We are pleased to have Sukri Kadola from Bloem as our guest writer giving us his expertise on all about flowers in a 3-part series.
Have you asked yourself why your spirits are lifted when you are at the park, a garden or just being around flowers? It’s because plants and flowers communicate to your senses in complex ways more than you can imagine. Flowers affect a person’s disposition and convey subtly what the heart secretly desires. What do these subliminal messages mean? How do you send the right signals and create an ambience to make the moment an experience to remember?
My Senses Tell Me…
What hits you the minute you walk into a space? Whether a hotel foyer, the reception of a spa, a kitchen or a restaurant – our eyes are drawn to the form of the interiors, the selection of the furniture, the colours, textures and how the space is organised to facilitate activities around a flow of people. At other times, the non-visual signs precede your experience. Just as I am drawn to the kitchen when I get a whiff of a cake being baked – it is the vibe and energy of a room that compels me to stay.
Beautiful homes and elegant hotels are adept at just doing this. A fine restaurant must get its space planning, interior decor right to a tee but it is the flowers that add the finishing touch in bringing the aesthetics to score a notch higher.
One of the few things you can do is to create an impact and make the experience memorable. A lush floral arrangement placed at the entrance can be very inviting. As a host, you inevitably become the centre of attention. Just like the subject of a painting, your home setting becomes the canvas against which you are set in. Guests get a better context of who you are and have a sense of your likes, passions or tastes and subconsciously make an impression about what you are about. Once you’ve set the tone – the flowers also to do the talking.
I have fresh flowers whenever I entertain friends over brunch or an elaborate spread on festive occasions. When I put flowers together on a buffet table – no one dares to take them away to make room for the dishes! Only because I have found a way to make sure flowers don’t get in the way of the food too much. And even the most formal setting doesn’t require flowers to be over complicated. Here’s how:
When you are in a fine dining restaurant, the order of things on the table is logical – you start with a first course of soup, followed by a salad, the entrée, and a dessert. A water goblet sits at the knife tip and wine glasses to the right. Since the flatware are evenly spaced about a half inch apart, where do you place the flowers?
1. At a table for two. Naturally, the tiny space between your table setting and your partners becomes the space for a small cluster of flowers to create an intimate setting. Keep the arrangement small with a circumference the size of a tennis ball and a height no more than 10 cm. A single flower, like a Dahlia, or a sprig of Hydrangea petals in a small glass jar the size of a brandy glass is a nice touch without being too imposing.
2. For larger settings, for eg. a round dining table that sits eight to ten guests, you can have a slightly more dense arrangement of flowers. Since the flowers are viewed from all sides, the centrepiece flowers need to face all the guests seated at the table.
3. A long dining table setting sets the mood for an interactive session between about 5 other guests. There are so many ways to treat the table – Try submerging flowers into water. Cymbidiums are hardy orchids and they work very well when you lay them in rows along a stretched out table for a formal dinner. A line of French Mason Jars or a cluster of bottles and jam jars in different shapes and heights are a great way to introduce a variety of the flowers without being monotonous. This is a catching trend in many western wedding receptions.
4. For Festive dinners, a large centrepiece for buffet spread creates an impact. For a Christmas set up at a fine dining Italian restaurant, I selected some vintage glass vases with a faded mercury finish. Red and yellow Ilex berries punctuate the row of tables, and they pop out against the white linen and understated decor. Punctuate the dining tables with different hues and textures, like acorns and coniferous foliage to delight your guests’ tactile senses.
Despite the short life of flowers, their existence is meaningful. When in good company of loved ones, dear friends or even on a date with a love interest – you want to be in your best and relaxed self. So, fresh flowers do the job of giving out positive energy – and when they embrace you with the good vibes, the light in your eyes glow and out comes the best version of you. Well, if you can’t impress your date – then just appeal to your own senses and enjoy the moment.
*Some of the beautiful floral arrangements you see here are done by students in Bloem’s workshops.
Bloem is a bespoke design house which specialises in decorating spaces and designing interiors. It’s focus has been in applying fresh flowers to illuminate the beauty of interior spaces. Bloem delivers bespoke or highly customised services that are relevant, applying functional design that is inspiring, sophisticated and up to date, using high quality materials that always sets higher standards for itself.
Bringing the most relevant and functional design applications to its clients using the most efficient and sustainable use of resources, setting standards in best practices in the design and floral industry.