Even if you picked your furniture up cheap from Ikea, or from a second hand store, and you have prints on your walls instead of great, original art, there's one inexpensive thing you can do to make your home look and feel more welcoming and more beautiful: add some well arranged flowers.
Flowers add colour, life and scent to any room and treating yourself to a bunch or two is the quickest and easiest way to give your home a make over. Whether you're expecting guests or just want to make your homes inhabitants feel looked after.
But not all bunches were created equal, and to guarantee you get the best for your bud, why not enrol yourself in a flower arranging or floristry course? There are plenty of places in London that teach flower arrangement, and you can choose between short, or one day classes that will show you the basics on how to bunch, and make your bunches stay beautiful for as long as possible, to longer courses that will teach you how best to present a whole range of flora. This is also the ideal thing to do with your best mates, or with your Mum as a special gift – it's time with you and it's flowers, what more could she want?
If you're lucky your local florist might run a course. And if they don't usually they might agree to if you offer to pay them and you can get a group of friends together who'll pitch in to pay for the blooms with you. If you'd prefer something a bit more structured and organised then there are plenty of florists that advertise flower schools. Just a few of these are:
Judith Blacklock in Knightsbridge, where they offer one day courses designed to help you get the most from the flowers that you have growing in your own garden. 4/5 Kinnerton Place South, London SW1X 8EH
Jamie Aston on Great Portland Street, who offer five different one day courses where you can choose to learn about: hand tied bunches, bridal flower arrangements, flower arranging for the home, table centres or Christmas themed floral displays. At each one day course you'll make two different displays, both of which you'll be able to take home. 226 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QP
Pesh Flower School in South London run an even more varied selection of half day and full day courses and their prices start at £75 including all your materials. So if you have a naturally good eye for design this could be a way to get yourself a reasonably priced bunch of flowers with a free lesson thrown in. 31 Denmark Hill, London. SE5 8RS
If you fly though one of these short courses and finish on top of the floral class, then you might even want to consider the fact that floristry might be your calling. In which case you might want to enrol yourself into one of the classes at Out of the Bloom flower design school. This school has a more vocational attitude towards flower arranging – well a lotta people make a lotta money doing it so why not you? They have small classes of up to five students and they're more intensive, running for up to two weeks full time, and taking you through some of the more advanced kinds of flower arranging: weddings, parties, grand apologies – that sort of thing. 89-91 Bayham Street, City of London, London NW1 0AG