The future of flowers is now, as innovative companies bring a fresh take to an ancient art.
PHOTO BY CARLOS HERNANDEZ AND STYLING BY KELSEY TIMBERLAKE EVENTS
Year-round, lasting roses, vibrant arrangements, unforgettable event designs, and floral art installations are transforming moods and brightening spaces even as the days grow shorter and cooler. These florists are changing the game with designs that capture the delicacy of nature and create an undeniable addition to any space.
Color Theory Design Co. is a Portland, Oregon-based design studio co-owned by Alyssa Lytle and her husband, Brian Hummel. Together, the two offer floral design, event design, floral delivery and even commissioned oil paintings. As a third-generation artist, Lytle handles the creative side of things while her husband manages the marketing and technical portions of the business. “I see Color Theory as being set apart by our holistic design approach — our professional backgrounds in fine art, technology, building and, well, color theory. Between the two of us and our skill sets, we are able to have a unique take on floral design,” says Lytle.
Their stunning arrangements are alive with color and texture and can only truly be experienced in person. From weddings and other events to intricate arrangements and more, Color Theory Design Co. creates an atmosphere as well as an experience with florals. When asked where she draws her inspiration from, Lytle says, “I get inspired by everyday color stories that are easy to miss — a beautiful yellow tree in the fall next to a little chartreuse bungalow in Portland. A rusty bridge with spots of coral and red paint to hide the graffiti at Barton Springs in Austin. Explosions of pear blossoms against the cold gray sky and whitecaps of Lake Michigan right outside the Adler Planetarium.”
Art in the form of flowers and more is only the beginning for Color Theory Design Co. “I would like to expand the design work we do to accommodate the mind and soul in unique ways — retreats and classes … and so much more.”
The co-owners of Rose Box NYC, Inbal Hornik and Dana Dadush, explain that the luxury company “provides the best quality roses that will actually last for a whole year in beautiful and fashionable hat boxes.” Together the two have found a way to pre-serve the fleeting nature of roses. These various rose boxes maintain their beauty for so long that they become a part of a room’s decor if kept in the proper conditions.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF COLOR THEORY DESIGN CO.
Color Theory Design Co. creates an atmosphere as well as an experience with flowers.
“We are so in love with roses and both think that roses are the symbol of beauty. We wanted to create something that would make people happy and make them smile,” says Hornik. The touch of fashion and longevity in the roses pair perfectly to highlight an old-time classic with a contemporary twist.
“The flowers go through a special preservation process with a natural ingredient that allows them to stay fresh for a very long time,” says Dadush, who speaks to the dedication that goes into each rose box. Carefully grown, selected and arranged, the flower boxes speak for themselves in terms of elegance and beauty.
PHOTO COURTESY OF INBAL BAR
Rose Box NYC offers roses that will last a year.
Once the fall foliage fades, fend off the gray with a contemporary arrangement from Sage Flowers. The company is a breath of fresh air among classic florists. Based in South London, the pair of friends responsible for the beautiful shop are as undeniably chic as their arrangements.
Iona Mathieson and Romy St. Clair are the co-founders of Sage Flowers, which stemmed from a lifelong interest in florals from Mathieson. St. Clair says, “Personally, I was desperate to get out of what I was doing (healthcare consultancy) and work with creative/like-minded people.” The two are increasingly inspired by travel and small things from a color palette to a mood.
Their online shop boasts a delicate pink hue paired with a subtle yet rich navy blue to hint at their taste for color and style. Using seasonal and often local sources, the two artists often use dried flowers in tandem with fresh flowers to create texture. Sage Flowers creates modern displays that seem to harness the natural yet ephemeral beauty of flowers.
Working with prominent brands, such as Gucci, Instagram, Marie Claire, Royal Oak & The British Academy, the pair wanted to move away from traditional choices and forms and pull inspiration from all over. “Inspiration comes from anything and everything,” says Mathieson.
