Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Decorating

It's time to remember those heirloom treasures you’ll soon be unpacking...with some forethought they can be incorporated into a fabulous holiday look that unites your home inside and out. I’m about the embark on just such a project, it’s one I look forward to each year in Belle Haven, CT. Have a look at how I mix some of my favorite greens and dried leaves and ribbons with my client’s cherished ornaments for a look that is fresh, cohesive and personal. I dare you to enter this beautiful home and not feel welcome! Consider placing a fresh wreath on a blank wall or in front of a window. A double-sided balsam wreath --plain or set off with a bow-- will do the trick... but for something that’s a little more originalI wove lime-colored ribbon through the wreath and embellished it with pinecones.
Here I mixed fresh bay leaves, fresh seeded eucalyptus and limes:
If your home boasts a sizable staircase, it can be dressed in greens to become a major focal point. I have worked with faux garlands and decorated them with pinecones and ribbon. But a favorite recent garland called for cedar, Douglas fir and magnolia. I tucked a fabric ornament into the greens at the landing in a large bow.
and the closeup:
Hall mirrors and mantels are also important. I coordinate the materials but also look to use objects from a client’s personal holiday collections. Do you have a nutcrackers, holiday globes, reindeer or santas that you’d like to display? Or would you prefer a garland of faux fruits?
On this mantel I’ve mixed fresh magnolia (or douglas fir) (place in mini-troughs of oasis to ensure they will stay fresh for the entire season).

One more idea for mantel décor: swag a garland of cedar and Douglas fir, accented with fresh bay leaves, fresh seeded eucalyptus and limes in front of the mantel.
There many ways ways to dress up your house at this time of year – and I’d love to help you create something magical.
All photos by Kathy DiGiovanna

Monday, November 18, 2013

Vegetable Centerpieces

With Thanksgiving approaching, consider designing a centerpiece with a variety of vegetables...or vegetables mixed with seasonal flowers for your harvest table. 
It's fun to play with shapes, colors and textures...whether it's mixing eggplants with peppers, leeks, turnips, radishes and Brussel sprouts...or possibly adding seasonal flowers.

The arrangements (below) were created at the St. John's Food Festival (Washington, CT) a demonstration. They were sold as they were completed.

Custom arrangements (below) were designed for the Washington Garden Club (Washington, CT) for their opening party for the Pick of the Crop event. The entry table featured an abundance of local vegetables... after the party; these were the main ingredients for a delicious soup.

Recently at Winvian, NOFA held a fund raising party. This large arrangement of local vegetables (donated by the Wild Carrot Farm in Bantam) was sold in the silent auction.

Vegetable arrangements never fail to charm guests. They are a welcome touch at country weddings, farm to table dinners, as well as at the bounteous Thanksgiving table.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ribbons Complement Floral Designs

Ribbons are important accessories for a floral designer, and like a custom broach on that little black dress can elevate the tone of any occasion – and move it from exceptional to extraordinary.

Over my years in the business I have literally scoured the landscape to amass a collection of ribbons that most designers would envy.  Black tie or country wedding – no problem.  Unusual palette?  I am confident I’ve got just the right ribbon to match in hue and intensity.

These are some of the wonderful ribbons I’ve used in recent weddings.  They function beautifully as links connecting bridal and bridesmaid’s bouquets and boutonnieres.

I often fashion pew posies and streamers.

Talk about eye candy.  I love helping my clients work on these finishing touches. See how gorgeous satin overlaid with organza looks!

Photos by Corinne Torkelson

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Orange, Orange, Orange

For exuberant flower lovers, orange is a real crowd pleaser.  A number of my clients are opting for shades of orange, in monochromatic or strongly contrasting floral arrangements for a number of striking effects.  Here are some centerpieces that will catch your eye:
These flowers are truly sumptuous… for centerpieces as well as bridal bouquets and aisle chair posies:
Orange, grey and white flowers, by the way, is one of this year’s favorite mixes…But orange is also spectacular with purple, chartreuse or hot pink.

Recently I created the floral designs for a party at the Washington Club.  Party Coordinator, Dana Schulman selected orange colored tablecloths and it was my job to come up with a creative idea for the centerpieces.  I selected pincushion flowers mixed with an abundance of grevillia…arranged in birch bark containers.  The flowers matched the tablecloths perfectly and the fringy grevillia conjured a woodsy feel.  I decorated the shelves mounted on the surrounding walls with swags of dried bay leaves and birch bark of varied shapes and sizes.  Tables and shelves were backlit with pretty glass votives.  I left feeling quite sure that in this setting the guests would soon be engaged in lively conversation.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Veggies in Table Arrangements and Bouquets

Maybe it’s because I care passionately about locally grown organic food, but I love to incorporate beautiful fruits and vegetables in my arrangements. Talk about sensory pleasure – and a chance to delve into the flower district as well as my favorite farmer’s markets. And now that the growing season is upon us, how about considering a mix of these elements for that upcoming wedding or special dinner party?

I’ve come up with many combinations throughout he years, but here are a few recent favorites: Tiers of eggplant, onions squash, peppers, scallions, leeks and peppers -- gustatory cornucopias –set the tone for a memorable summer dinner party.

A hollowed out watermelon was used as the base for this centerpiece of roses, viburnum and okara orchids.

Peppers worked wonderfully with min-sunflowers, zinnias and asters for a country wedding.

Restricted to a palette of green and peach, I made this sherbet-worthy confection of apples, oranges, pears, hypericum berries, roses and dahlias.

For a “Pick of the Crop" evening not too long ago I turned to the Battle Hill Forge nearby for the distinctive metal objects that would work with an arrangement of a remarkable squash nestled in a hollowed out pumpkin. I used a Battle Hill Forge tuteur to display a clematis and scattered an assortment of stunning vegetables on the table to complete the look.

I love putting the spotlight on the best fruits, flowers and vegetables available. To my mind they are some of the best things each season has to offer.