by Marisa Marcantonio

Photos courtesy of Potter Books
Flower arranging can be quick and easy if you use what you've got. In Carlos Mota's new book, Flowers Chic and Cheap, he shows how you can bring together eclectic elements and deli flowers to make a stylish statement. Whatever the season, fresh flowers are easy to access.
Carlos is fun and fearless-- it must be that Latin blood! He tapped style arbiter and interior designer Rita Konig to write the book, breaking down the arrangements into easy to digest chapters: Less is More, More is More, Brancholina showing how to use tree branches dramatically, and High and Low, using Chinese takeout containers and teacups as his muse. Rita's writing captures Carlos and his elated take on style and fresh flowers. Cheap is not a Carlos word, chic is usually a Carlos word. After working with him on a few Oprah at Home shoots, I soon learned fabulous is another Carlos word, and that every arrangement he styles is beyond. His clever, colorful and fun take on arranging (quickly) with a twist is covered in a not- so- serious tone you will just love.

Never underestimate the power of a one. A single bloom like this perfect peony has a lot to say.

Take a classic orchid and use an unexpected material as a pot. Ostrich eggs at an elegant touch with moss tucked into the opening.

Beautiful process shots by William Waldron show the elements and how they all come together.

As a charming added bonus, proverbs and poetry relating to the beauty of flowers are peppered throughout the book.

A favorite...
When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one and a lily with the other.
-Chinese Proverb