Sunday, October 11, 2009

October is Breeders' Cup Month!

October always brings back fun and frazzled memories of designing corporate hospitality areas for the annual running of the Breeders' Cup! For 15 years we followed The Race to many horsey locales like Louisville, LA's Santa Anita Racetrack and, of course, New York's Belmont Park.

Below is a Glam example of a tent transformed in two different ways from one year to the next:
To appreciate the scope of what is involved, one needs to remember that this starts as a simple canvas frame tent - set up high atop the stands of the track! Three of the walls are glass for great viewing.
The client's logo color was red, so it was a common theme to work with each year.
For this installation we began our inviting decor by adding hard walls and tightly-stretched fabric to camouflage the canvas ceiling and back wall.

Carefully selected elements were added to create the ambiance of an elegant home as guests enjoy the high-stakes race. Given that many of our clients were the same from year-to-year, we were always on the lookout for new themes, looks, props, color stories that would be perfect for each one!
Antiques from a NY prop house fit the bill for this comfortable Men's Club look. Take it from us, lots of research hours, pounding the pavement and surfing the net - and lots of love - goes into finding the just-right melange!!!

These balance toys on the cocktail tables were a hit for sure!
The addition of floor and table lamps also added an at-home feel.

A popular spot for sure, the bar is always an important focal point. This polished wooden one we found was perfect - with matching tall bar stools.
Side windows were curtained back to decoratively disguise the metal upright poles.

Custom-made faux leather toppers on the cocktails tables continued the red and chocolate palette on the terrace. We selected black astro-turf to make the plywood flooring fade back.

International photographer Daniele Perretta took all these terrific images - including the following prop details...

Another season, and a fresh contemporary style is called for! Lighter walls and carpeting really made the red and orange furniture and streamlined florals POP!

Loved designing the florals for this one !

Primo track viewing:

Another race - another patio - this one sleek-chic with its aluminum and zinc accents.

A garden complete with full-sized Japanese maple softens the corners...

Design Concepts. Draping and Tent Decor and Floral Design by Stoneblossom

Photography by our pal Dan Perreta at

Sunday, October 4, 2009

RISD Floral Artistry Institute at Stoneblossom - First Class!

We had a terrific group for our first class of the RISD Floral Institute - which we are teaching right here at Stoneblossom!
Students came from as far away as New Hampshire and Cape Cod to take part - and they were a talented bunch indeed!
"Beginning to Bloom" is the prerequisite basic class in the exciting series. Participants who complete the program get a certificate from RISD.

Here they are - hard at work designing tall arrangements with mostly fresh cut material from instructor John Orton's gardens. They did a great job working on the challenging high pieces (and had fun getting them into their cars after class!).

Here are some fab creations from their homework assignment. They were given a brick of oasis and asked to go foraging in their yard, gardens, fields, vacant lots... No purchasing of material was allowed. They could select a container that inspired them and then go picking - or go picking and them select a container that worked with what they found!

Here are a few of their wonderful creations:

The piece above features a handle created with berries and Japanese lanterns and a lush garden array.
Sue Daley used a wrought iron garden chair filled with seedum, hydrangea and loads of ivy.

Love the addition of a horseshoe crab in this wonderful display above - which also incorporated found objects from the beach such as oyster shells.

Kelly Sousa's husband had made this birdhouse which she embellished with some wonderful components: Solomon's seal, hydrangea, ferns, ivy and pokeberry. Love the birds nest at the bottom and the tiny feather. The nest was particularly special, lined with hair the birds had collected from her shedding pup!

Simple and elegant above - full and lush below...

Both of these designers used garden tomatoes. The chartreuse teapot was fun!

A twiggy obelisk centers the design above.

Below: Inspired by a broken piece of antique pottery, the artist worked her magic around it!

A pair of simple, elegant displays...

A free flowing design was the perfect match for the lovely urn above.

The white pumpkin below was delicately etched, and an LED light inside gave a warm glow...

The designs were judged in three categories: most creative, most saleable and overall favorite. Here's the design that one Best in Show by Marissa Koggan:

Below is the talented Winner's Circle with their creations!

From left to right is: Kelley Sousa, Susan Daley, Wendy Bagley, Marguerite Crocker, Marissa Koggan, Meg Fitzelle and Mayara Paim.

All of our students did an excellent job. We look forward to working with you throughout the program!

Note that additional sessions of this basic class have been added. Click here to check out the RISD catalogue and be on the lookout for their new winter catalogue due out soon!