IMG_0316

Floral Beards, Wigs and Wonder

Agricultural shows like Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, as well as regional shows, like Brisbane’s EKKA have always included some sort of floral design competition. In addition to prize winning specimens of stunning camellias, roses, and of course the local gigantic pumpkin, a variety of arrangements are submitted, displayed and judged on a a list of criteria.

This years EKKA took the concept of ‘manscaping’ to a whole new level. Instead of removing excess hair, the challenge at yesterday’s EKKA instead was to decorate the beard and head area of a (brave and) a willing participant using a combination of flowers and trees native to Queensland. In addition to exploring creativity, the event was able to shine the light brightly on the gorgeous native flora from the region, which can often be overlooked for imported varieties.

Floral beards
Source : Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Source: Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Source: Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Source: Channel 7 News

The trend has featured at EKKA over the last couple of years and provides an interesting medium to work with. Florists are accustomed to working on intricate floral crowns, floral fascinators, head bands, corsages, neckpieces, buttonholes, even pieces to attach to your clutch bag.

Competitions often provide an opportunity to experiment in ways that we don’t get in our usual business dealings. Over the years I have seen challenges like this where you get to dress a mannequin in flowers, or create wonderful scenes entirely from flowers. It is an incredible to experience to ‘see’ your materials in an entirely new light. I’m reminded of this often when playing with my children. Like when you’re lying on the grass looking at the clouds and seeing shapes and scenes, similarly, my middle child will pick up a coloured leaf on a walk that may have an unusual shape and will see a way she can use it in a piece of art.

I do not anticipate that floral beards are the next big thing. However for the hipster crowd it may provide an interesting and certainly unique way for men to incorporate more florals in their outfits for a special occasion. Just as men began wearing engagement rings a few years ago, we may see some orders for a floral beard adornment for a wedding. Why do the girls get to have all the fun? 😉 Floral expression is something entirely personal and so that means that our designs are guided by what our customer wants.

In the meantime, it gets our creative juices flowing simply thinking about the possibilities. And sometimes, the act of just thinking differently can be the key….

Fwf x

 

Read More

Weeding out the bad wedding trends

The Effects of the Weeding Industry

I know what you are thinking….you think we have made a spelling error title, but I can assure you, it’s not.

The wedding industry is fuelled by fad and fashions, and we as florists are guilty of running with the herd when a trend takes hold, it is a business after all. The question is, are we making short sighted decisions based on profit, perpetuating the problem of glamorising the use of weeds.

What is a weed, anyway?

A weed is generally a term we use to describe ‘a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’.

The reality is, sadly, many of the plants florists use all over Australia, are restricted plants. A restricted plant is a plant that poses a threat to primary industries, the natural environment, livestock, human health and people’s livelihoods. They are invasive plants that need to be managed to ensure that they do not spread to unaffected areas of the state or country.

Cut flowers are often transported large distances before and after sale. This means that the damage restricted plants poses to the environment, rises substantially and so does the cost to the community and the environment in the greater sense.

Pretty pink pampas grass
Pretty pink Pampas Grass Source: Walmart

 

Pampas Grass wedding arbour
Gorgeous wedding arbour featuring Pampas Grass. Source: Hooray Magazine

While the current wedding trends favour Australian Native flowers, many florists are teaming these flowers with noxious weeds such as asparagus fern and pampas grass. Many florist pages I follow (read: drool over) regularly use things like Pampas grass in their gorgeous arbours. The scary thing about Pampas Grass is that each head contains up to 100,000 seeds!  These tiny seeds are easily picked up by the wind and carried great distances. If the plant then becomes established in an area, it takes over and restricts the growth of native plants. Pampas Grass is also a fire hazard.

Cotton bush, also known as Swan pods are also a restricted plant in some states. Here, in Sydney, you will pay top dollar for the lime green balls. Unfortunately the pods contain hundreds of seeds. What the concern is, is that when the floral arrangement is disposed of, those hundreds of seeds will have the opportunity to germinate, and therefore the plant may spread in a far wider sense than if the seeds were carried by wind and rain naturally.

Navy blue or black Privett berry

Another couple of favourites are Privett Berry, and doddavine. Despite being restricted plants, these are hot sellers in the flower market. Whether lime green, or ripened in a deep navy blue, the Privett berry provides a cost effective, and textured choice for bouquets and arrangements. But as you can imagine, when those tiny little berries begin to dry and drop off, they become sprinkles of destruction.

Strangleweed
Strangleweed Source Melbourne and Suburbs Wholesale Florist

Doddavine, which is also known as ‘Strangleweed’ grows everywhere, and in the Australian bush as the name suggests, it strangles everything in it’s path.

There is of course a way you can have your cake, and eat it too, so to speak. If you have your heart set on a restricted species, such as Pampas Grass, you can make sure that you source the product from overseas or that it has been treated by way of irradiation. Some venues and wedding planners may even insist on a treatment certificate to ensure that are able to continue to protect our beautiful environment.

It is certainly going to take some time, and it will be extremely hard to regulate but it seems that a change is coming. Now it’s time for us all to decide if we are going to run with the herd this time…or be left behind.

Fwf x

Read More

IMG_0070

Paper Flower Maker Makes Her Mark on the Industry

As a florist, it goes without saying that I find natural, fresh cut flowers absolutely beautiful. Nature creates the most exquisite intricacies in each flower petal, so that each bloom is stunningly unique. These are the details that we look to exploit when we put an arrangement together; we look at the minute differences and play around with the variations in colour and texture to build an arrangement that is eye catching and exquisite.

Often, our clients also have a vision when they walk through our doors. Perhaps they have a particular bloom in mind, or a specific colour. It is made all the more important when this detail is central to a theme for a party or event….so what is a florist to do if what the client wants is just not available?

IMG_0073
Cetti’s garden roses Picture Credit: The Green Vase

“There is a place for faux flowers today,” says Whitney Robinson, editor in chief of Elle Decor. “They are essentially copies of what you would buy fresh…not everyone has the time or budget to be able to buy fresh consistently. We are entering a new era in faux flowers as well, toward a new generation of paper flowers that takes the artistry to the next level.”

Coleus blooms and foliage are crafted from paper
Cetti creates individual Coleus pieces with gorgeous foliage Picture Credit; The Green Vase

It seems that with our busy lifestyles today, consumers are looking for a way to decorate their homes/offices or events without the maintenance that fresh flowers require. In the last few years many florists and homewares stores have begun stocking larger quantities of faux flowers to keep up with demand. With modern materials and more realistic production, these faux flowers are a very suitable alternative to the real deal. Sure, they do require some dusting and fluffing but they make sense for many spaces.

Some people will still turn their noses up….that is unavoidable, and sure, there are some blooms that look better and more realistic than others, the key is making the right choice for your space. And believe it or not, it is not only the humble working class that are embracing these no fuss, floral alternatives, faux flowers have got some real street cred.

Paper anenomes handmade by Livia Cetti
Handmade paper anenomes by Livia Cetti.
Hibiscus flowers are fragile, so these paper versions are a great alternative for arrangements
Gorgeous paper hibiscus created by Cetti. Michelle Obama used these in arrangements for a Korean State dinner at the White House. Picture Credit; The Green Vase

When Michelle Obama, the then First Lady had tables adorned with hibiscus envisioned for a Korean State dinner, artist Livia Cetti set upon designing exquisite handmade paper ones as the fresh version was far too fragile to be up for the task at the White House. In fact, paper flowers are moonlighting at some of the best addresses, and are being accepted by decorators, designers and influencers around the world. Cetti, once a stylist for Martha Stewart has now written two how-to books on paper flowers. She supplies her paper flowers to some of the high end shops in New York and sells them on her website, with prices starting from $35 per stem (some are priced at $200 a piece!) “People like the fact that paper flowers stay around for a while,” Cetti says. “My objective isn’t to be as realistic as possible; it’s to find the character and feeling of each flower and interpret that.”

Fwf x

Read More

IMG_0059

Celebrity Florist Predicts Floral Trends For 2018

Every florist secretly fantasises about achieving a certain level of success. To reach that level where their work so revered, their reputation for artistry is so reknowned, that celebrities are literally beating down their door to work with them. Few florists will reach this pinnacle, and make it to the elite level that commands this degree of attention and admiration. They are the florists that have the freedom and the budget to create those jaw dropping installations that many of us merely dream of, the ones who created the pictures that we so often have brought in as inspiration at our own floral concept consultations. One florist who has made his way to the top is Jeff Leatham.

