Design Principles in Floristry

In Floral Design by SeamusLeave a Comment

Floral design is a difficult task. I myself come from a graphic design background and I truly believe understanding the principles of good design helps me in all aspects of my life, for example de-cluttering my house, enjoying things that are aesthetically pleasing, and much more. But when it comes to Design Principles in Floristry, it can be incredibly challenging to create a bouquet that looks good and gives the feel you are after.

  • Do you want to be different?
  • Do you want to create contemporary and elegant bouquets?
  • Do you want to have the knowledge to back up what you have create and understand why it works?
  • Do you sometimes not know why things look good?
  • Do you sometimes struggle to come up with new and interesting bouquets?
  • Do you sometimes struggle to make things look good and have the right feel you are after?
  • Do you sometimes struggle with colour, shape and form of your bunches?

I know I do!

Here’s some ideas that help me with that. Maybe they’ll help you too?

The Elements and Principles of Design

There are many but here are a few that are relevant to floral design:


Scale relates to the size of an object and its relationship to other objects in a floral design.  Each part of the floral design, the container, and the floral design as a whole must relate proportionally.  Additionally, the total floral design must be in scale with its surroundings.

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Good scale is created by balancing size and proportion of the individual materials. Each large item should be balanced with an equally large item. Each small item inserted should be balanced with one equally small item. In summary, the design should demonstrate an excellent use of scale and visual proportion with its use of sizes to balance. The example bunch below shows great scale.

design principles in Floristry
Submitted by Alice McDonald from Flowers By Alice, Myrtle Bank, SA


Strong visual harmony is created by arranging appropriate flowers and colours to fit a container within its setting.

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Harmony is the effective matching and blending of materials in a floral design.  Compared to music, where individual sounds combine to make a pleasing composition, harmony in design is the combination of materials, colours and textures to create a composition that is pleasing to the eye.

The example below is a great example of visual harmony.

design principles

Submitted by Youki of Sugar Bee Flowers, Gold Coast,


Dramatic lines and sharp curves create a strong and bold sense of rhythm. Rhythm is repeated by the continued placement of one line directly below another, almost like a ripple of water.

Rhythm allows the viewers eye to take a trip through the arrangement.  It carries the eye from one point to another, separate yet blending.   Rhythm gives the design the appearance of motion and holds the viewers attention.

The floral design below is a great example of visual Rhythm.

design in floristry
Submitted by Diana Simon, Gympie,


Vibrant purple Kale and dark violet delphinium create an elegant and bold decadence. The room’s elegance and bold use of colour and heavy accessories create unity with the arrangement created. Warm candlelight and dark colour use also adds to the drama and ties into the fashionable look.

Unity is the oneness of purpose: that all of the parts including vase, foliage, flowers and colours belong to the arrangement.  Combining all of the materials for a singular purpose creates unity.
The floral designs below are a great example of visual unity.
design principles unity
Submitted by Liz Smith from A Sculpted Leaf Florist, Sunshine Coast, Qld,


Asymmetry of colours and flowers create an effective design.

Balance is achieved when the arrangement conveys a feeling of both physical and visual stability.  Physical stability means that the arrangement stands upright and will not fall over.  Visual stability means that the arrangement does not look like it is going to fall over.  There are two fundamental types of balance; Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.

The floral design below is a great example of Symmetrical Balance.

design balance

Submitted by Jenny Kershaw from, The Gap

The bunch below is fabulous. It highlights many of the principles of design we have just describe, hence the reason for it being pleasing to the eye.

floristry design

Submitted by Kate Dawes from South Bank, Brisbane

Want to Learn More?

Here is a really good visual introduction to the principles and elements of design.

Written by Charlie Parr, Tesselaar’s in-house designer and photographer (who doesn’t like to be photographed herself)

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Seamus is Tesselaar Flowers' digital marketing manager. He's a creative marketing geek, writer, musician & accidental flower lover. He helps small businesses with websites and web marketing. If you need any help regarding the Tesselaars website you can contact him on

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