Photographed by: Rachel Maucieri + Katie Jameson | Interview of: Kelsea Gaynor
What is your favorite part about the holidays?
My favorite part about the holidays is having a really good excuse to bring people together in a beautiful space. I love taking the time to decorate our home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and especially, New Years! We really are a home that loves to go all out for every celebration. While of course we miss family when we cannot be near them, it can be really lovely to host a few of the holiday gatherings for all our NYC orphan transplant friends who cannot afford (in either money or time) to make the trek home. It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to welcome a group of people together and celebrate with one another. Our community here has truly become our home away from home.
How did you start working with florals?/ What inspires you and your arrangements?
I began working with florals when I was a stylist at BHLDN (the Anthropologie Wedding Line) about 2 years ago. I've never had any formal training, but by working in such a visually inspiring atmosphere like Anthropologie, I got the opportunity to learn so much from the talented creatives around me. While no one taught me how to work with florals specifically, as a visual merchandiser I have learned about color theory, placement, balance and overall aesthetic, which took my love and passion for florals as a medium to the next level. I've been so fortunate to have a few women who have truly believed in my work give me the opportunity to explore working with florals on a very consistent basis within each of my roles at Anthropologie.
My arrangements can be inspired by so many things. Often, they are inspired by the current seasons, fashion (I draw so much inspiration in color combinations from fashion specifically), the beauty I observe all around me, and whatever curious discoveries I come across in my visits to the floral market. Ultimately, my drive and passion for creating arrangements is a deep appreciation for ephemeral beauty. I have learned so much working with flowers. For example, the very nature of them - especially in cut arrangements - is that they cannot be held onto. What I create lives for a very short time and there is something deeply precious about the absence of that control to keep something. I never knew I could learn to appreciate something so much that I have so little control over. Floral arranging has truly stretched my inner growth in unexpected ways.
Why do you enjoy hosting Sunday dinners? Why is it important to you?
Opening up our home- to friends old and new - is something that has always been one of my favorite ways to spend my time. I believe that there is always room for one more at the table and that, ultimately, in life – connecting with one another is why we are here.
Gathering around the table is just one of the many ways to create opportunities for friends old and new to connect with one another and to build a strong sense of community and support within our city. NYC is a big, wonderful, place and it is easy to constantly rush from one moment to the next, often leaving little time for seated face to face quality time with those around you. Hosting dinners in our home is just one small way we can hold space for people to gather and connect with one another.