I tend to find that when you design too far ahead, you lose the inspiration.

-Jeff Leatham

Using one flower en masse is a way to create drama whilst keeping your fresh flowers simple and chic.
Legendary florist Jeff Leatham was originally a model before landing a job in the florist within the Four Seasons Hotel. Photo credit Four Seasons

His story is quite an interesting one, as becoming a florist was really never in his plan. Leatham was enjoying a career in the modelling industry and had returned from jobs in Milan and Paris looking for some work. Coincidentally, a job was going at a flower shop in the Four Seasons Hotel, and voila, Jeff Leatham took his first steps toward becoming a forward thinking, boundary pushing, exciting and  successful florist.

When Leatham began, he entered the industry making garden bouquets and arrangement much like any florist. Sure, they were beautiful he says, but he wanted to create something different. Speaking to Teen Vogue, Leatham says “…we were creating something, this new style that I created 15 years ago, it was innovative and changed the way people think about flowers. I know that sounds strange, but before I started with flowers, flowers were just pretty garden bouquets and different things. I remember the way I did flowers before, just kind of mixing flowers together and doing just mixed bouquets. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t clean and simple. Then [we started] creating things that are very simple and all one flower in a vase. This whole idea of all one flower in the vase and keeping things really simple and clean and chic. Doing flowers in different ways, wrapped around a vase and bent around like this.”

Use the natural line of a bunch of flowers to create movement in your floral arrangements.
Leatham’ signature style is unmistakeable. He creatively anchors groups of flowers in a variety of cases. Phot credit Popsugar

Leatham’s signature style was exactly that. He followed the rule of 3; never using more than three colour tones (where possible keeping it monocramatic), and never using more than three types of flowers. Leatham’ strongly grouped bundles of flowers, the same flower en masse, were uniquely anchored in vases, creating strong lineal movement, and stunning blocks of colour.

Dramatic blocked colours makes arrangements stand out
Jeff Leatham created eye catching and dramatic colour blocked displays. Photo credit Sperr

Jeff predicts that the trends of 2018 will see a decline in the popular flower wall. He says, “It used to be really cool, and sometimes its still pretty, but I think its just been overdone. Everyone wants a flower wall and no one realizes how expensive they really are.” That is certainly something that we find to be true in retail floristry; budget never quite matches the vision and expectation. Instead, he believes 2018 is going to see flowers dripping from ceilings. This look has started gaining popularity recently, and if his Instagram pics are anything to go by, this trend will continue to gather momentum as the year pushes on.

“Most trends — things that are really popular and what people love — usually happen on accident. It’s either something falls over or I change my mind the last minute. I’m like, “No, take that down and move that over there.” That’s usually how our trends start. It’s just very last-minute. That’s really the way I design. I tend to find that when you design too far ahead, you lose the inspiration.”

Fwf x

Read More

Gorgeous native bouquet by florist flower

People Going WILD For Wildflowers

Trends come and go, and what is deemed ‘current’ will invariably influence the way people create the aesthetic for their wedding day. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, native flower growers are currently struggling to keep up with demand, as the population favours wildflowers for both wedding flowers and for their homes.

It is a far cry from five years ago, when many of these growers were struggling to just keep afloat. Many native flower businesses relied heavily on the sale of dried native bunches, but as China began to produce artificial flowers (a.k.a silk flowers) the interest in dried flowers, well, basically dried up.

Australian natives were given centre stage at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with all bouquets designed to have a strong Australiana feel, featuring some of our beautiful flora. At that time, Australian native production was at its peak. Then, after a tough drought, and a period where the Australian dollar was weak and unstable, production fell dramatically and never quite recovered. The few growers who were left were expected to pick up the slack, which was near impossible.

The current trends for fresh flowers includes a clear market for Australian native flowers, and so called ‘wildflowers’. They provide an interesting variety of textures and colours to work with, and a mixture of often long lasting, large focal blooms and small filler flowers. Florist with Flowers offers a variety of fresh flower arrangements available for Sydney delivery such as our native box arrangement and native bouquet, or alternatively you can speak to one of our wonderfully creative staff about what you can put together yourself.

