Wasabi Peas

A Subsiduary of 'The Wasabi Monologues'

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Elegantize your life!
pic#86398693 fan
To make elegant, or increase existing elegance.

So I've been thinking again, now that I have a fully functioning 'normal life' back again, that I would resume my style posts.

I got so fed up with the clutter and mess generated by having no time to tidy up while PhD consumed every waking second at the end of last year.
Girls....heavy confession - I let my standards slip:
There were groups of several days together when I went without makeup of any kind ( not that I wear much, mind you, but a dab of powder, and a little lipstick makes a massive and noticible difference).
Vacuuming (Hoovering, for you folks accross the pond) was almost non existant, and the dust bunnies went into a breeding frenzy.
My bedroom ceased to be a haven of rest and became a general dumping ground for clothes, papers, and even the overflowing cardboard/paper recycling box (shocking!) In the last week of the madness, I abandoned it altogether and slept on the sofa at night!

Not elegant, not elegant at all.
Since being back, I have been banishing all traces of this chaos, and even begun to improve on pre-existing points within the flat, and wardrobe, which had been nagging me.
It also got me thinking about how everyone and anyone can 'elegantize' their life by taking simple and often inexpensive steps which produce very satisfying results.
So, as well as updating you on my travels last autumn, I'm going to post a bit on this subject, and I hope that thse of you who've enjoyed similar topics in the past will chip in your tuppence worth too!

Firstly - Flowers.

I love flowers, I've always loved them, and my mother is a florist so throughout my childhood and teenage years I would often pitch in on orders and projects and floral shows etc.
These days, I do tend, however, to neglect 'flowers in the home', and it's only when I buy some and arrange them that I notice the instant elegant lift that they give to a room.
At present in the UK, tulips and daffodils are in season and cheap, which makes it easier to create beauty on a budget.
I had a dinner party last Thursday and so I created a centrepiece for the table using pink carnations and soft red tulips arranged in a cut
crystal globe vase.


I'm sorry about the lighting, but using flash only made the colours white-out.
I enjoy the two-tier effect that the tulips give with the underpinning of carnations.
I'm especially fond of the vase,  It's by Royal Brierley and is beautifully cut 24% lead crystal. Normally I'm not big into cut crystal as I think it can be too sparkly, and also too much of it can make a room very 'old lady-ish'. Sticking to signature pieces and simple cuts is the best choice for this kind of glassware. I found this great 15cm high ( or rather 15cm round globe) vase on ebay for a lot lot less than what it would have cost me in Jenner's or Harrods and it was brand new, having never even been out of it's shiny red box.
I'm especially pleased because it's the same 'fan' cut as my Royal Brierlely whisky tumblers, so it looks well on the sideboard also, where the drinks tray is located.

Also,I had a tulip left over:


Popped in a Turkish tea glass, it brightens up the mantlepiece.

Do you have any categories of flowers which you consider particularly elegant or inelegant?
Personally I think that all flowers properly arranged can be elegant, but my particular favourites are tulips and peonies.

There are however, a few simple rules when it comes to flowers which must be observed if an elegant air is to be achieved:
Lilies are too fragrant for events where food is being served, and must never be placed on a dinner table.
Roses are dicey - if they are not literally saturated with water they will drop their heads within 36 hours, which is not an elegant look.
Carnations are very pretty, good for bedrooms or simple supper table decor, and excellent fillers for bolder blooms but you should never give them as a hostess gift or as a romantic gift as they are usually inexpensive and therefore a bit more supermarket than chic.
Always add greenery to your arrangements, but make sure the leaf textures and shapes complement the blooms - big leaves with tiny blossoms won't work, and likewise tiny spindly leaves with huge flowers looks silly unless the foilage is used in profusion.

Are there any points of floral etiquette observed where you are? What are they?
It's always interesting to compare - especially in the 'do and do not' section!

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It looks lovely! I've never seen real tulips, I'd love to see some.
let's see, from the flowers which we get here commonly, my mother loves tuberoses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polianthes_tuberosa) - they're cheap and simple and beautifully fragrant. just a small bunch can make a room smell divine and fresh. :)

I love tuberoses too, however here in the UK they are classed as 'exotics' and are usually really expensive and quite hard to get in florist shops! That makes you a very lucky girl.
Our hyacinths are sort of similar in shape and colour range, but the flowers are more clustered and the perfume is heavier.

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