An inspirational escape to Northern England

 
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In July I flew to Manchester for a few days to meet floral designer Fiona who runs Firenza Floral Designer (she was listed by the Telegraph as one of the 20 top florist in the country). I’ve been following her work  and I like very much her style, so I decided to have a one to one workshop.

It was a beautiful sunny day  when I  met Fiona surrounded by  her dogs in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. We chatted in her romantic, peaceful garden and it was hugely inspirational to compare our styles. We both discovered that our main source of inspiration came from nature.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Als she showed me how to create one of her unique bouquets, I felt elated at designing something so different to my usual style.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and beau

Ph @Belle and beau

With the same flowers we both made completely different creations.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Over lunch in the sunny garden I got to know Holly an incredible photographer who took some beautiful photos of the day.

What do you do to find inspiration?

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

 
 

4 essential tips for an impeccable table

 
Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

 
 

In October I organized a one day floral workshop focused on how to decorate a table from start to finish. I asked Manuela Piccoli an expert interior designer, to join us and to  give inspirational insights on table etiquette.

During the preparation of the course I kept in mind 4 key points :

  • Style

  • Palette and flowers

  • table preparation

  • less is more

Style

First of all I chose the style. I went for a very romantic, elegant and baroque look. While I was looking for inspiration  I discovered that  next year one trend in wedding decorations will be  “New baroque”. I’m curious to see how the baroque style will evolve this time around. Baroque style always includes ornate gold, extravagant locations and luxurious decorations; how interpret it is completely up to you.

Palette and flowers

I always choose the style and colours at the same time. It’s so important to have a clear idea of the palette from the start. For this event I went for opulent shades of burgundy paired with bright pearl-ivory and gentle gold/caramel tones.  The selective use of colour gave me the freedom to choose the best flowers and greenery. Thanks to the different shapes and petals, I could express the uniqueness and elegance of baroque.

Among the flowers chosen there were:

  • “Antik caramel” garden roses for their sumptuous candy caramel shade

  • Yves Piaget “Ivory” garden roses with their ethereal petals reminiscent of  Japanese silk paper.

  • “Dark chocolate” dahlia with its velvety opulent dark chocolate hue

  • Intense burgundy and light cappuccino carnations

  • Translucent pearl leaves of  Lunaria

  • The beautiful long lithe shape of Stock and Cat’s tail

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

ph @Paolo Castagnedi

ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

 Table setting

After deciding on the style, colour mood and flowers  I met Manuela in her atelier to select all the necessary items. Keeping the style and colours in mind we chose  elegant and timeless white. We picked out old linen table cloths,  fine white bone china dishes decorated in gold, French cutlery and antique crystal glasses.

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Less is more

When I’m decorating I never forget this golden rule. For this event it meant not adding  any more colours to the ones we already had. Manuela and I immediately agreed that the best and only choice was white for everything.

Ph @Paolo Castegnedi

Ph @Paolo Castegnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

To wrap up:

  • Don’t forget to use candles

  • Find objects in yours cupboards and use them in an unsual way

  • Don’t forget to decorate the rest of your home or location with a detail inspired by your table design: a colour, a flower or …

  • And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

A big thanks to Orietta for having us in her beautiful relais and to Paolo for the incredible photos.

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

 

Intensive floral workshop with an autumn twist

 
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There was a unique vibe during my last intensive floral work-shop in October.

The special ingredients that made these two days so incredible were: an amazing group of curious and focused women: Natascia, Alessia, Nadia, Giorgia, Caterina, Silvia and Elena. Each one with her own dreams, passions, but above all very determined to share this experience.

The wonderfully welcoming Relais Corte Guastalla location set amongst the Custoza vineyard was the perfect backdrop for our week-end.

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I chose the vibrant autumn palette of : the bordeaux chrysanthemum, the chocolate of the Cosmos, the ruby red of the hydrangea  and the more delicate tones of pastel pink of the perfumed O’Hara roses.

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At the beginning of the course I gave a small  floral patterned notebook to each partecipant. Here they could note down any tips that they’d picked up during the week-end.

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This was my fourth  intensive floral workshop and I must say it was a really magical experience for us all.  Here are some special words from Natascia from Parma:”Wood of Ceylon, powerful, crisp, exciting, magical, special  and unique. This was how Tania welcomed us on the  first morning. The morning light shimmering through the windows of the villa, candles flickering, a folded apron on the table, and a unique patterned  notebook. A small branch of red apples laid out to remind us that nature is a work of art, and all our flowers displayed magnificently on the mantelpiece.

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A special thanks to Elena, who captured those two days beautifully with her camera.

 

A JOURNAL OF THE INTENSIVE TWO-DAY WORKSHOP

 
 
 
 

It’s been a few months since  Marco Bravi gave me the photos of the last intensive floral workshop which I held in February. In the meantime I’ve restyled my website, a hard but rewarding task and I’ve launched a new series of floral workshop focused on wedding and event design.

When I saw the images for the first time I was left speechless. It was incredible what Marco managed to capture through his lens. Small details about the location were brought to light, the concentration, attention and joy on the faces of the participants. It was wonderful to see each participant opening up to this new world and growing in knowledge.

Being spring, I was spoiled for choice by the variety of species and colours of the flowers. From tulips to ranunculus, hyacinths, anemones right down to the intense blue iris.

If you would like to know more about my intensive workshop click on the link for more information.

Before leaving to enjoy the images I would like to thank  all the attendees, Chiara, Federica, Bianca, Martina, Samantha, Sara, Caterina, Arianna e Cinzia, Marco for the amazing  photos, and Giulia the owner of Villa La Valverde for her wonderful hospitality.