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The closet is Kondo’d, the countertops are gleaming and the linens are pressed to perfection. The final piece of the home-sprucing puzzle? Setting your blooms in water. Snip, snip. Hmmph...why are they looking so meh?

Because you’ve cut them too short. We recently chatted with Erin Curry of the swoon-worthy design firm, Chango & Co, who let us in on a little secret: Designers always cut flower stems long enough so that the blooms spill over in a wide halo.

There’s a common misconception when it comes to DIY flower arranging that short blooms look more full. On the contrary, “Flowers look so much better when they are casually leaning over the side of the vase,” Curry says. “You never want your blossoms to look like they are being choked!” Which, if you think about last week’s rose buds resting right on the vase rim, is an apt (and unfortunate) metaphor.

So the next time you snag a bouquet, we challenge you to fight the instinct to cut them to size for your vase, and to leave about three more inches on the stems than you think appropriate. As seen above, this easy trick makes even the simplest blooms look more lush and professional.

RELATED: These 5 Grocery Store Flowers Will Last You the Longest


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