In Full Bloom
Spruce up your rooms with creative floral arrangements
With saturated colors, rich textures and intoxicating fragrances, flowers delight the senses. Adding flowers to a room provides instant charm, especially given the inspired designs of today’s floral artists.
Forget cut roses barely peeking out from the glass. Forget giant sprays of flowers shoved into upright vases. And definitely forget baby’s breath and tissue-like statis. The current trend in floral arrangements is all about out-of-the-box creations.
An arrangement of orchids, air plants and other greenery artfully set in driftwood is truly a conversation piece. Designed by Remy Greco-Brault, owner of Labellum flower boutique in Bozeman, Montana, this sculptural creation shows her love of “foraging respectfully and ethically in the forest or along riverbeds for awesome driftwood, rocks or anything that has fun textures and shapes.”
Metal frames, stone slabs, wood hexagons, sculptural driftwood and even cowboy boots—these are the makings of contemporary flower culture. The compositions are more organic and less contained. Some florists, like Frannie Major Aura of New Leaf Design in Telluride, are getting even more artistic by “editing the number of varieties for more simple, ikebana-inspired arrangements” (ikebana is the Japanese art form of flower arrangement).
This floral creativity makes for wonderful statement pieces that surprise and enchant—and complement different interiors. Fashionable arrangements can echo a home’s style. Cosmos and ranunculus set in driftwood work in a traditional log home. An orchid stalk sprouting from a pile of smooth stones befits a Zen aesthetic. For rustic cabins, picture Queen Anne’s lace and antlers peeking from a metal bucket. A few calla lilies in a geometric vase go well with the clean lines of modern houses.
Designed by Sarah Schmitz of From the Ground Up, this freeform arrangement incorporates wildflowers. Schmitz likes to mix large and small blooms, assorted textures and abundant greens.
These daring layouts offer more breathing room, highlighting the elements of the arrangement. The focus then becomes the flowers themselves. Sarah Schmitz, of From the Ground Up Flowers in Crested Butte, Colorado, says, “Flowers are arranged to mimic how they would grow naturally in the outdoors.” From unopened buds to big blooms, verdant moss to aspen branches, everything in the arrangement recalls the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world.
Decorating with flowers reminds homeowners of the very reasons they love mountain living. A simple floral arrangement can be a sublime symbol: “Flowers aren’t just flowers—they are the physical representation of a revolutionary experience,” states the website of floral house Lily & Co., in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Indulging in the small sensual feast of fresh flowers is easy. Adding a floral arrangement to any room delivers lovely scents and lively colors. Telluride’s New Leaf Design, which believes in “flowers inside out,” encourages everyone “to enliven your home for daily enjoyment, or special occasions.” Now that creative arrangements are also design statements, bringing in flowers really completes a space.
A deceptively simple arrangement by Labellum uses pink and purple calla lilies in a geometric metal vase, combining sinuous flowers with straight lines for a dramatic effect. The style is “hip, modern and organic,” in keeping with the creative goals of the floral boutique in Bozeman, Montana. It is also a combination of two current trends, as the composition is both flower-forward and artistic.
CREATE A PERSONALIZED ARRANGEMENT:
You can work with what you find just beyond your front door to make a flower arrangement that’s unique to you. Relax by foraging outside and get inspired by arranging what you find.
Knowing what’s local is partly driving the current floral trend. Florists are paying more attention to where they source their flowers. Like the slow food movement, the concept of slow flowers is also gaining traction. “We work with gardeners and farmers in our area during the warmer months in Montana to combine as many vibrant local flowers as possible,” explains Remy Greco-Brault, of Labellum in Bozeman.
You can look for interesting objects to incorporate, such as rocks, feathers, twigs, seedpods and edibles—fruits, vegetables and fungi, for example. While most mountain communities have a short growing season, there are non-flower options available during autumn and winter if you think creatively.
To produce singular seasonal arrangements you can combine apples, nuts, evergreen branches, pine cones and berried twigs. Even cuttings from houseplants or greens from indoor spice gardens can add color and scent. Another alternative is to start a cutting garden of your own “with trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials,” suggests Frannie Major Aura, of New Leaf Designs in Telluride, Colorado.
Telluride’s New Leaf Design incorporates cabbage leaves and seed pods in a white vase. This is a perfect example of the monochromatic, simple arrangements preferred by owner Frannie Major Aura. [Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography