Winter Centerpiece with Milieu Florals

Winter Centerpiece with Milieu Florals


Now that the trees are trimmed and our gifts are (almost) wrapped, we’re working on the smaller details specifically, creating an entry or statement arrangement with the Holiday spirit in mind. We’re big fans of incorporating tree greens throughout the home to carry on the festive tone, so we asked Hannah Koo of Milieu Florals to share her secrets for creating a beautifully balanced Winter arrangement. Read on to gather inspiration and her tips and tricks to to creating a scene for all your guests to treasure.

Centerpiece How-To

Step 1: Decide on the color scheme and design for your arrangement before shopping for your flowers. Here we have decided to go with a wintery white and green color scheme which will be perfect for the Holidays. Once you have selected your blooms, carefully process and prep them by removing the extra leaves on the bottom of the stems. Properly cleaning and processing the flowers will prevent the water from going bad and keep the flowers fresh longer. Also give the stems a diagonal 45-degree angle cut. This is to increase the surface area, allowing the flowers to absorb more water.

Step 2: Preparing your vessel. If your container is porous and not waterproof, line it with cellophane first to protect the vessel from water damage and also to prevent water from draining out. Then fill with fresh water.

Step 3: Gather your greens and fresh/dried florals. Here, we used a variety of cedar greens, white lisianthus, hybrid white delphiniums, white sweet peas, white scabiosas, rice flower, dried ferns, tallow berry and bunny tails.

Step 4: Create the base and foundation of your piece with greenery. This will help guide your placement for the fresh florals.  Here we layered it with 2 different varieties of cedar greens.

Step 5: Start tucking in the fresh blooms you want to incorporate into the piece. Insert them in between the cedar greens to build shape and dimension, allowing the natural movement of the greens to guide the shape.

Step 6: Add in the light and airy textures from the dried florals (ferns, tallowberry, bunny tails) for the finishing touch.

Favorite Winter Florals & Greens

Assorted Christmas greens (I prefer working with cedar for their beautiful texture, colors and scent), Ilex Berries (also familiarly known as winter berries), Narcissus Paperwhites, Amaryllis, Helleborus, Pine cones, Dried Ferns, Gold painted seeded eucalyptus, Sweet Peas & Tallow Berries.

Our Go-to Tools

Ingo Vessel

$65

Chicken Wire Net

$14.49

Barebones Garden Scissors

$50

Agate Vase

$46

United Solutions 5 Gallon Utility Bucket

$3.37

Garden Tool Belt Holster

$20.99

Niwaki Rattan Handle Secateurs

$198

Aero Rattan Tray

$20

Meet Hannah Koo

My love of floral design stemmed from a passion for art and all of its mediums. From an early age, I fell in love with drawing and painting and coming from an artistic background with parents who also had a love for the arts supported my childhood hobby by sending me to art studios to prepare for art school.  In college, I studied fine arts and sculpture and found myself experimenting with all types of mediums to play around with texture.  Upon graduating, the plan was to attend grad school to become a gallery artist and eventually an art professor but serendipitously getting introduced to florals soon after graduation opened up a detour/lifelong passion that would allow me to incorporate all the things I loved; color, texture, nature and design.

In the Spring of 2004, I took on a part time job at a charming flower shop in Brentwood, CA. Little did I know that this was just a stepping stone into my career.  I fell in love instantly, but it wasn’t just the florals I fell in love with but the idea of owning my own little business one day.  From there, I worked in different flower shops from West Hollywood to Laguna Beach learning everything I could and eventually started my own line in 2007 and built up a following through weddings and events. 18 years later, here I am still working with flowers and still in awe of how flowers can not only transform a space but bring so much joy to others.  Previously working exclusively with weddings and events, it wasn’t until the pandemic that we started taking on smaller custom orders for doorstep deliveries.   And this is where we got to experience first hand how much joy it brought to others and lifted spirits that were hurting and saw the need and demand for flowers.  So in 2021, we decided to pivot our business from a private events studio to opening up a storefront location in Southbay, CA in hopes to continue spreading joy and love to our community through florals.