Australian’s have become accustomed to a huge influx of imported fresh flower products, altered and dyed to be any and every colour in the rainbow….or the entire rainbow in some cases! In their pursuit to create something unique, the result has actually become somewhat predictable. Fresh native flower growers have focussed their energies on growing varieties of flowers that no-one else grows, creating their own niche markets. They have reinvented themselves into boutique businesses with products of real value and quality.

Brides come into floral meetings using descriptive words such as; natural, rustic, raw, quaint, earthy, organic, relaxed, textured…. and native blooms can fulfil their design brief with ease. With the increase in interest in native flora, there is consequently an increase in pressure to produce, and the ABC reports that our suppliers are not keeping up.

Craig Scott, from East Coast Wildflowers, is one such grower. He says that many of the industry head straight to his stall at The Sydney Flower Markets at opening time to see what fresh, new and interesting material he has on offer. He has increased production over the years and has a wide variety of stock on offer at any one time. As florists it is incredibly important to stay inspired and interested. Whether the piece has an unusual texture, or spectacular colour, or has an awesome line; these small differences in material can be the difference between creating something average or awesome.

Craig Scott has also run workshops interstate, and found there is a demand for his product there too. Unfortunately he is unable to get it there, but perhaps this just shows there is a gap in the market, and therefore an opportunity for someone else.

I have always been a fan of various Natives….how about you?

Fwf x

Read More

IMG_0006

2018’s Ultra Cool Colour of The Year

As we begin another year, fresh and filled with promise, for us creatives we also get a glimpse into what the year ahead may look like.  This year Pantone has announced a blue based purple dubbed “Ultra Violet” as the years unique colour. It is a colour that will feature heavily throughout 2018 in all facets of design; clothing, furniture, decorator items, homewares and of course will influence what clients choose to decorate their homes, and lives with.

IMG_0004

IMG_0005

This in turn will influence the bridal industry and will determine the colour palettes we will work with when creating a theme for bridal parties who are dressed in this year’s colour of the year.

Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.

-Pantone

Purple has been a colour for individuality and non conformity for some time. It symbolises experimentation, imagination and enables an individual to truly accept what makes them unique. Ultra Violet has also been a colour associated with the mystic and the mindful. It is often used for lighting in meditation to energise and inspire connection. Ultra Violet is also associated with being intuitive and spiritual. It is exploratory: outwardly as well as inwardly.

Over the years, designers have eagerly awaited the announcement of Pantone’s colour of the year. More recently though, the interest has appeared to spill over to the general public. It is true that we all do take more interest in colour, design and aesthetics nowadays, and perhaps it is as simple as that, however, Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute believes that is has come to mean far more than that.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.” He says.

IMG_0002

For florists purple is a lovely colour to work with. It is a colour that lends itself beautifully to a variety of themes. Create a soft cottage garden affair with a combination of ultra violet, silver, soft pink and whisper whites. It is equally as stunning with deep fushcia and lime green with more of a tropical feel. Or, using a selection of blooms in varying purple tones, create a gorgeous monochromatic design. And when demure is not your vibe, pairing Ultra Violet with her true opposite orange, will create a display that will demand attention. It is clashy, contrasting and unapologetic.

IMG_0003

It isn’t just brides who will want a bit of Ultra Violet in their lives this year: Florists cater to a variety of customers. A vase full of fresh flowers in Ultra Violet by the bed, in the bathroom or in an entranceway can add just the right amount of Pantone’s chosen colour to be ‘on trend’ without having to rush out and change your complete decor. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t even have to be mixed. A vase of fresh flower ‘en masse’ as they say, looks fabulously stylish, and anyone can do it!

Check out some of the gorgeous flowers that are available in Ultra Violet: hyacinth, stock, tulips, kale, sweet peas, anenomes, orchids, iris, asters, carnations, roses, and much much more.

IMG_0009

IMG_0008

IMG_0010

IMG_0012

IMG_0013

So whether purple is your colour or not, we hope to see your faces back in store throughout the year,

Fwf x

Read More

bb cover

Sweet Baby’s Breath

When I started my career in floristry many moons ago, I watched my mentors cringe at the mention of many flowers that I had grown up admiring throughout the 80’s and 90’s. I was new to the industry and of course I was wide eyed and so easily impressed by the artistry that seemed so effortless to them. I was also easily influenced and quickly learnt how to turn my nose up too.