An Age-Old Tradition
Floral arrangement appears throughout centuries in cultures from all around the world. Extensive and intricate practices throughout history have transformed and molded contemporary florists today.
According to The History of Flower Art, published on My Modern Met in 2018, during Egypt’s “Age of the Pyramids” there is evidence in carvings/sculptures that flowers — especially the well-known lotus — herbs, and other plants were left in tombs, cherished, and symbolized prosperity. In Medieval Europe, flowers were relished in religious ceremonies. Ancient Greece and Rome began the tradition of wedding bouquets, which fended off negative energy and represented fertility. Throughout the Victorian era, flowers were a means of communication during a time of reserved men and women in high society. Entire books were dedicated to the symbolic meaning of flowers from various species to specific colors. Bouquets of flowers could carry the length of secret conversations.
Romy St. Clair, co-founder of Sage Flowers.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SAGE FLOWERS
Iona Mathieson, co-founder of Sage Flowers.
The pair describes their company as a “design-led, South London-based floral design on paper, but in reality, it’s really a lot more than that. It’s two friends doing what they love and trying to be an active and core part of our communities, be it local or creative.”
This editorial originally appeared in The High End Winter 2019.
The delicate and fleeting beauty of nature has been preserved in Earth’s hardest natural substance resulting in the perfect combination of jewelry and flowers.
Jewelry inspired by flowers is not a new idea, but an enduring concept. When a stunning color or intricate design appears naturally that delicacy is what makes it memorable. Solidifying these two elements creates a unique union of fragility and strength that can last throughout the years. Diamonds, the hardest natural substance, exist far beneath the Earth’s surface for millions of years and the fragile life of a flower only blooms for a short time before it is gone. The perfect balance has been achieved in these pieces.
There’s no longer a need to choose between flowers and diamonds when selecting the perfect gift or adding to a collection. Whether it’s a ring, necklace or brooch these examples are the best of both worlds.
Alex Soldier’s Cornoair Brooch
Alex Soldier offers a multifunctional piece that is an unforgettable representation of nature. “Flower motifs celebrate life in its many beautiful manifestations,” says Alex Soldier, the president of the self-titled company. With the same intricacy found in a flower, the Cornoair Brooch with Mandarin garnet and colored diamonds appears as a work of art that can be cherished throughout the years.
Handmade in New York City, the piece is adaptable and can be worn as a brooch, ring, necklace, or a cuff. Soldier explains that in jewelry design there is “passion in detail.” The brooch is made of 18 karat rose gold and over 800 stones, including light and dark champagne diamonds, chocolate and black bead diamonds, rubies and more.
Photo courtesy of Alex Soldier
The Flower Diamond
The Flower Diamond stands out among other gems because of the flower-shaped inclusion that appears as if it has bloomed in the center of the stone. The pear-shaped, modified brilliant-cut diamond encases a perfectly symmetrical, six-petal flower, making it a natural marvel. Similar to a snowflake, the pattern that appears in the heart of the 3.02 carat diamond is one-of-a-kind.
Originally discovered in the jungles of Minas Gerais, Brazil and recut to showcase the flower shape, the main stone was mounted in a gorgeous, platinum necklace with a total of 32 carats of diamonds. John Humbert, the owner of Sterling Promise Inc. says, “You need to see it with your own eyes to understand how incredible it is. It’s hard to believe it occurred naturally.”
Photo courtesy of Sterling Promise Inc.
The White Gold Flower Ring
“There is something very romantic and beautiful about the simplicity of a flower,” according to Lauren Wolf, the owner/president of Lauren Wolf Jewelry. The White Gold Flower Ring has a 3.18 carat cognac diamond that is speckled with intricate inclusions that adds to the organic quality of the ring. Serving as the petals, are champagne marquis diamonds that are shockingly clear, according to Wolf.