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Thanksgiving Florals with Ambassador Bess Piergrossi

Thanksgiving Florals with Ambassador Bess Piergrossi


There’s no better way to set a festive table than bringing the outdoors in with seasonally-inspired centerpieces. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, we thought it’d be the perfect time to sit down with the queen of foraging herself, Bess Piergossi. If you haven’t stumbled across Bess, it’s time to take a deep dive through her Instagram to re-energize your creative spirit. She’s one of our talented Shoppe Ambassadors who resides on a quaint farm in Southern Maine. You’ll find picturesque images of her New England property, abundant in flowers and birds, along with her incredibly charming 1740’s farmhouse. Everything she touches turns to gold, and that includes creating a perfectly imperfect foraged tablescape. Read on to gather inspiration and all the tips and tricks you’ll need to create your own unforgettable scene this holiday!

Meet Bess

I refer to myself as a “front yard florist”, gathering flowers and making arrangements from the gardens on our little farm, Hitchfoot Farm. My husband and I live in Southern Maine, in an old 1740’s farmhouse. We raise chickens, ducks, and two loving geese that transform our yard into a fairytale. Our property borders an old dairy farm, and nothing feels closer to heaven than picking flowers in the garden as I watch the cows graze. I have a passion for design and farming, and flower farming/floral design is the perfect blend of those two passions.

Bringing the Outdoors In

I like to fully embrace the seasons by bringing nature into my home, whether it’s an arrangement on the dining room table, or greenery on the counter. I find the seasons to be rejuvenating, and renewing. In the spring, tulips and flowering branches signal new growth and new beginnings. In the summer, wildflowers and roses represent freedom and vibrancy. In the fall, maple branches and dahlias warm the house with their rich color, and in the winter evergreens and winterberry celebrate the solstice and reflection. These floral reminders help ground me throughout the year, and bring beauty and happiness into home.

Let the foraging begin…

I’m most inspired by things that aren’t flowers–when I go outside and go for a walk. I love to observe my surroundings for shapes, colors and textures that I find interesting. I’ve made some of my favorite bouquets from foraged materials from grassy fields, the side of the highway, or the deep woods. I like to start all arrangements with greenery–it’s like the skeleton of an arrangement- it helps support the flowers, both physically and artistically.

Favorite Fall Foraged Greenery

Blackberry Vines

Ferns

Apple Branches

Dried Grass

Wild Rose Hips

Asparagus Fronds

*Tip/disclaimer: when using foraged materials–make sure what you’re harvesting isn’t an invasive species, and if it is, make sure you’re handling it/disposing of it properly.

HARVEST TIME

After foraging for greenery, it’s time to collect the flowers. Flowers can be foraged (even a dandelion looks incredible in an arrangement), picked from a garden, or purchased at a farmers market, or local grocer. There’s no right or wrong answers when choosing flowers for an arrangement. I like to choose flowers within a similar color palette and of various sizes (some small flowers and small larger blooms).

Favorite Fall Foraged Flowers

Wild Aster

Wild Carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace)

 

Favorite Fall Garden Flowers

Dahlias

Cosmos

English Roses

TIME TO SORT

This step isn’t necessary, but it is my favorite. Fill up several jars up with water and sort your greenery/flowers by variety–one type for each jar. This step reminds me of setting up a painter’s palette–I can clearly see what my palette for the arrangement looks like and how many of each flower I have. It’s a beautiful display.

BRING ON THE LAYERS

For a sturdy arrangement, place a flower frog or a ball of chicken wire in the bottom of your vase. Start with the greenery as your first layer. I use the thickest branches first, and then layer in the finer greens. Next, layer in your largest blooms, your focal points. Then add your smaller blossoms throughout as a supporting accent. With a solid base of greenery, it only takes a few blooms to make a statement arrangement.

THE RESULTS

shop Bess’ table

Cara Edged Table Runner

$80

Stonewashed Linen Napkin S/4

$46

Small Jago Vase

$65

Looking for more? Explore Shoppe’s Thanksgiving collection
to help prepare the perfect feast.


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