Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Floral Design Through the Ages - Royal Wedding Trends

At AIFD this summer, Accent Decor had the honor of sponsoring the presentation of the British Academy of Floral Art by providing resources and containers to help bring their vision to life on stage for those in attendance.

The wonderful ladies chose to walk the AIFD audience through the techniques, inspiration, methodology, and exploration of floral design through history and especially how it was represented in royal weddings.

Royal Wedding Trends with Accent Decor and the British Academy of Floral Art

Elizabethan Era - 16th Century wedding trends in floral design 

While Queen Elizabeth I never married, Jo Jarvis, AIFD, found it necessary to start the presentation off in the 16th century as quite a few of the floral practices established then are still used today.

The pomander (or posy) shows up every now and then, especially as something a flower girl would carry, but during the 16th century, it was customary for brides to carry ones made of herbs. During a time of poor hygiene, the perfumed ball of plants would act as a personal air freshener.

Modern take on Pomanders using succulents and botanicals

Jo also mentioned that an updated take on the pomanders would be to take away the flowers we're used to seeing today, and replace them with succulents as pictured above. In the end, a bride or bridesmaid would have a memento that keeps growing.

Elizabethan Wedding Details:
  • herbs
  • spheres
  • love knots
  • tussie mussies
  • mystcal plant lore
Jo and her team also drew inspiration from botanicals and other natural elements to create woodland inspired bouquets and arrangements using the spherical influence that was popular in florals in the 16th century.  Pictured below, Francoise Weeks shows off the pinecone details she used to line the bottom of a woodland-inspired bouquet.

woodland wedding bouquet

Elizabethan inspired design

Queen Victoria - Victorian wedding trends in floral design

The language of flowers was so important to the Victorians, and myrtle, a symbol of affection and duty, found favor with Queen Victoria. Since Victoria's reign, a sprig of her myrtle has been tucked into the bride's bouquet for every royal wedding and has been a popular tradition for British brides since.

Kathryn Delve chose to focus on myrtle as well as other popular Victorian flowers such as roses, Sweet William, Lace Ann, and carnations for her designs representing the time period of Queen Victoria's reign. 

Victorian Bouquet

To update floral trends popular during the Victorian era, Kathryn chose to focus on concentric circles, copper, and the ever-growing sub-culture Steampunk trend. She focused on modern flowers with victorian colors and her steampunk bouquet, pictured below, is bio degradable.

Steampunk bouquet details
Victorian inspired wedding arrangement

Queen Elizabeth II - 1920s Wedding Trends in Floral Design

The 1920s in Great Britain was an age of contrast. It was a time of liberation for women and opulence. It saw the dawn of the Flapper with her dropped waistline and cropped hair. But it also saw a time of recovering from the first world war unaware that another was just around the corner.

1920s feather floral arrangement

Aligned with this age of contrast, the floral world saw the emergence of Constance Spry a "rule breaker" known for giving us the wild, foraged look that's very popular today.  According to Amanda Randell MDPF, British Master,Constance Spry would build an arrangement using the established rules of line and form and then break the line, often by using a discord color. 

1920s inspired floral arrangement - influenced by Constance Spry

(Shop the Princeton Urn)

When Queen Elizabeth II married, she had fabric flowers sewn onto her veil, but Amanda thought "why not fresh?" The veil below shows Amanda's take on adding floral work to a cathedral veil.

Cathedral Veil with Fresh Flowers

1920s Wedding Details
  • trailing ribbons
  • historical techniques
  • cathedral length veils
  • feathers
  • Constance Spry
  • Diamanté 

Princess Grace of Monaco - 1950s wedding trends in floral design

Tina Parks, AIFD, focused her part of the presentation on sharing that the 1950s bride started to lean away from carrying flowers directly in her hands, and leaned toward attaching them to an object as Grace Kelly did with Lily of the Valley tied upon her her prayer book.

Tina's modern interpretation was to see the hands-free bouquet evolve into wearable flowers in the form of headdresses or collars. 

1950s Wedding Details
  • Bouquets not held directly in the hand
    • Single specimen flowers
    • Small structure bouquets

    Princess Diana - 1980s Wedding Trends in Floral Design

    The 1980s saw a focus on romance and over-the-top details in a completely new way. Shower bouquets, made popular by Princess Diana's own wedding bouquet, were the top choices for brides, and designer Julie Collins, MDPF British Master, took a foraged, wild turn with the classic 80s bouquet shape. 

    White flowers and yellow roses also reigned supreme and in a stunning reveal, Julie used our Enrich Vase to create the larger than life arrangement pictured above and below. It took seven people to carry the urn and lift it onto the stage, and Julie explained that they inserted a bucket inside the urn to house the arrangement since they simply couldn't fill the entire container.

    Do you have a modern take on historic wedding floral trends?

    We want to see! If you have a floral arrangement or styled look inspired by a certain period in history, send your photos to Don't forget the photographer's name if you didn't take it yourself. We'd love to share your work on Facebook and Instagram!

    For more photos from the Academy of Floral Art Presentation at AIFD, check out AIFD's photo gallery on Facebook!

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Showroom Design Inspiration: Baroque Bumble

    Emerson one wrote, "Earth laughs in flowers," and while we can't deny how absolutely lovely that sounds, Emerson's poem reflects a slight mockery of humanity and touches on the fact that we tend to forget the force behind nature, its dominion over the planet, and its beauty often a siren song to our naïveté.

    With a blend of florals reminiscent of still life paintings and modern, black on black details, we wanted this story to be our ode to the delicate tune of servitude and power that humans and nature have been dancing to since the beginning of time.

