6 Principles of Floral Design

Kristen Bradley "The Chic Maven"

March 14, 2023


Whether you’re a professional florist or just beginning to design, the 6 principles of floral design are an important part of creating stunning arrangements.

These are the basic standards used to organize the elements of line, form, space, texture, pattern, fragrance and size. By understanding and applying these principles, you can create stunning arrangements that capture the attention of your audience.


Balance is the ability to arrange an arrangement so that it appears stable and solid without appearing top-heavy or lopsided. There’s a practical aspect to balance, of course (few arrangements will fall over), but there’s also an aesthetic aspect, called visual balance.

This is achieved through the use of colors, textures, and form to create a pleasing design. Look for colors that complement one another, such as soft pastels and deep jewel tones, or muddy hues that work with greenery.


Proportion refers to the relationship of parts of an arrangement to one another. This includes container size, flowers, and foliages.

Scale is a related concept. The overall design size needs to be in scale with the setting and the area it is positioned in.

A flower, foliage or container that is too large compared to its surroundings is out of proportion. This is especially true with taller blooms that might look top-heavy in a smaller vase.


Rhythm, in its most general sense, is the regular pattern of something in time (the beat or meter of a song, for example). It’s also an ordered alternation of contrasting elements.

When designing floral arrangements, use a combination of colors and textures that create visual rhythm. This helps move an observer’s eye through the design, keeping them engaged and excited.

Balance is another important principle in floral design, a feeling of three-dimensional stability that can be achieved through symmetry or asymmetry. Florists call this physical balance, but it can also be an aesthetic one: a balanced arrangement looks substantial without looking top-heavy or lopsided.


Dominance is the prevalence or noticeability of one design element more than others. This can be achieved using dominant plant material, emphasized design, theme or focal point.

Rhythm regulates the flow and movement of your floral arrangement through repeated patterns like the beat of your favourite tune. The goal is to make a pathway for the viewer’s eye to follow throughout your design, sustaining interest and creating a sense of beauty.

Balance refers to the arrangement’s sense of equilibrium and repose, a feeling of three-dimensional stability. There are two types of balance when working on floral design, physical and visual balance.


Contrast is the ability to draw the eye to elements in your floral design that are different from each other. It can be as simple as two colors, or a variety of shapes and sizes.

The goal is to create an emphasis on one or more elements in your arrangement, without distracting the viewer’s attention from the rest of the design. The dominant element can be a color, shape or texture, or it could be a grouping of flowers.


Harmony is the harmonious relationship between all of the parts and elements of a floral design. This includes the flowers, foliage and container.

In a design, harmony can be achieved by using similar colors or shapes throughout the arrangement. It can also be achieved by using repetition and rhythm.

Proportion and scale are closely related to harmony as they focus on ensuring that the size of the flower, foliage and container is proportional with the setting.

The size and placement of each of the flowers and foliage must harmonize with the other parts of the floral design and its expected theme or style. Mechanics of arrangement should not distract from this harmony.