I’ve been busy working on some new and interesting projects (more on them soon) and just now was able to put the finishing touches on this post.   Unlike many of the designers you see on HGTV most of us don’t do the work ourselves but work instead with a bevy of talented trades people and artists.  (I do wish I had Candice’s Chico in my back pocket!)

The one exception to this for me is floral arranging — I get my hands dirty and scraped with these as I’ve not yet learned the skill (or perhaps met the right floral designer?) of directing the design to my satisfaction in this area.  So I create these myself for my clients.  Unlike the lovely arrangements above which are from fresh florals I use the best quality silks I can get my hands on.  I believe a room needs at least one significant piece and that it must be an integral part of the overall interior design.  I love contemporary floral arrangements with contemporary interiors and architectural florals with traditional interiors.  Mixing exotic florals, branches and even edible items into the arrangements takes them away from the ‘expected’ which is always better.

So I was immediately enamored and inspired when after a day’s sight seeing with my family I came upon these lovely arrangements — fresh from the Chenonceau gardens.  We traveled throughout France and Spain last summer and after a day trampling through medieval ramparts in Loches and romantic galleys of castle Amboise we happened onto Chateau de Chenonceau.

It was built on the site of an old mill in the 11th century in the heart of France’s Loire valley.   Frances glitterati partied, romanced and no doubt conspired against one another in the dramatic hall that extends the full length of the river crossing.

Inside the party hall – my own Phoebe, Georgia and Wyatt – can’t you just imagine the dancing, ball gowns, food, even the whispers?  Back to the flowers:  the exotic arrangements are created weekly by the Chenonceau staff and come directly from castle gardens.  I especially appreciate the mix of traditional flowers and edibles and are a perfect example of the architectural and contemporary floral I love.  Can’t wait to get my hands into my next floral.

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