So Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and floral shops are getting ready to cash in while restaurants are overflowing with reservations. But how nice would it be to make your own centerpieces and prepare a sumptuous dinner for you and your special someone, right at home? In this 5 part video series entitled, “Pulled Together”, produced by our Coterie member, MaeB Films, you’ll learn how to do all of the above + more.
Here’s part one of the series – Making a Simple Centerpiece by Emily Howard of Phileanor.
After apprenticing with two of the top floral designers in NYC , falling completely and madly in love with flowers and freelancing for nearly two years (in that order), I started Phileanor as an outlet for my own creative expression. I felt that I had something different to offer than those I was learning from and working for simply because I possess a unique set of experiences that inform my way of looking at the world, which would in turn make my creations uniquely mine. I am still defining my voice, but it’s been an incredibly rewarding process so far and I am excitedfor what the future holds in that regard.Going into this project, the only goal I had for my piece of it was that the flowers look good together. I work best with clients that are somewhat flexible in their expectations and who trust that I’ll go the extra mile to make sure they get stunning work. Luckily, the vendors involved in this project were like my dream clients in that they gave me the freedom to select a palette and flower combination that would really have some synergy. Because this was a Valentine’s Day-themed shoot, I had it in my head that the floral palette should be fairly traditional – blush tones with pops of red and pink. But it was all over when I got to the flower market the day before the shoot and stumbled upon the most beautiful variegated Japanese lisianthus I had ever seen. Unable to resist its delicate beauty, I created the color palette around that single flower.You don’t have to be a florist with access to the New York City flower market to create stunning flower arrangements at home. The better supermarkets, like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, usually carry a good variety of high quality flowers. An even better option is your local farmer’s market. If you have some masking tape, sharp scissors or clippers, and an empty vase (you can even use an old jar), you have everything you need to make an arrangement fit for a romantic dinner at home.
- Fill vase 2/3 of the way full with water.
- Put four pieces of tape in the shape of a tic-tac-toe grid over the opening of your vase. Put another piece of tape around the perimeter of the vase opening to secure your grid.
- Start your arrangement by placing your greenery / foliage in the vase, strategically draping them over the rim as you go. The goal is to create “pockets” for the “face flowers” that you will add next. If the stems of your foliage are sturdy enough, this is the step is where you will establish the shape of your arrangement. Take care to avoid a perfectly round, dome shape.
- Create one that is more asymmetrical instead.
- Place your face flowers in the arrangement, nestling some of them down amongst the foliage and leaving some of them high. Face flowers are your bigger, showy blooms; i.e., the ones you really want to show off and make the focus of your arrangement. Group like-flowers in odd numbers throughout the arrangement so as to create a more natural-looking design.
- Add your wispy bits – like the paper-whites and spirea in this arrangement – last. These should hover or float above your face flowers, thereby creating movement.
- Cut all stems at a 45 degree angle or more so as to maximize the surface area for water absorption.
- Remove all foliage that would fall below the water-line before placing your stems in the vase. Your arrangement will last longer if you do.
- Try to avoid placing all of your flowers at the same plane / level. The key is to layer, or to create “orbits” with your arrangement materials.
- Have fun!