Are you a bougainvillea lover like me? Maybe the part of me that was always drawn to California is the same part of me that’s responsible for my complete and utter obsession with this gorgeous vine. It’s felt omnipresent throughout my life on the west coast — both in northern and southern California. I’ve been known to document it around the Bay Area, like the above (can you believe this one from Los Gatos?), or this one or this one, or my all time favorite: this one.
However, something you don’t see quite as often is bougainvillea used indoors, as a cut flower in a vase. Seeing a huge arrangement of bougainvillea in Anderson Cooper’s Trancoso, Brazil home got me thinking about this. You know what I realized? Every time I see a floral arrangement styled with bougainvillea, I’m so charmed by it and find it incredibly beautiful.
from Architectural Digest; image by Simon Upton
Isn’t this absolutely stunning? I love how wild and natural it looks, and the drama it brings given the low furnishings in the rest of the living space.
And, here are plenty more examples of trimmed bougainvillea, that are a little more manageable for your everyday indoor display:
from A House in the Hills
Sarah’s former Palm Springs home had a beautiful bougainvillea plant; I’m forever inspired by this image she snapped of the flowers proudly displayed in her kitchen. The white and hot pink is like instant happiness.
from A House in the Hills
She also created smaller arrangements with it, like here in her living room. Isn’t it pretty with the mix of gold and leather? It strikes me as such a versatile flower — it can be wild, but ladylike, just depends on how you trim it.
from Carrie Bradshaw Lied
Kathleen from Carrie Bradshaw Lied discovered how beautiful a small cutting of bougainvillea looks when mixed with other flowers. I like the idea of creating a larger arrangement by grouping bits of bougainvillea amongst other small vases filled with hydrangeas. I think this could work well with white or pink peonies too, since they have a similar large, bulbous shape. You could do this with a whole bunch of vases (or old mason jars, recycled candle cups, juice glasses, etc) and make a really dramatic centerpiece for a dining table (hmm…giving me ideas!).
from Tulipina; styling by Kiana Underwood; photography by Nathan Underwood
Do you follow Kiana Underwood on Instagram yet? You may know her as @Tulipina (I talked about her once before here!). Kiana runs an SF based floral design studio, and she creates the most stunning arrangements. I loved this one she created filled with cosmos (the light pink, daisy-like flowers) and ranunculus. It’s a super luxe mix that I won’t even pretend I could re-create at home, but it proves how well bougainvillea can be mixed with other wildflowers for a really cohesive, soft look. Oh, and seriously — if you want a daily dose of floral goodness, you gotta follow @Tulipina!
from Design Love Fest; image by Laure Joliet
A while back, Bri Emery revealed a re-vamp of her bedroom, and included this lovely, simple arrangement of bougainvillea. I love the way the longer pieces on the right drape over and kind of “shade” the other small objects on her dresser. It’s a perfect focal point for the vignette. Contrast this with Kiana’s arrangement up above — it really shows how you can simply snip and plop some of the vines in a simple vase, for an equally pretty display.
I also love how bougainvillea in the right container can truly set a mood. I’ve seen it styled in Moroccan and Mexican themed celebrations, and just love the easy romance it brings. Like, can you imagine roses or tulips in the above container? No way. It has to be bougainvillea.
Are you lucky enough to have a bougainvillea plant? Are you as obsessed as I am? If you have a boug plant, you simply have to try using it as a cut flower, and send me pictures!