They knew what colours worked together, so while I fumbled through the flower stand daily ‘experimenting’ with different combinations, or following the rules I had learnt via TAFE, they were busy creating colour schemes which were far more sophisticated, and upon first looks, appeared to break all the rules I had been adhering to.

There were blooms that were favoured- premium type blooms that need not beg for attention….as soon as they were unpacked there was a fight on to see who could gobble them up the quickest. The divine garden roses, or peonies were among them, along with anything especially seasonal like daphne, lilac, or lily of the valley, or if something was a particularly unique colour, or especially beautiful quality.

Other flowers were unpacked with an air of distaste and dissatisfaction….flowers that were seen as outdated, or daggy, out of fashion and lacking the finesse that was required in the work we were aiming to create. For someone new to the industry I sometimes couldn’t follow why something was snarled at one week, and adored the next. As time went on and I gained experience in the industry I began to understand how rapidly fashions changed and also how if a beautiful version of something came in, the way it was viewed changed too. What do I mean? Run of the mill Baby’s Breath is a prime example. The standard bunches can look rather ratty BUT a premium variety Gyposophila like ‘Million Stars’ has many more tiny flowers closer together then regular babies breath. The result is that with so many more tiny white blooms along the stems, it looks brighter and seems fuller in appearance.

Baby’s breath lost favour for so many years, but has seen a rise in popularity in recent times. These days though, Baby’s Breath is being used as a feature flower rather than a filler flower being mixed with other flowers in arrangements. Now, premium varieties of the flower are used alone.

Baby’s Breath is soft, delicate, feminine, light weight, white….so it is no surprise that it makes an ideal wedding flower. As it is available with long stems which are branched in appearance, you are able to create wide spread arrangements that are light weight to hold. Large centrepiece arrangements can look impressive, yet still delicate and ‘floaty’, almost cloud-like in appearance.

Baby’s Breath has been a popular addition to weddings over the years, usually with other flowers, but check out the way you can use this simple bloom for weddings and event all alone.

bb 10
Image via Pinterest
bb 1
Image; Flowers by Twisted Willow via Wedding Chicks

bb 2

bb 3
Image; Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
bb 4
Tall centrepieces by Maria from Simply Flowers
bb 9
Image; Bella Blooms Studio via Etsy
bb 5
Image; Elle Pupa via The Wedding Pin
bb 6
Image; Boho Weddings via Thinkstock
bb 7
Image; Pinterest
bb 8
Image; Brooke Courtney via My Wedding

When I began my training, I was told that anyone could make something look beautiful with amazing flowers, but it took someone truly talented to make something beautiful out of ‘ugly’ ingredients. Never underestimate what a good florist can do….

Fwf x

Read More

donut cover

Good Enough to Eat

Traditionally wedding flowers were a unique combination of blooms put together to convey the hopes and dreams for the soon to be married couple’s future.  A red chrysanthemum to say ‘I love you’, orange blossom to show purity, innocence and chastity, an arum lily would convey patience.

Then, wedding bouquets favoured classic blooms, such as the rose, lilies, lisanthus or stephanotis in pure and simple whites. They were often elaborate designs, long and trailing, using delicate feminine blooms.

Fast forward to today and just about anything goes. You can create a theme in pretty much anyway you choose.

Beach wedding? Short wedding dress ✔️  Sandals/thongs/barefoot  ✔️ Macrame backdrop ✔️  Gorgeous fresh tropical blooms.

Winter wedding? Fur bolero ✔️ Moody lighting ✔️ Rich colour tones ✔️ Lots of textured fresh flowers and foliage ✔️ Woodland setting ✔️

Vintage theme? Lace wedding gown ✔️ Muted, antique colour palette ✔️  Gathered bouquet of garden fresh flowers ✔️

But what about if you want to have something truly different? Like wedding bouquets that contain NO FRESH FLOWERS at all!!?? Now, I’m not talking about artificial wedding flower bouquets. I’m talking about doughnut bouquets. Yep. You heard right.

