Flowers with a function: lilies

You thought lilies were limited to classical interiors? No way! These flowers are perfect for the latest trend in interior design: the industrial look. And not just because they create a special contrast with their unpolished surroundings, but mostly because they are functional.

Functional advantages

At the heart of the industrial style is an unpolished, unfinished look that features functional elements. Lilies might not seem appropriate here, but flowers actually have functional advantages. Research has shown that they aren’t just beautiful – they also have a substantial impact on cheering us up (although we’re unaware of the reason) and make our negative emotions fly out the window. And that’s a good thing, right?


An industrial interior contains little, but the functional items in it have big shapes: a big kitchen has big lamps and big flowers. Several varieties of lilies produce big flowers; they can easily reach a diameter the size of a basketball or even larger. And some varieties reach a height of 6 to 9 feet with ease! Lilies are a match made in heaven for a bold unpolished environment.


A lily has a vase life of around 10 to 14 days. If you want to enjoy these functional flowers as long as possible, here are some tips to follow:

  • Trim about 2 inches from the stems, cutting them at an angle, and remove the leaves that would otherwise be below the level of the water in the vase.
  • Fill a clean vase with fresh water.
  • Make sure that no debris such as leaves are in the water.
  • Put the lilies in a place that receives light but is not in full sun. (Bright sunlight will wilt the flowers faster.)
  • Give the lilies fresh water every 3 to 4 days.
  • Before placing the lilies into the fresh water, trim an extra ½ inch from the stems, cutting them at an angle. This way, the stems won’t become clogged and can still absorb water.


  • Did you know that some lilies have little or no fragrance? If you don’t care for the scent of lilies, your best bet would be the Asiatic, LA or double-flowering lilies.
  • If you get some pollen on your clothing, don’t rub at it with a tissue. You can get rid of the spot by blowing on it, using a dry brush, letting it dry in the sun, or going over it with some adhesive tape.