Known for creating fireworks for the tabletop, floral designer Isabelle Bosquet has mastered a natural approach that is refined, but not overworked. With an eye toward summer blooms, Bosquet brings her style tips front and center -- and breaks a few rules -- to help you make your own knockout centerpiece.
"In general, I try not to use too many scented flowers at the table," says Bosquet. But she doesn't always hold herself to that rule. This bouquet of anemones, muscari, hyacinth, pink parrot tulips, and lilac is an intended contrast to the china's pattern. Full of aroma, it is perfect for an outdoor summer meal. "The addition of the artichokes was inspired from the green colors on the plate," Bosquet says.
"Have fun with the flowers and buy things you've never bought before," Bosquet says of her tropical display of orange and green cockscomb, protea, and roses. "I adore this one because of the strong color and texture. The cockscomb and protea pick up the colors in the china and napkin ring. It really looks like coral."
"Don't underestimate the beauty of one kind of flower on its own," Bosquet says. This bundle of pink peonies highlights touches of color in the china. And, a cluster of a single kind of flower complements a more casual setting. "You don't have to think about it," she says. "You can just grab whatever is blooming in your garden. Make the bouquet in your hand, cut all of the stems the same length, and place them in a vase."
"Small bouquets make ideal centerpieces," says Bosquet. "It's a nice idea to have as many bouquets as you have guests, so you can use them as party favors." Here, she grouped roses, narcissus, parrot tulips, and ranunculus. "A white palette allows you to do anything," she says of the simply decorated plate. "I used narcissus to wrap the napkins and also tucked them into the bouquets." Another rule broken: "It's not the best idea to mix narcissus with other flowers. The sap from their stems kills other things," she says. "But I did it anyway. They'll last for a nice long lunch -- but not too long!"