Designer, stylist, and collector Eddie Ross—a master at unearthing flea-market treasures—keeps things fresh by using all types of vessels for arrangements that have a perfectly imperfect, natural appeal. In this excerpt from his new book, Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds on how to curate personal style with chic and accessible finds, Ross empties out his flower-arranging kit and gives the inside scoop on his must-have tools.


A Flower Arranger’s Kit

FLORAL SHEARSmust have flower tools

Trims soft stems, excess greenery and spent blooms. I like Sakagen.


Cuts tough-stemmed flowers and woody growth.


Some flowers (like poppies and poinsettias) release a milky sap that clogs other stems. Sear their tips over an open fame for about 30 seconds to seal in the sap each time you cut them.


Keep stems in vessels too wide or shallow firmly in place. Can be vintage or new in materials such as metal, ceramic or glass. Spiky types hold up thin, slender stems; frogs with holes anchor thicker stems.


Can bundle stems so they’re easier to arrange.


Secures frogs in containers. Remove sticky residue with mayonnaise or Goo Gone.


Any knife with a short blade and good edge can be used to cut stems and carve floral foam.


Dense, water absorbent anchor for supporting stems in arrangements.


Supports stems in a grid across the opening of a container. Use white or dark floral tape, depending on the vessel, and household cellophane for glass.


One for cutting sticky things like putty and tape; another for ribbon and paper. Mark the handles with a Sharpie.


Removes thorns and leaves—a must for roses.

“You don’t need to be a pro to make arrangements that make you happy. With a few essential supplies, your inner florist can finally bloom.” –EDDIE ROSS

Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds by Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kocher will be available on September 1, 2015 (Gibbs Smith). Excerpt reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

Photos by Bryan E. McCay