Like a beautifully plated dish, a little pop of color and splash of texture naturally create an extra note of polish – and memorability – for any occasion. Heck, these elements can make ‘nothing’ an occasion.
Over the last year in particular there has been a brewing desire for us to add floral design to our menu of à la carte offerings. Of course, we were only too happy to oblige!
After putting out the word to find a like-minded partner, we found our perfect match: LauraJean Pecci of L J Floral + Event Design.
Here’s a peek at why we're so excited to be working with LauraJean, and how you can take a page out of her book to make your next event pop, too.
[Rebecca A. R. Schimmoeller] I’ve heard you use the word curate to describe what you do – I’m a big fan. Can you share more? Why does it best describe what you do?
[LauraJean Pecci] Everything from conception to execution impacts the occasion. You’re reflecting someone else’s dream. So telling a story through natural elements – creating a mood specific to the client, the season and the occasion – ensures a fresh, vibrant, truly organic, one-of-a-kind experience. We believe capturing this story starts from the moment we pluck a single stem at the market. We don’t start a story without finishing it, and we write every chapter along the way.
With such a philosophy, it’s no surprise everything you do is custom. Can you give an example of an event that pushed you creatively to tie in elements, maybe to a corporate or branded event?
Sure thing! You know, there are some great logos with flashy colors that translate super well from a graphic design perspective. But from a natural perspective? That can be tricky. There’s one client of ours that really pushes us to get creative on how we can create a cohesive visual experience. We’ve had a lot of success using tonal colors, and also looking for plants that can accent or enhance their brand’s fluorescent color scheme. It’s a fun challenge!
Are there trends in floral design “the average wo/man” is getting excited about for good reason?
The natural look! The un-tameness, the wildness. Using foliage, different greens or all white for a clean look. Textures are also hugely popular… For me, I love the celebration of how things naturally exist, when the mechanics are free-flowing and loose. Just beautiful.
When clients have the luxury of a high budget allocated for an event, it can be good news/bad news, right? They want to maximize it. But we’re thoughtful in why we make the recommendations we do, so that we’ve designed the entire experience to hit the nail on the head – from flow, to energy, to the variety of wines on offer. Adding another wine tasting station, for example, could actually detract from their goals or the larger guest experience. We’d rather have them invest in other touches to get there. Can you relate?
Absolutely. We have been known to talk a client out of spreading flowers throughout the entire venue. From our perspective, it’s about creating an atmosphere that is noticeable. Often one-of-a-kind focal pieces do that better. When they choose to work with us, they’re also inviting us to reign things in if needed. It’s a responsibility we’re happy to take-on!
Ok, let’s flip it. For someone on a budget, what are your “3 Essential Tricks to Floral Design”?
- Don’t underestimate greens. Celebrate the green moment, if you will. So buy a lot, and a lot of different ones.
- Focus on just 1 or 2 elements you want to showcase. For example, spend a little extra on just one peony or garden rose, then accent that.
- Think outside the box – but keep it clean! Herbs are a great example. Herbs are so healing – that fragrance? You just feel better.
Did you read my mind? (smiling) Food is such an important part of wine experience. I was just going to ask, what’s your take on using herbs, or vegetables like artichokes? Are there other ways you’ve had fun tying in “foodie” elements to a given event?
Hahaha – yes, I use them all the time. I’m obsessed with mint! For the holidays we were using rosemary. But MINT! The color, the texture – it just pops. Last week we actually used broccolini, too – with garden roses and mint. I loved the texture it added. And these elements have real staying power. We also work a lot with fruit. There’s a great range of color possibilities there, too.
Since we’re back on design, I’m curious, what’s the most clever vase you’ve ever seen? Have you been able to repurpose something you wouldn’t have expected, that a client wanted you to integrate to the design? Maybe that was connected to their brand?
Hanging arrangements – flowers coming out of planks or wired around in a freeform style, like a chandelier. Those are fun to create.
But yeah, one time I had a client that wanted me to use a boat.
Like the Island Creek Oyster catering boat?
Yes! Exactly like that. In the end I found a ceramic vessel that was in the shape of a boat. We used that. The arrangement became a succulent garden, with white tulips flowing up and over the edge. It was gorgeous.
If you’d like to see or hear more from LauraJean, check out her website and press page, or make a date to visit her at her brick and mortar shop and design studio, Observatory, outside of Huron Village in Cambridge, MA.