Contemporary flowers are being increasingly used in hotels and businesses by adding opulence to foyers in the most fashionable designs and arrangements. Large vibrant tropical flowers and spiky foliages create an impressive eye catching display. The taller sunflowers that may be overwhelming in a small home can be used on their own or mixed with tropical flowers in a dazzling contrasting color such as the deep red of the heart_shaped antirrhinum to provide a feast of color to the eyes.
Western style arrangements typically consist of a free form assemblage of flowers in a container. In contrast, Ikebana is more of a disciplined form of art, governed by well_defined rules, principles and techniques. For example, certain precepts regulate elements like the light and the shadows. There is also what is known as the three points of balance _ shin_fuku_tai in Japanese _ which symbolize man, heaven and earth, respectively, and that have to be in harmonious equilibrium in order to give true life to an Ikebana flower arrangement. This and the fact that stems and branches are used in addition to flowers, are perhaps the most obvious differences with western_style flower arrangement.