Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Stylish Simplicity on a budget

I have to be honest, I love architectural simplicity.  I'm not a complicated girl and much as I love all flowers - and most design styles - but Ikebana holds a special appeal in that you can really examine each bud, bloom, stem and leaf in isolation.  Its simplicity of form, use of negative space and natural purity are truly beautiful. To me, it holds an even greater appeal in these financially difficult times - its inexpensive.

Ikebana by Yoshiko Nakamura on display at Seattle Center, as part of the 
2008 Cherry Blossom Festival

Although, undoubtedly, perfecting and representing the true art form of Ikebana can take many years, Europeans have interpreted this overall concept of flower arranging with some success in the past.  None did it better than Constance Spry - one of my all-time heroes.

Before her pioneering attitudes towards flowers, flower arranging and teaching the masses - flowers were very much the preserve of the rich.  She was my kind of woman - a feisty, social reformer who believed that with a little imagination your home could be transformed with flowers picked from wasteland and hedgerows.  She famously worked with simple materials such as berries, ferns, vegetable leaves, twigs and weeds and displayed them in anything she could get her hands on - gravy boats, tureen lids, baking trays and yes ... bird cages!

Sound familiar?!  If you thought 'Vintage' or 'BoHo' was new - think again!  As with all fashion and trends, ideas come and go and return, perhaps with a different name - but essentially the same concept.  The beauty of  working with the current trend, though, is that its both personal and interpretational.  If you truly want something 'different', don't be swayed by lots of pictures of jam jars or tea cups - everyone's doing that.  Think of the fabulous Constance Spry and have a really good dig in your cupboard - you never know what inspiration you might find!

If you are using this concept for Wedding table flowers, why not use containers which mean something to you?  Here are a few ideas I found from stuff lying around that you could use as containers:-

I've used a decanter and a bottle of St Germain liqueur I kept after using it to make cocktails on my hen night!

Glassware looks really simple and chic, grouped in three's

I've made it a little more 'shabby chic' by adding dried rose petals, a sprig of lavender and a freeze-dried rose head

I hope this post has given you some inspiration, the whole idea is just to have fun with this and not to feel under pressure.  If you'd like to know more about my hero, Constance Spry, click on the link http://designmuseum.org/design/constance-spry

Lastly, if you, or any of your friends have been to a wedding, or used simple, imaginative floral displays for their own wedding, let me know. As you can probably tell, I love sharing and would be happy to feature them on my blog.  Until then, enjoy!


Photo Credit:

Joe Mabel - Wikipedia 19 April 2008

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