We all know how hard - or painful - it can be to have beautiful flowers in your Home. Living in New York can make this “simple” chore, a challenge. For some people, like our Founder, Fernanda Paronetto, their palms start sweating just with the thought of What, How, Where to buy Flowers. (Don’t get it wrong, our Founder is crazy about flowers….but knows nothing about them.)
Why? Well, lets analyze:
- Everyone living in New York is literally always busy running up and down in the City. It’s pretty easy to forget to water your adorable flowers in the morning or when you get home.
- New York has a cruel Winter that we only survive due to the massive heaters and has a hot, humid Summer that make us sleep practically embraced with the air conditioner. This makes it so hard to keep flowers alive and glistening.
- When you go to a flower shop - in a grocery or market, a boutique flower shop or one of these bigger stores in the Flower District - you never reeeeally know what to buy.
- Mixing and matching your arrangements? Ha! This can be a complicated task for sure, specially when you only know the names of flower like Roses and Lilacs.
Well, this week Fernanda interviewed the world-famous visionary floral artist, Jeff Leatham.
Jeff is currently “the Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, in Paris and as well as the Artistic Director at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, where has been creating a sensation with his floral designs and installations since he first began working with flowers there 17 years ago.
Jeff’s work is a combination of his love for flowers and his passion for design. His creations are bold statements, using shape, color and simplicity to produce a dramatic effect. Breathtaking and unforgettable, Jeff’s flowers and design essentials are always integral to the setting, never merely a backdrop.
Known for his floral installations that are often compared to contemporary art, His continuous collaboration with international luxury brands has allowed him to present his work in several international design expositions around the world. Such Luxury Brand’s as Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bulgari, Swarovski Crystal, Givenchy, Ellie Saab, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Waterford Crystal, Dom Perignon, and Samsung have commissioned Leatham’s design signature style.”
He shared with us a few tips and ideas about which flowers to buy, how to arrange them in your home, what is a cool gift to give someone you love, where he gets his inspirations and much more!
As Cher (Yes! The Singer!) said, and we agree: “Jeff is not a florist, he is a genius.”
“Despite of how touristy or well known this place is, the Flower District (on West 28th Street), is one of the places to go if you love flowers. You can find everything from fresh blooms, to faux flowers and never ending supplies.”
“I’m known as the ‘King of Clean’ and really believe in less is more. The basics of floral design is to separate blooms (ex: Roses to one side and Hydrangea to the other side). People are usually afraid of being judged, so make it clean, simple and chique, never mixing more than 3 types of flowers and never more that 3 monochromatic colors.”
“To gift someone with flowers is to invest in beautiful vases, so have something pretty to put flowers in. Which vases to buy? I always recommend 3 types: cylinder shaped, bubble bowl or a square shaped. Ideally it’s good to know the personality of the Home, but if you don’t know, keep it simple. My house always has white flowers. When I have a party I still go with the white flowers like Rose, Hydrangea, Casablanca Lily and/or Tuberose.”
Take a look at his Vase Collection for Waterford where you’ll find these 3 types of vases and a couple more. Prices vary from $135 - $1,600.
“When talking about ‘Which flowers are more resistant’, it’s hard to say because there are so many external things that can impact this answer. Orchid plants can be a good example, because you can travel and you don’t need to worry about watering them. A good tip is to drop 4 ice cubes and they can take care on their own.”
“When I travel to New York, my inspiration comes from several different sources like the galleries in Chelsea, MoMA, the Gagosian Gallery, the Highline has a great variety of different flowers (even though it can get quite crowded), as does the Botanical Garden in Brooklyn which is gorgeous, the art installations around the City, all the colors spread around NY, the architectural designs are amazing too. Plus, I also get lots of inspiration browsing through the Elle Decoration magazine. It has beautiful homes and amazing flowers. All these decoration/home magazines definitely have great ideas.”
Thank you Jeff for your kind interview and as we've said, we love your fabulous work!
For further information on Jeff's work: www.jeffleatham.com
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Jeff Leatham; Flower District photos: Mzwallace, Maureen Coates at Modecor, Luminous Imaging | Bermuda, Regina Kokoszka for the NYTimes; Waterford; MoMA; Brooklyn, Botanical Garden, HighLine, Via 57 West. If any image is your, please claim it!