How To Make Deli Flowers Look Expensive

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Here's a fun game: Find a florist, only give her $100, and tell her to go to the closest bodega and create three super expensive-looking floral arrangements from what she finds. The results, which will shock and amaze, will also be particularly productive if you're throwing a spur of the moment dinner party, seance, or other gathering where people expect your home to be presentable. Below are some tips from Marisa Competello, Gloffice florist and willing participant in many of our inventive and amusing games—she also noted that the arrangements could retail at close to three times what she spent. Feel free to take notes, on the off-chance you find yourself in front of a deli floral case but without your trusty florist by your side (starting from the left):

1 : “This was my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink arrangement—which works so well because of its singular color palette. I wanted to play with texture and fragrance, so keeping to only white and green let me get a variety without it ending up too busy.”

2 : “Bodegas always have roses, which are great for a minimal arrangement. It's best to have a large bunch that's cut short and kept low to the table. I went with mostly white with a few reds as an accent because I like the classic combination—but you could really go any way with this color-wise.”

3 : “I find that bodegas always have a few really tropical options, like birds-of-paradise or flowering ginger. So this arrangement is my sculptural, tropical bodega moment [laughs]. Sometimes you'll find some big fronds that I wrap around the stems if I'm using a clear vase—it adds an element of finish. Trim the leaf down to whatever size you need, line the vase, then do your arrangement last.”

Photographed by Tom Newton.

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