For more of the season's must-try, who-knew color pairings, pick up InStyle's April issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now.

By Christina Shanahan
Updated Apr 14, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
Putnam Flowers - April 2016
Credit: Joseph Molines

If your idea of prepping flowers involves grabbing a bouquet from the Trader Joe's checkout line and plopping it into water, here's an easy upgrade. Chose shades of blooms within the same color family, like coral and melon, for a interesting ombré effect. "Experiment with this foolproof color combo if you're a beginner," says Putnam & Putnam floral designer Michael Putnam, who created the arrangement above.

Start with a footed ceramic bowl ("Bright white will make coral and melon really pop," he explains), then pick out two or three large seasonal stems. Amaryllis and peonies will take up a lot of real estate, so you won't need to buy as many. Using chicken wire, form a ball the same size as the opening of your vessel and adhere it to the bottom with duct tape. Stick your stems into the wire to hold them in place as you arrange, making sure to vary the height. To fill any gaps, add in small white flowers, like sweet peas, which will give your masterpiece an ombré effect. Final step: Brag on Pinterest.

Centerpiece, $300;