Decorating with orchids is one of the classic centerpiece ideas for weddings and other elegant parties. But don't limit your enjoyment of orchids to special occasions. Despite their finicky reputation, orchids are actually quite easy to care for once you understand their needs. Orchids don't need as much water as some houseplants, and different varieties enjoy different amounts of light and warmth. Examine beautiful orchids at local nurseries and in catalogs to learn about the wide variety that are available. Then you can decorate with orchids with confidence, and experience the charms of their evocative blooms at home, all year round.
The miniature orchid Tolumnia grows no higher than 3 inches. Its startling spotted blooms come in colors like hot red with white and bright pink. Place one in a small ceramic orchid pot with white glaze on the wooden windowsill of a small round in a sunny guest bathroom. Enjoy the sensual crimson blooms of pansy orchids (Miltoniopsis) in a very bright southern windowsill in the bedroom. Arrange 3 in a cluster so that each can set off the other while showing off its individual character.
Tall, white grocery-story variety orchids are no less stunning for being widely available. Place one near your entryway beneath a skylight or near a good southern light source to feel welcomed when you come home every day. If you have a cool bright window in a tiny kitchen, try the miniature Masdevallia variety, which provides small jewel-like blooms of oranges and reds. Place it next to miniature crystal salt and pepper shakers for a sweet tableau. The lady slipper (Paphiopedilum) is a variety of orchid from Asia that is particularly easy to care for at home. With yellow and burgundy striped "lips" and a long "moustache," its blooms bring a smile to a living room side table and look great when flanked by evening cocktails.