As we’ve mentioned before, we’re big fans of lifestyle blog Design Lovefest, which seems to attract likeminded creative people the way James Franco attracts art museums. So when the site’s art director and editor Bri Emery invited us to team up for a recent arranging workshop with LA floral designer Kristen Caissie, of Moon Canyon Design Co. we didn’t hesitate. “Generally, when I buy flowers, I just throw them in a vase,” Emery confesses. “So I thought it would be nice to learn techniques that would take my simple arrangements to the next level.” We were so giddy from the Chez Panisse-worthy results (and maybe just a little bit, the free-flowing One Hope champagne), that we asked Caissie to boil down her secrets for loose arrangement for success for our own edification. Take notes on her tips below, and go forth and arrange.
It’s best to choose a vessel that isn’t too tall and has a wide enough opening to allow flowers to have a bit of room to move, fall into place, and stand-up without being too “straight.” The general rule of thumb is to aim for your arrangement to be about double the size of the vase that contains it. I like to use vases that are five-inches-by-five-inches when designing a tabletop arrangement.
I’m a huge fan of incorporating seasonal foliage into any floral arrangement. It helps to to create the organic shape you’re looking to achieve, and serve as a base to support blooms. In summer months I suggest geranium, dusty miller, herbs of any kind, olive, or eucalyptus.
The thing about nature is that it’s never even. When trying to master this look, make sure to design in an asymmetrical shape. I advise thinking about a lopsided triangle, with the highest point of your arrangement being off to the side. I often like to keep the center of my arrangements pretty low with “arms” stretching out.
The palette is up to each designer, but I will say that keeping tones monochromatic (especially as a beginner) can really help you to concentrate on learning about texture and floral groupings. For instance; if you like pinks, try an arrangement incorporating shades of blush, peach, rose, burgundy, and hot pink.
Change the old water in the vase to fresh water everyday and cut the ends of stems on a diagonal. This is the best way to keep those blooms alive longer.
Photos by Wood Note Photography