donut 1
Image;BBC via Paige Burgess

Seriously though, this week 23 year old Bride Paige Burgess from Sydney, surprised her 3 bridesmaids with bouquets of doughnuts created by Sydney-based company, Dessert Boxes.  It was certainly a diversion from tradition, and apparently a real talking point at the wedding, but what I find most amazing about this story after going to such an effort to do something so unique…..THE DONUTS WERE LEFT UNEATEN 😭

After getting through the ceremony and reception, with all the gorgeous treats on offer to eat, Burgess told the BBC: “We had plenty of goodies beforehand so we were too full too eat them.”

donut 2
Image; BBC via Paige Burgess
donut 3
Image; SBS via Dessert Boxes
donut 4
Image; SBS via Dessert Boxes

 

Weddings are entirely individual, and many ‘traditions’ that were once seen as essential to a beautiful wedding, are now quite easily substituted to better suit the pair who are aiming to create a memorable day. “We wanted the wedding to be a bit different and really reflect who we are as a couple,” Paige Burgess said of choosing her doughnut bouquets.  Her groom Steve even wore doughnut cuff-links! Dessert Boxes owner,  Samantha Khater says that it was all started as a social media based competition, where Paige was one of thousands of comments. Khater rang a few of the entrants before speaking with Paige and knowing she was the right girl for them. People’s response to the doughnut bouquets has been HUGE with brides-to-be inquiring about the doughnut bouquets which are currently not part of Dessert Boxes standard range.

It is not the first time that we have seen couples play around with traditional wedding details to suit their personalities and tastes. Over the years, many have shunned the traditional wedding (fruit) cake in favour of other popular cake choices. Or the cake has been omitted altogether in favour of a what has been dubbed a “Cheese- Cake”; not the New York baked variety, but instead a tiered display of delicious gourmet cheeses, adorned with fresh and dried fruits. And for several years now we have been able to send chocolate bouquets as gifts.

As a flower lover, I saw fresh flowers as an essential ingredient in my wedding day, but I know that everyone is different, and details I see as important may be insignificant to you. Would you consider edible bouquets for your wedding day?

Fwf x

 

Read More

retro cover

Style Revival- Retro

‘Sooner or later, everything old is new again.’ – Stephen King

You only have to look around to see influences of days gone by and there are many terms that are used for describing design styles from our past; ‘Vintage’, ‘Retro’, ‘Antique’, ‘Mid- Century Modern’, and ‘Art Deco’. As a quick overview; When something is referred to as Antique, this generally means it is more than 100 years old. Vintage pieces are from the 20th century, however are not 100 years old, yet. Mid Century modern is a term than was coined in the 1950’s but covers furniture that was designed in period between 1930’s- 1960’s with functionality key. Art Deco generally refers to 1920-1930’s ornate styling. For many, the terms are confusing, but for the purpose of this piece, whilst much of the furniture that features tends to be mid century modern, we are looking at retro styling broadly. How can we incorporate design ideas anywhere from 1930’s onwards into our modern homes and really harness that decor with the help of fresh flowers and plants.

ret 6
Image via Instagram, Joybird Furniture

‘Retro’ is a pretty generalised term anyhow. It can pretty much cover any outdated furniture/pieces that have come back into favour for a multitude of reasons. Retro can be as personal as you wish it to be, and as kitsch! The term alone often conjours up images of psychedelic wallpaper and drapery for me, velour furniture, and just a bold use of colour.

ret 8
Image; Nous Decor

After WW1 and WW2, people wanted ‘modern’ furniture and homes that lacked the ostentatious finishes that up until then had been standard. The style instead focused on functionality with clean lines, soft curves and the use of a variety of materials (often within one piece to create contrast). You will see a lot of wood teamed with vinyl or leather, or plastic or metal features. Many replica pieces that are found currently feature the turned wood legs that were popular within this style, although it must be noted that the style utilised any and every other material they could, unapologetically and often uncovered (i.e plastic) which had not been done up until that time.

ret 7
Image; West Elm

What I love most about this broad theme is the fearlessness when it comes to colour.  Strong, bright and earthy tones featured, and while neutral colour palettes do exist within this style, and black and white is often used in geometric contrast, typical colours used in this decorating style are; Mustard, Blue, Olive, Burnt Orange, Teal, Red and Chocolate.

ret 2

Mid Century Sofa in Orange http://uoeur.pe/uohomewares #Home #UrbanOutfittersEurope:
Image: Urban Outfitters

The easiest way to use fresh flowers and living plants in this style is by incorporating some sort of plant stand. Turned wood plant stands are incredibly popular and easily sourced at the moment, as are macrame plant hangers. Both perfect examples of retro styling.