“I’m attracted to the floral motifs from the late Victorian period and the early 20th century,” she says. “The idea that this symbol can carry such a special meaning throughout time is powerful.” The ring generates a sense of imperfect natural beauty that is typical in flowers.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Wolf Jewelry
Gold Astra Brooch With White And Black Diamonds
With the true detail found in a flower and the power of a stunning diamond, the Gold Astra Brooch is an unforgettable union of two iconic symbols. “Aster flowers have long been symbols of enchantment and mysterious allure,” according to Soldier. The 127 stones that make up the piece contribute to the authentic feel and overall romantic allure that Alex Soldier manages to capture.
Photo courtesy of Alex Soldier
Whether it’s using bold colors or finding new ways to embrace the sunshine, here are a few tips to brighten your home in time for summer.
By Alyssa Gautieri
Add Pops of Color
Summer is the perfect time to bring bright colors into your home to create a fresh look. From throw pillows and cozy blankets to candles and vases, there are endless ways to bring new color into a space without a complete renovation. Sunny yellow, water’s edge blue and tropical pink are among the top shades of the summer, according to HGTV.
Swap Out Dark Curtains
Embracing natural light is important year-round, but it is especially important for homeowners in the summer. Natural sunlight creates a brighter and lighter feel, which parallels the ambiance of summer. Dark curtains trap natural light from entering a room, which can make a space feel dark and cold. Meanwhile sheer, bright-colored curtains help to bring the outdoors in.
Don’t Fear Floral
Although floral patterns have been around forever, they never seem to go out of style. Whether hoping for a vintage feel or a modern look, bring personality into your home with new curtains, a rug or tablecloth. If you’re feeling bold, a floral chair or lampshade can completely transform a room. While floral prints may seem intimidating, Real Simple reminds us not to be afraid to mix floral with floral.
Get Creative with Mirrors
In addition to their obvious function, mirrors can help to prepare your home for summer. Using mirrors creatively in your home can help to capture light and project it into dark corners. Depending on the angle and placement, mirrors can create illusions to make a space feel bigger and brighter, according to Country Living.
Embrace Plant Life
Whether living or faux, greenery and flowers bring life into any space. Resembling the outdoors in the summer, the bright yet soothing greens, pinks and purples of plant life can bring a summer-like feeling into your home.
This hand-carved wood log filled with silk succulents and cactus, by T&C Floral Company and priced at $625, is the perfect addition to any living area.
Photos courtesy of Neiman Marcus
To welcome the season of romance, we spoke with Blogger Olivia Parazine to learn the secrets behind Valentine’s Day décor.
By Alyssa Gautieri
Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, but it’s not too late to heighten the romance in your home this Valentine’s Day with fresh roses, heart-shaped frames or fluffy pillows. Floral paintings, vintage dishes or pastel-colored linens also emanate feelings of love and warmth.
Olivia Parazine, a creative floral artist and blogger for Olivia’s Romantic Home, prides herself on creating a romantic mood within her home year round, she definitely knows how to step up her game during the season of love.
How can home décor bring romance into your home?
I have used a mix of vintage pieces, roses, soft linens and pastels in my home décor for years to create a romantic feeling in my home. In addition, I like to use soft pillows, blankets and linens to make my family feel warm and cozy.
How do you elevate the romance in your home come Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s day is the perfect romantic holiday to showcase a romantic home. To elevate the romantic feeling of my home during Valentine’s Day, I bring out my vintage cherubs, heart pillows, pink rose dishes and rose florals. I also sprinkle in pale pink touches with fancy faux pink cakes, candles and chocolate hearts for treats.
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day décor pieces?
My absolute favorite décor pieces to use during Valentine’s day are vintage cherub accent pieces. Bringing in the old vintage cherubs remind me of how romantic love gets better with age. Vintage hearts and bridal pieces are also lovely items to incorporate. I also love to frame my favorite family photos in heart scrolly heart frames.
What colors pair best with Valentine’s Day décor?
My favorite colors to incorporate into my home to give it a romantic feel are pastels, especially pink, green and purples.
How do you use flowers throughout your home?
Roses are above and beyond romantic, and I like to accent every room in my home with rose florals and antique rose paintings.