Today’s Hottest Blooms
Gorgeous, professional bouquets add color, life, and style to your space. They’re not just for the Beyonces and Kate Middletons of the world. We too are Queens in our own right and should feel fully empowered to enjoy this timeless and feminine form of expression, whether we currently have a Valentine in our lives or are celebrating a career highlight.
To inspire us to say it with flowers this season, I reached out to renowned Celebrity Florist Eddie Zaratsian. Eddie has been so kind to share his most of-the-moment advice, plus tips on how we can create stunning arrangements at home that ideally no one will know we did ourselves. (I won’t tell if you won’t.)
We’d love to start with a bit about your background. What drew you to flowers?
I was raised in a family that loved gardening and always had fresh flowers in the house. I saw my mother entertaining weekend after weekend, and she was so chic and stylish. Even when she didn’t have much money, she knew how to pull it all together and make it look like she spent a million bucks. I also have vivid memories of my grandmother making rose petal jam—I feel like I can still taste it. I started in the floral business about 27-28 years ago, and even now being surrounded by flowers and nature every day gives me so much joy.
Talk to us about what inspires you as a florist and designer.
I don’t come from a design background, but I do event design and product development, and I believe that my sense of design comes naturally. I love working with all different types of materials to design—especially flowers, though I’m not limited to them. I love to think outside the box and get inspired by art, architecture, and of course nature. I might be inspired by the way certain plants grow, the way a room is colored, having just been in Paris, or my mood and emotions on any given day—whether I’m feeling dark, or silly and fun.
Amazing. So what are the current trends in floral design we should know about?
The current trend is to stay classic! Roses to me are always classic and timeless and they come in so many colors and varieties. Garden roses are so big right now. Clients are wanting them, but they do have a short lifespan—and a lot of people don’t get that. Sometimes when we do garden roses, we’ll get calls three days in with people complaining that they’re wilting, and yes longevity is important and we use the highest quality flowers, but ultimately it has to be about the initial wow-factor. For some people it can be hard to accept that about flowers because they’re spending between $500 and $1000 on an arrangement.
Even without the longevity, why do you feel it’s worth it to spend on an impactful arrangement?
It really is about the moment, the gesture, the thought, and the emotional impact. When someone gets flowers, it just brightens their whole day. I personally love to give and make other people happy, so there have been times when I’ve delivered flowers to clients—trying to pretend I’m the delivery boy in Hermès shoes, which doesn’t fool anyone, but I just love to see their reactions. And, when you want to send a gift to someone who already has everything—a house stocked with the finest china and treasures from all over the world—a really high-end arrangement never fails to wow them.
How do you balance designing for the client versus putting your own spin on it?
Ultimately they’re my client so I’m going to do whatever it takes to make them happy, but I also like to have an influence and try to make suggestions that push the envelope. I tend to interview the client thoroughly and really dissect them—because with flowers you can’t always tell from looking at someone what they’re into. Victoria Beckham for example—her personal style is very modern, clean, and sexy, and yet she’s very English with her flowers, into peonies and garden roses, much more girly than what you’d expect.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner—for all of the husbands and boyfriends out there, what would be your pick for a romantic bouquet?
I think love is sexy, and for Valentine’s Day the flowers should be all about seduction. For me, sexy is always moody and dark, so I gravitate toward reds, purples, hot pinks—rich jewel tones. A bouquet can convey that you’re kind of complicated and layered. So I would go for dark plum calla lilies, purple vanda orchids, and beautiful red garden roses. And to make it even more sensual for a woman, I would add something that has a fragrance to it. It could be a jasmine vine, freesia or tuberose—something tucked into the arrangement that might not be in the same palette, but adds a gorgeous scent.
Here at DL we’re all about sending flowers as gifts to congratulate our fellow women entrepreneur friends, colleagues, and mentors—what do you recommend for a chic bouquet that makes a statement?
All one type of flower, and lots of them to make an impression. You can add texture and life to the arrangement with seasonal varieties—but don’t go for more than three types of flowers or foliage at one time. My instinct would probably be orchids! Fresh-cut orchids are always really beautiful and they come in many different colors. However if I were sending it I would go for something white and green. I think it’s the most chic, sophisticated, and uncomplicated. Especially if you don’t know if the girl you’re sending it to is ultra-feminine and into softer colors or if she’s like Ivanka Trump—white and green is a safe bet that everyone loves.
What do we need to know about seasonality when it comes to flowers? What’s fab in winter, and what can we get excited about for Spring?
Spring has a lot of bulb flowers like anemones and tulips. In the winter you have evergreen and berries that are stunning! An arrangement doesn’t always have to be blooms —remember that. Branches, foliage, and berries are beautiful too.
Can you share with us your best tips for buying and arranging flowers at home, let’s say for an intimate dinner party, so that they don’t look DIY—but rather fit for an Oscars event?
The easiest way to arrange flowers if you don’t have any skills is buying blooms, cutting their heads off and floating them in water. If you are a little creative, buy a lot of the same kind of flower, cut them and arrange them in masses.
What’s the one flower you’re never without if possible?
I love viburnum snowballs, they usually come out in spring and I have some in my garden at home. They start off as this tiny green sphere, and as they mature they become big fluffy white balls, like snowballs or mini hydrangeas. I love them because they’re so whispy and full and lush at the same time. They have a grand sensibility to them, plus green is my favorite color other than black.
For more from Eddie Zaratsian, visit: eddiezaratsian