The Japanese have an innate sense of style in the arts, architecture, interior design and especially in their attitude to flowers and plants within the home. Until now, in the West we haven't explored ikebana, the ancient art of arranging plant material, in any great depth. With the trend towards pared-down, simple rooms, now is the time to discover how its sculptural style can complement contemporary interiors. 'Ikebana' is much more than simply flower arranging. Over the centuries, Japanese masters have developed precise rules that take into consideration the natural shapes and lines of plants, the space around them and the best way of displaying them. In Japan, ikebana is practised by millions of people as a relaxing art form and is even part of the school curriculum. Diane Norman is a master of the Ohara School, which is known for its modern interpretation of traditional styles. Michelle Cornell has an art history background, and together they have written a book that brings ikebana into the twenty-first century, explaining how its sculptural qualities and calm creative techniques are perfectly suited to today's interiors, as well as being an ideal antidote to the stresses of modern living. After a brief history of ikebana, the book guides you through the basic techniques needed to create your own arrangements. Then a selection of arrangements illustrates the importance of the changing seasons in choosing plant material, while fantastic free-style designs show how ikebana can echo specific details of an interior.