One of life’s simple pleasures is picking out a $4.99 flower bouquet from Trader Joe’s. But whenever I bring one home, the flowers lose their luster. The petals wilt, the stems droop and the entire arrangement looks crowded. Thankfully, my friend (and stylist) Kendra Smoot agreed to share five ways to kick supermarket flowers up a notch…

How to arrange grocery store flowers by Kendra Smoot

1. Turn your roses. “My favorite Instagram florists — like brrch or wildfolk — employ this technique. Peel off the outer dry petals and then turn a few petals to create this delicate and elegant shape. You can also remove all but the highest two to three leaves for an even simpler look.”

How to arrange grocery store flowers by Kendra Smoot

2. Get creative with your vases. “A few unconventional vessels make even baby’s breath look special. Thrifted ceramics, a cool wine bottle and handmade pottery all make great containers. Wolves Within, Melanie Abrantes and General Store have pretty selections, too.”

How to arrange grocery store flowers, by Kendra Smoot

3. Create a dinner table centerpiece. “Remove a handful of leaves and petals from your bouquet. Layer the individual stems down the center of the table, alternating direction (think toe to nose). Then sprinkle the extra petals and leaves over the stems to create width and depth. I love the idea of waking up the morning after a dinner party to find a table strewn with empty wine bottles, wilted flowers and the memory of good conversation.”

How to arrange grocery store flowers by Kendra Smoot

4. Think outside the bouquet. “Try using flowers as party place settings or gift toppers. Regular flowers also get an upgrade when you mix in a sprig of something wild. Do a little foraging — don’t be sneaky and cut your neighbor’s prized roses — but a wild weed from a vacant lot can add a bit of poetry to a conventionally grown flower.”

How to arrange grocery store flowers by Kendra Smoot

5. Stick to a palette. “Consider buying a few bunches of flowers in the same color family. I like to mix something droopy, like tulips, with something stiffer, like lilacs. Remove any leaves that will be below the water line. (To feel like a professional florist, say you are ‘processing’ your flowers.)”

Kendra Smoot

Do you have any tips and tricks to add? Thank you so much, Kendra!

P.S. Three more ways to arrange supermarket flowers, and the prettiest spring nail polish.

(Photos and styling by Kendra Smoot. Tall purple vase by Judy Jackson. Small purple vase by Heath Ceramics. Baby’s breath vase from Jayson Home.)