Ferns are ideal for hanging baskets if your preference is for something pendulous. Mother in laws tongue, a popular and easy to care fleshy plant often fits well in this style. They require little water and look ‘modern’. Some ceramic vessels or glass vases will sit well in these plant stands and provide an interesting way to display cut fresh flowers too. Try Philodendron or Monsteria Leaves in a vase for simplicity OR, try using vibrant coloured macrame teamed with a vase of contrasting coloured fresh flowers- think Orange, Blue, or Mustard.

 

ret 1
Image; This Little Street featuring a Case Study pot and plant stand via Modernica
ret 4
Image: The Jungalow

ret 5

Have fun!

Fwf x

 

 

 

Read More

coastal home

Style Revival- Coastal

The Coastal look has always been a popular choice for holiday homes but the style has recently seen a rise in its popularity, making it’s way into firmly mainstream decorating as well. It is perhaps not so much a revival (as my title suggests) as a re-appropriation.

In general, Coastal decorating sets to highlight the lifestyle and luxury of beach side living.  Think soft linen furnishings, lime washed or chalk painted furniture pieces, hessian, sisal and jute, recycled glassware, driftwood, shells, candles and ALOT of distressed wood!

beach 3
Image; Sand and Sisal

 

Get the look;

If you want to add touches of this theme to your current decor, it is usually pretty simple, provided you have a fairly neutral base. By choosing your key furniture pieces in neutral tones, you can quickly and easily alter you theme to breathe fresh air into your living spaces. What do they say…. a change is as good as a holiday-  it’s never truer than with this theme; by adding some coastal elements to your home, you might just feel like you have had a short sojourn somewhere exotic.

The easiest way to change a room is by changing your soft furnishings; cushions and lamp shades for a living room for example, or Manchester for your bedroom.

beach 1
Image; Design Seeds

Colours;

Undoubtedly this style features a variety of blues tones paired with white, sometimes with greys, beige or aqua/turqoise highlights.  The result is light and airy, fresh and calm.

beach 6
Image; Better Homes and Gardens
beach 7
Image; Alexandra Rae Design via Homebunch
beach 5
Image; Better Homes and Gardens

How to Use flowers or plants;

Plants are generally pretty undervalued, but they are a favourite in my house, because there is nothing I hate more than cleaning vase water….even after 15 years of floristry (or perhaps especially so). I love this simple idea of planting succulents in a shell home. Succulents do require good drainage so consider a charcoal based potting mix.

To continue with the coastal theme it makes sense to feature tropical foliage such as Ferns, Monsteria, or Anthurium leaves alone in a vase, or with simple white or soft blue flowers; the leafy greens will make the room feel fresh and bright and will not detract from the other elements within. You could use scented Oriental lilies, Hydrangea, Gardenias, Peonies or Roses to add a softness to the room. Despite the theme being coastal, interestingly, it rarely utilises tropical flowers such as Anthuriums or Heliconias, largely because of the basic colour palette, but also as tropical flowers tend to have a more plastic-like texture, and lack the softness and luxury of the more feminine blooms that are favoured.

You could also consider simple decorating ideas such as floating flower heads in a bowl, which is easy for even the least creative person. Lilies are a great choice for this, or Frangipanis are also perfect (but are only available through the warmer months)

beach 2
Image; Indulgy
beach 8
Image: Hello Gem via Yellow 108

Accessories;

Many plain items can be upcycled to easily match this theme- think about adding rope to a basic glass vase, white washing tired wooden furniture, adding sand, shells and starfish to transparent vessels, add a piece of driftwood to your sideboard (and if you are game, create your own air plant and succulent garden in it)

As with any style, Coastal isn’t going to be for everyone, and some homes will not be easily transformed into an Oceanic Oasis. BUT if light and bright, soft and airy is for you- Coastal Chic may be just what you are looking for….

Fwf x

 

 

 

Read More