Wild and expressive, modern flower arrangements draw inspiration from 17th-century Dutch botanical paintings, the gothic intrigue of Victoriana and the old-fashioned romance of overgrown secret gardens. In combination with a moody color spectrum, impasto-style textures, refined furnishings and decorative elements picked straight from the cabinet of curiosities, it’s a style that heralds the revival of dramatic floral presentations using masses of seasonal flowers and gently worn opulence.
Okasie styled these beautiful arrangements for our Spring 2019 issue:
Never mind floral prints on linen. Here, the flowers have become the tablecloth, displayed en masse under a raised glass top. The end result is nothing less than breathtaking. Take a modern approach with mix-and-match tableware using vintage, minimalist and contrasting colors. Extend the sense of drama with flowers that gently spill out from underneath the glass display top.
• First, measure your table and have a piece of clear glass cut to fit the entire length of it (or just a section if you prefer).
• Place the glass on top of two sturdy strips of wood (approximately 1 inch x 1.5 inches and the length dependent on that of your glass) and secure with clear-drying wood glue. The aim is
to create an easily removable raised glass top underneath to display your flowers.
• Arrange your flowers on your dining room table and place the raised glass frame over them.
• Use as a centerpiece display, or, if your glass top runs the length of your table, place your settings on top of
it. The rich color palette is inspired by the moody oil colors of the Dutch Golden Age when flowers were a favorite theme.
Objects of Beauty
Repurpose antique or vintage glassware by creating new forms. Mix colors and textures as well as glass and ceramics to create quirky decorative objects.
• Gather a collection of unused glassware
(or scour the antique shops or flea markets), including vases, drinks glasses and other vessels in different shapes, colors and textures.
• Play with forms using a temporary adhesive sticky tack to make sure your new-old vessel is stable before permanently gluing together your object with a suitable product.
As if having been sprinkled with seeds and left to sprout, this dramatic feature chair is pure romantic whimsy and makes for a far more delightful floral display than a vase.
• Scour antique shops or flea markets for a secondhand period or reproduction chair.
• Remove the seat upholstery, if possible leaving the frame and any coils intact.
• Place pieces of damp flower foam inside the seat and arrange your flowers, paying careful attention to building up the height of the display as well as draping a few vines and flowering tendrils down to the floor.
Create a dramatic optical illusion with this living painting.
• Find an old, ornate frame and if you like, paint it the color of your choice.
• Stretch a piece of sturdy neutral fabric tautly across the back of the frame and use a staple gun to attach it.
• Find a colorful image of a floral arrangement (a painting, not a photograph) and paste it onto the back of your self-made fabric canvas.
• Using an X-Acto knife, carefully
cut out only the top section of the glued-on picture, but do not remove
it completely. Make sure to leave the bottom section attached so you can arrange it so that it looks as if it is spilling out of the bottom of the frame. • Attach a piece of floral foam to a tray with strong glue, and then mount the tray onto the wall. Position the frame over it.
• Begin to form your floral arrangement by placing flowers in the floral foam and work until it appears that the painting and flowers are one, for a peculiar (in a good way) effect.
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