Over the last year, we’ve all spent the majority of our time in one place: at home. Throughout the pandemic, where we live – and indeed, who we live with – has become more important than ever before. Many of us have taken on some DIY improvements, from creating a productive WFH-spot, to developing the homely habits of baking and gardening. But as lockdown lifts, we’re putting down our sourdough starters and watering cans, dusting off our travel cards and getting ready to resume life outside of our front doors. The pub gardens are open! Restaurants are too, along with museums, gyms and theatres! We can even – who’d have thought we’d see the day? – start hugging a few of our closest pals. There’s so much to get excited about, in fact, that it would be easy to let your oasis at home drift. Houseplants? No time to water them, now. And bread? Much easier bought from the local bakery. We urge you, however, to keep yourself house-proud with the help of the most fuss-free new interiors trend: dried flowers. Much more practical their fresh cousins, old fashioned dried flowers are enjoying a renaissance. Etsy reported a 93 per cent increase in searches for them in 2020 compared to 2019 and your Instagram feed is likely already awash with dried bunches. The inspo? Mandy Moore’s wedding in 2019, during which the bride walked down a pastel pink pampas grass aisle. The advantages of dried flowers are almost endless. They’re affordable (as you only need to buy one bunch) and supremely hassle-free (with no dirty water to change or wilting petals to prune). What’s more, dried flowers are more sustainable than fresh ones (as you won’t be supporting the endless shipping of out-of-season buds) and obviously better for the planet than any plastic fake blooms. Perhaps it goes without saying, but a bunch of dried flowers can also be jaw-droppingly lovely to look at. Bunches can be small or impressive, bright and bold or rustic and neutral. You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to flowers that dry well, from baby’s breath and lagarus on the small end, to hydrangeas and artichoke flowers at the larger end of the scale. If you’re looking for smell, go for lavender or eucalyptus – the latter will transport you to a spa if you hang it near your shower. Think outside the box, too: berries, foraged twigs, herbs, grasses and seed heads all dry well and will add to a home-grown effect.
Air-drying at home is incredibly easy. Simply lay your flowers on a flat surface, dry off any moisture with kitchen paper, then hang them upside down with gardening twine somewhere warm until they start to feel brittle and crispy. If even this all sounds like too much effort (and you’d like to get down to one of those aforementioned pub gardens ASAP) there are plenty of suppliers selling ready-made dried bunches. Try Fox Flowers for chic and understated options, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters for something bright, cheap and cheerful and Bloom & Wild, whose posies even come with vases. H&M also have a notoriously good selection. When it comes to arranging a dried bunch, the traditional school of thought has always been to go with the rustic vibe: in with glassware from charity shops and earthenware bowls, out with anything that looks too new or shiny. However, there’s always the exception that proves the rule and Instagram throws up plenty of examples of dried arrangements, sprayed neon colours and arranged in hypebeast-favourite boob and bum vases to brilliant effect. A bold vase that could be overpowering when paired with a bunch of fresh blooms can be offset to perfection by dried ones. You could get creative and put your dried flowers into a wreath, which you’ll be able to bring out season after season. So really, everything goes. And as for upkeep? As you’d expect, it’s laid-back to the point of non-existent. All you’ll need to do is dust your arrangement occasionally (or use the softest setting on your hoover) and it’ll last you for up to three years. Which leaves you ample time to get back out there again, safe in the knowledge that your home is still on-point. Win-win, no?
IMAGE | SHUTTERSTOCK