Thinking of jazzing up your home for the holidays? If you’ve got something special planned, take it from ordinary to extraordinary with a quick visit to your florist.
“Any time you want to make an impression, it’s best to use a designer,” says Arthur Williams, “the everyday stuff anyone can do, like putting tulips in a vase or using just one type of flower.” But if the event is important, you need an artist who knows the secrets of long-lasting displays so beautiful they’re show stoppers.
Three members of the Floral Association of the Rockies share their tips for making your home a place you love to be.
Florist: Arthur Williams, Babylon Floral Design, Inc. 1223 East 17th Ave., Denver.
Details: Williams, a Certified Professional Florist, has always had a talent for design. “He was born with it,” says his mom, Rose Mary Williams, who lends a hand doing accounting, “it’s in his head and in his hands.” Because he’s independent – not affiliated with national wire florists – every design he does is a custom work, never the same arrangement twice.
What’s hot: Most people ask for traditional colors but want unique displays, so Williams mixes tropicals with holiday greens to update old-fashioned designs. Blending celosia and protea into a centerpiece of holly and juniper, Williams spoke of the trend for matching flowers to home décor.
“People bring in their own vases and say ‘here are the colors of the room, can you match that?’ I shop material every day so if there’s a type of flower I need I can get it quickly.”
Florists: Teresa Henry and Jerrica Park, co-owners of Boulder Blooms, 2935 Baseline Rd., Suite 103, Boulder.
Details: At this 2009 EcoCycle Zero Waste Award winning shop, there’s more to being green than their flowers. Recycling packing materials, composting clippings, and encouraging customers to bring back vases for reuse are ways in which they’re eco-friendly.
Park’s contemporary flair and Henry’s Euro-influences compliment each other, resulting in creations that run from natural to cutting edge styles, perfect for eclectic University of Colorado clientele. Younger customers put their own stamp on sending flowers, said Park, preferring them for occasions with personal meaning instead of major events. “They’re more apt to send ‘I’m sorry you got in a car accident,’ or ‘I’m sorry you broke up with your boyfriend,’ things,” (“I’m sorry I stuck my gum to the back of your neck when I kissed you,” was the staff favorite).
What’s hot: Filling containers with fresh-cut greens and other plants, such as seeded eucalyptus, roses, or mums. Any container will do, but because a green block of foam keeps the display fresh, clear glass isn’t as appealing.
Florist: Sandi Yoshihara Sniff, Lafayette Florist, 600 S. Public Rd., Louisville.
The details: The third generation florist is proud to work in the shop where she grew up. “I mostly learned from my mom,” says Sniff, “now my daughter, Leilani, works here in sales. She does some design too.”
Working with clients to make them happy is what Sniff enjoys most about her job, adjusting her arrangements to fit each personality like a glove. Custom pieces are the shop’s specialty, from small, basic designs to larger, dramatic displays.
What’s hot: Bringing the outdoors in is very popular, so Sniff works to create a natural feel with evergreens, driftwood, pods, and pine cones. The materials are given stunning elegance with the addition of orchids, lilies, and poinsettia cuttings, a challenge few florists work with.
Because florists get their material almost daily, the bouquets you buy last a long time. “It’s an art,” says Sniff, “we all study it as artists – color, line, texture and form.” Hiring them is like hiring a chef to prepare your meals: you could do it yourself but they make it spectacular.