Assuming you already have a vase and access to the outside, this tip could actually be a no-cost decorating idea: Use branches to make a big impact.
Look how great these pussy willow branches look in a glass cylinder in a room at right from Better Homes and Gardens.
This makes a huge focal point in the room. And what’s so fun about the idea is that you can use it all year long.
These spring branches will last quite awhile as long as the water is fresh and the buds will probably even open.
Months later you can bring in pretty leaf-covered branches from Japanese maples or a tri-colored beech. And in the winter, you can fill a cylinder or vase with bare branches for an even more striking look.
When I needed a way to fill out the wall above my mantel – a place where I had hung an art collage – I cut a branch from a dying Japanese maple in my backyard and put it in the wooden vase at right.
It was the perfect touch and didn’t cost me a cent – although it did take me awhile to get something that was just the right size and shape. I liked the way this branch had some curve in the main stem so that it seemed almost to point toward the art.
I also love the way interior designer Kimberly Rider used branches in a vase as the single, simple decor for the mantel in the gorgeous room below. It's so simple but so striking.
The photo is by Matthew Carden.
I also like the use of the branches in the room below, which was designed for Olympic paints.
The vase really softens up a room that has a strong color on the wall.
Finally, I loved the look of both the spaces below.
I love the way the small stem below is just tucked into an old bottle while the leaves are allowed to brown and age. And then at the lower right (photo from Light Locations) is a jar filled – not with branches, I realize – but with tall grasses. So pretty!