants. Rutgers research shows that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed. Another Rutgers study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age. A Harvard study reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home. And a Texas A&M study demonstrates that workers' idea generation, creative performance and problem-solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

Aboutflowers.com is hosted by the Society of American Florists, the U.S. floral industry trade association.

Visit www.nationalfloristdirectory.com to find a local SAF member florist to send flowers, roses and gifts for delivery.