I had the complete pleasure of creating flowers for a party at the Marion Davies Guest House in Santa Monica a few weeks ago. The clients had eloped several months earlier and wanted a party to celebrate with their friends and family. In coming up with the overall design aesthetic I worked closely with the Bride and her mother, and they were definitely two of my favorite clients. They both were so much fun to work with and trusted in my ability to make them something beautiful - which is a wonderful feeling and allows for greater freedom in what I do. The main direction I was given was that the Bride wanted a palette of fresh, summer colors, and wanted them to be lush and beautiful. Nuf' said... The Bride's mother wanted to incorporate a Deco feel because of the history of the house, and she and I had a great time collaborating on what that would look like.
Because of my background in interior design, I loved this project even more. The Marion Davies Guest House in Santa Monica is SOO beautiful. Exactly what I want in a house of my own. Classic and timeless with gorgeous architectural details, open floor plan - given the time it was built, and lots of molding and wood paneling. You can check out more details on the house here. It's part of the Annenberg Community Beach House and is such a prime location for events. I also loved working with Gigi, the venue coordinator. She was a dream to work with and made install and strike seamless.
This was the grand arrangement for the Dining Room. Most of the containers I used were from my collection of etched mercury glass, except for one and I'll point that out. The flowers used for the large arrangement were dinner plate dahlias, African marigolds, pee gee hydrangeas, maidenhair fern, bay branches, and two types of berries that I'm not sure of their names. The tall branches had lethal 2-3" thorns on them and were called "cottoneaster" and the smaller, more abundant berries, were called a "fruiting olive".
The Living Room mantle was an important design feature for both the Bride and her mother. They wanted to have a real conversation piece that had the deco feel we were trying to incorporate. We went back and forth with a few ideas, but when the Bride's mother mentioned including pineapples because of their meaning of "welcome and hospitality", I thought a "still life of sorts" (exact words from our emails, lol) would be a great addition with flowers on the mantle. The clients loved the idea and let me go for it. I used pineapples, grapes, oranges, lemons, limes, pears, and figs. I also used marigold heads along with the fruit. The Bride also wanted lots of candle light, so I filled in that amazing fireplace with hurricanes, and put a few more along with mercury glass votives on top of the mantle.
I also went out to my favorite rose vendor, Rose Lane Farms, in North Hollywood, because I really wanted to use old fashioned English garden roses for this event. Lynne, the owner, cut me special varieties in creams, whites, and golden yellows. I also used coral mini amaryllis and maidenhair fern in this low arrangement. The vase is from the 1940's and was a wedding gift to my grandmother. I thought it fit in perfectly with the aesthetic and I knew where it was going to be placed (up high and out of the way), the type of party it was going to be, and that the vase would be in safe hands - so I felt comfortable incorporating it into the still life. I love being able to occasionally use pieces from my families past that have such history.
I did a low centerpiece for the coffee table in the Living Room. It includes dinner plate dahlias, garden roses, spray roses, pee gee hydrangea, fruiting olive, bay leaves, and a few marigolds. I've recently made the official decision that I'm going to tape all my low, wide mouthed, containers. I'm tired of reconstructing arrangements on site and not being able to get the original design back that I spent so much time on originally. So, if anyone is wavering, I say go for stabilizing... There's only so much time to fluff on site. ;-)
Ugh, that fireplace... I have to have something like that in my future. It's just so beautiful. I'm totally smitten with those caryatids.
I did one final small arrangement for the side table where the desserts were going to be placed. I used one of my favorite etched mercury glass containers for this piece. Some day I'll be a little less enthused by mercury glass, but right now I can't get enough of it.
So I know I said I would be posting every week and I'm two weeks late with this post. Lol... It's been crazy around here with the end of the major wedding season. I have one more December wedding and hopefully holiday parties, but I'll be much more on top of emails, posting, etc. I have so much material to share that I'm excited to get it all out there. So, here's to best efforts and most likely a post every week. But to my 2013 brides, I'll be on top of emails by the end of the weekend!