    Baroque inspired flower arrangement in the venice compote by Accent DecorDuring brainstorming week, the creative team put together the following mood board to set the tone for this look that would represent a quarter of our showroom.

    The goal? Bring in larger than life botanicals, Baroque-inspired flower arrangements, and modern, hot pink and black on black details.  With a dash of bumble bees and the right lighting, our Baroque Bumble story was born.

    Accent Decor MoodBoard - Modern Baroque style

    In the show room, this translated to pairing our elegant, event-focused vessels with black walls and shelving with dutch-inspired photographs of flowers and hot pink accents on plexiglass. These details helped bring a modern touch to some of more traditional and romantic pieces.

    In our Atlanta Showroom (Bldg 1, 18B1), customers browsed catalogs and drank coffee provided by Refuge Coffee Co among hanging Ovoid vases bursting forth from a giant megaphone - our interpretation of the Earth laughing in the language of flowers. 

    The Earth Laughs in Flowers - Accent Decor's Interpretation of the popular quote from Emerson's poem

    For our Celfie Vase display, we cut tables in half, painted them black and secured them against a black wall for an elegant feature to show off our newest additions to the Celfie family: Chocolate and Caramel.

    Black on Black merchandising display by Accent Decor

    Interested in more showroom inspiration? Check out the looks for our Modern Artifacts and Eric and Eloise (Holiday) Stories.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    AIFD Inspiration 2016 Behind the Scenes Highlights

    We really couldn't complain much about our trip to the 2016 AIFD Symposium this summer: California sunshine, fresh flowers at every turn, and rooms filled to the brim with inspiring design. So it's really no surprise that we are bursting at the seams to share every little detail with you - we promise we won't go overboard, so for now, here's a look at some of our favorite behind the scenes moments.

    We'll be sharing more throughout the summer as we showcase the designers we sponsored (the Academy of Floral Art) as well as an interview with Donald Yim AIFD who designed all the lovely floral arrangements for our Partner's booth.

    AIFD Student Competition

    One of the best parts about AIFD is the student competition where novice members of AIFD student chapters are challenged with a set amount of florals and materials and must use their technique and talents to create out of what's been provided to them. The timing, materials, and rules of the competition are similar to the AIFD certification test, giving students a taste of what to expect if they choose to pursue certification in the future.

    Student Designers: Gina Olsen (top left), Katie Stoops (top right), Melissa Findlay (bottom)

    Accent Decor Swag

    We also discovered that you all mean business when it comes to getting an Accent Decor bag. We won't deny that we loved the sight of everyone lining up with their Accent Decor totes.

    The Flower Room

    The Flower Room at AIFD is the where the magic and secrets live for the duration of the symposium until they're ready to be revealed. Designers work amidst tables and buckets overflowing with fresh flowers as they hurry to finish their beautiful creations in time for their presentations or events.

    Top Right: an Elizabethan inspired bridal pomander in the making by Francoise Weeks | Bottom: Suzanne Law AIFD, CFD and Paul Jaras AIFD, CFD pose by a work in progress made from recycled and found materials for their "Catalyst for Inspiration" presentation.

    Beau Vase Sighting

    Stacy Carlton AIFD, CFD used a stone spray paint on our Beau Vase to give it a more tropical look. Typically in a glossy white (and now a glossy black!), the Beau Vase has a really modern look. We love how Stacy used our Beaus in such a unique way to bring dimension to her presentation with Shawn Foley CFD, "Couture Collective."

    AIFD Partner Expo

    Another highlight was getting to mingle with friends, customers (old and new!) at the partner expo. Displays didn't fail to impress. We especially loved Green Valley Floral's table filled with David Austen Roses and Mayesh's giant flower wall! 

    We also can't forget the incredible talents of Donald Yim AIFD who went above and beyond with his beautiful arrangements for our own set up. We'll be sharing more of his work later along with an interview behind his floral career and work progress. 
    Unfamiliar with AIFD? Established in 1965, the American Institute of Floral designers is dedicated to recognizing and promoting the art of floral design as a professional career. Considered the most important design event in the floral industry, National Symposium attracts designers, educators, and interested individuals from all over the world. To learn more about the organization, visit AIFD.Org.

    Friday, July 8, 2016

    You Are the Good in this World: How Our Customers Helped Rebuild a School in Nepal

    Handmade Pom-Pom Garland from Nepal to support Earthquake Relief

    When an earthquake killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000 in Nepal last year, we asked how we could help, and the women of the community we purchase gift wrap from said, “order paper!” 

    So we did.

    But ordering paper wasn’t the miracle. Our customers were. You were. Your orders of paper goods and gift wrap allowed us to donate $15,000 that not only provided immediate relief, but also helped significantly in rebuilding a school that was demolished by the earthquake.

    Handmade holiday gift tags - gold foil flowers - made in Nepal for Earthquake Relief

    Every day, we’re reminded how far the Accent Decor family reaches. We’re blown away by your capacity to support the global community, to support creativity, to support mankind.

    Handmade papers for journals and notecards - made in Nepal

    Handmade Pineapple Journal Notebook - made in Nepal We’re excited to continue supporting these Nepalese women and their families by extending our paper goods line to include more colors and designs. This year, we're bringing the beautiful Carouse Lanterns to our customers, along with new note cardsjournal designs, and garlands.

    Making of Paper Lanterns by hand in Nepal

    To learn more about the school project, visit GangaGhar.Org to see how you can help. In the meantime, know that the paper you purchase from us goes far beyond a simple transaction. Again, thank you for your continued support of us and our global partners. We seriously cannot do what we do without the dedication and support of our customers.