Monday, March 10, 2008

Shop Friend: Natalie Bowen Floral Design

What an absolute delight it is to introduce floral designer Natalie Bowen to Shop Friends today! Natalie is based in San Francisco, but she works in many different locales and I am amazed at how chic and personal her design sense is to her wedding and event clients.

Natalie, how would you describe your floral design style?

My floral design style is seasonal, structured and organic. I love using seasonal branches in my designs because just the natural shape of the branch can make such a statement. I like arrangements that have form, movement and a deliberate shape while still being approachable and not stark and overly modern.

What should every bride bring in to you or a floral designer on their initial visit?
I ask all my clients to bring any photo or magazine swatches that they have found of flowers or overall looks that they like. Even if the photo isn't of flowers the image can still clearly give me an idea of the aesthetic they are going for. I am creating such a visual piece that communicating in photos can be so helpful. I also find that most people do not know flowers well and do not have a vocabulary to describe what they want in their floral arrangements. By showing photos they can relay what they are imagining even better than with words.

The design for the anniversary party at the Foreign Cinema was so fresh, contemporary and personal. Can you share a little with us on the details and inspiration behind that?
The chef/owner for Foreign Cinema asked me to do flowers in a "green" theme. The party was at the beginning of the blast off of the green movement and because the restaurant has such a successful green waste and recycling program they wanted to celebrate that with a green theme. I loved the challenge of doing flowers in an all green color spectrum and had fun with using non-flower green life to decorate. The wheat grass boxes were a hit and I have used that concept again for an easter layout. They client had asked me to soften the already modern and hard environment with more natural and organic arrangements.

At our Paper Studio we work with a range of brides on different budgets. One of the most frequently asked questions I hear from brides regarding flowers is what aspect of the floral design should they put most of their budget towards?
The best way to get the flowers you want while on a budget is to realize that you don't need to have flowers everywhere! I strongly feel that centerpieces don't need to be elaborate to be beautiful. A simple orchid submerged in a tall vase of water can be much more dramatic (and less expensive) than a tightly bunched smaller arrangement.

For brides looking for "non-conventional" wedding flowers, what are some of your favorites to work with?
I think color is the best way to achieve a non-conventional look for a wedding. I love deep dark purple or red that almost looks black. Roses and hybrid calla lilies come in these colors and always have an impact. I love this shade combined with chartreuse green for a fresh unique look. I might suggest using pods, grasses and succulents rather than flowers to bring in a more modern and unique look. Mushrooms and moss can also be used to create "environments" rather than typical centerpieces.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work Natalie! If you'd like to schedule an appointment or receive more info click here. I'll be back with more of Natalie's work with photos of an arrangement she will design for our boutique!

And calling all of you brides and party people out there! We'd LOVE to hear from you during our wedding week. What are you using for your centerpieces and bouquets? And do you have any questions about how to wear jewelry for special events or your wedding for our jewelry designer tomorrow? Email or leave us a comment!

photo credits: Anna Kuperberg, Gabriele Lange, Lisa Lefkowitz


lisa chang said...

her work is so lovely! i would love to have those bouquets!

cw said...

i am quite a novice to flowers and would definitely be one of those who doesn't know what they're looking for, but i'd trust natalie's floral designs as i see they're absolutely well-thought out and gorgeous!

Jennifer said...

i LOVE her flowers & her organic style! i can't wait to add her to my list of "local finds to frequent!"

Anonymous said...

i have a wedding jewlery question! is using colorful jewlery (i.e. rubies, emeralds, etc.) at the wedding ceremony a wedding fashion faux pas?

Karen said...

her stuff is lovely!

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