Monday, May 25, 2009

Styling Flowers 101

As a florist, I am hard wired to zero in on the flowers of any interiors photo shoot. It can be a hit or miss in getting the flowers right. One way for me to determine whether the flowers rock it or not is to ask myself two questions:

Were the flowers an afterthought? As in "Damn, we need flowers. Quick somebody, corner store, grab something...anything!".

Or, did they actually consider the flowers as part of the whole interior ? As in, look at that luscious bowl of blowsy, almost expired tumble of garden roses, clipped from an equally fabulous garden moments before......even if they don't have a fabulous garden.

As we all's all about the fantasy..... the idealised interior.

The best idealised interiors display the simplest, most appropriate flowers. Whether it's classic, traditional or modern, the flowers fit.

A sampling of my favourite flower stylings and why.

.....because Jeff Leatham is brilliant.
The poppies complete the room.... give it life.
It has a 17th century painterly feel. Absolutely gorgeous!

.....another Jeff Leatham. Note the Philippe
Starck ghost chair. But the flowers are so Elizabethan.
And you know the house is in east end London. This is very cool.

.....because it's the Upper East side, it's Mayfair,
it's nouveau riche Los Angeles.
In other words, it's very chic,
and so are the flowers !

Same apartment, but the the naturalness of the arrangement
tells me they have a great florist. It's simply beautiful and works in
this retro contemporary style. Plus, I love bowl shaped urns.

.....because it's design icon Terence Conran in his office at home in the shires. I love that Terence has a bouquet of roses on his desk in his very modern study. I'm convinced they reflect his taste, because I feel that he would never have something on his desk he didn't think was beautiful and lovely. And I bet they've been clipped from his fabulous garden.

.....because I think this is amazing. They've taken some ivy
vines and invoked a very romantic, creative vibe to this room
without artifice. It's perfect ! Don't you want to be there and
meet the other guests ?

My favourite interiors mags who get it right most times include;
ElleDeco, ElleDecor, Canadian House and Home, Australia Vogue Living, Veranda, World of Interiors, and recently House Beautiful (my newest addiction courtesy of my good friend Stephanie over at EyeSpyStyle) and not to be forgotten, the late, very missed (US) House and Garden.

Lastly, my favourite books that get it right come from some brilliant florists and interior designers.

Flowers say a lot about your taste and style.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Flower whimsy

You are on your way to the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao when suddenly you're distracted......

Tell me you're not smiling yet .....

Puppy predominates the front of Frank Gehry's 
iconic museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Puppy stands at thirty six feet tall ! 
And is covered in thousands of flowers.

The Guggengeim Puppy is heir to a long tradition of topiary sculpture. While he may seem silly in our so called sophisticated age, he is in fact steeped in antiquity. Geometrical and animal shaped compositions of boxwood and coniferous trees have been around for a very long time. 

And... apparently topiary is having a fashion moment .....

Well then....I think I might...hmmm...the garden does need work.....hmmm...................

Maybe not.

 Jeff Koons, crazy, wonderful, post pop artist.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Paradise Found......

Every year at this time I look out to our unruly, very urban, but spacious backyard, and fantasize about how wonderful it would be to have a seriously soulful garden. As it stands, the garden needs work (lots of) and when we do get around to fixing it up it will have to be appropriate to our modest postwar bungalow style.

My fantasy garden however, would be oh so slightly disheveled, but filled with oodles of charm. It would be sophisticated and elegant. It would have a past, told through the elements that occupy it. In fact, it wouldn't be a garden in the proper sense at all, but rather a refuge from big city life.

I do love formal gardens, particularly the Italian and French styles, and I also adore English cottage gardens. However, I would relish a space that revealed its' own story... slowly... seductively... quietly.

Rebecca Cole, an urban gardener and florist living in New York City, published a book about nine years ago that captured that image perfectly for me.

Paradise Found...Gardening in Unlikely Places is a book about creating your own little Eden in the midst of urban chaos.

I wanted to share some of those images with you.....

I'm loving the vintage 1940's garden chairs, Parisian style table and the potted plants.

Check out the old fashioned swing found in Paris. And isn't the chandelier exquisite ?

How romantic... dappled sunlight seeping through a back lane somewhere in the West Village NYC

Care to join me for a glass of chablis ?

Happy gardening .........


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