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Archive for the ‘Decor’ Category

Our gal pal Katie Hintz-Zambrano fashionista fabuloso of and Natalie Bowen fiscally fabulous florist, shows us how to be pretty on a penny with some divine d.i.y. smarts….

With the arrival of summertime comes lots more easy at-home entertaining. And with gorgeous summer blooms everywhere, we’re all wondering how we can bring the prettiness of a fresh arrangement to the table in a fun and unexpected way—and without that steep pro price-tag. Well, just heed the advice of wonderful local florist Natalie Bowen, who teaches us how to assemble a spectacular (and totally easy!) centerpiece for under $20 total. Follow her four simple DIY steps—we did, and they work!—plus get her advice on where to score flowers and vases on the cheap, to add a super sweet touch to your next at-home summer soirée. Now, for those invites…

The beautiful results!

Step 1: Pick Out Your Flowers

“Urban Flowers in the Castro is my secret spot. They’re always open and they have a great $5 bucket, which is similar to the day-old bagel concept. I also like Whole Foods because they have a fairly large selection of fresh flowers and they sell smaller bunches, priced two for $10 or two for $8, so that you can put together your own arrangement. I look for three colors that form a monochromatic palette, and I get flowers that are tight and closed and don’t have any brown on the petals or leaves, so that they’ll last longer.”

Step 2: Find A Vase, Fill With Water

“Different flowers like different amounts of water. And most flowers, like roses and tulips, like a lot of water. I actually notice that most people don’t have enough water in their vases. You should ask the person selling the flowers to give you guidance, or just Google it. But in general, you should fill your glass or vase two-thirds full. And to keep prices down, you can use a mason jar or a nice drinking glass from your kitchen.”

Step 3: Cut And Clean Your Stems

“Making sure that your flowers have a fresh and clean diagonal cut is almost the most important thing to do. Then, when cleaning them up, make sure you don’t have any of the leaves below the top of the vase, so take off any leaves that are near the bottom of the stem. If you have broken stems, just set those flowers aside and you can put them in a separate, smaller arrangement.”

Step 4: Arrange Away!

“Start with the flower that has the bulkiest stem, so in this case it would be the roses, which have multiple stems. Create a symmetrical criss-cross grid with those flowers, so that the vase is filled consistently. I usually do two-thirds of that flower to start and save the remaining stems to fill in later. Then, take the second bulkiest stem next, the godetia, and continue the criss-cross pattern at a little bit of a different height to add texture. For the third flower, the tulip, I like to cluster them so it’s more graphic and not so symmetrical. While you’re arranging, keep cutting them down to the right height. In a smaller water glass, it usually looks best if most of them are sticking up only two to three inches.”

Be sure to clean the stems up...

By Katie Hintz-Zambrano, at Refinery 29
Photos by Shilpi Tomar


Congrats to Melissa Comito Akare for Best Wedding Flowers!

The votes are in and helmed by Melissa Comito-Aakre, has taken first place in SF’s incredibly competitive vetting process known as the Best of the Bay SF Chronicle/SF Gate for Best Wedding Flowers. This is no small feat in a city that prides itself on oral (cuisine and libations),  aural (a thriving music scene), and design (technology, architecture, art) fixations under the watchful eye of taste makers by the truckload sending down missives of what’s cool and hip across the blogosphere at warpspeed. Everything that matters in design, technology, cuisine, mixology and ambiance happens in the SF Bay Area, so to actually win here ups the ante of who’s got the goodies. Melissa clearly does.

Melissa is our brand new Ambiance Blogger on and Destination I Do Magazine, and she’ll share not only floral fantasies, but ambiance ideas, and indoor and outdoor transformation of spaces into magical places. We are also pleased to feature her in the September issue of Destination I Do Magazine, so stay tuned.

Congrats Melissa, you are the Best of the Bay and we love ya!


Melissa Comito Akare

To say that Melissa Comito-Akare is merely a florist is like saying the Coco Chanel was a hat designer. Infusing new and eclectic ideas in flowers, design, lighting, décor, table-scapes, point of view, and ambiance, and really getting to the heart of who a couple is, is what Melissa and her company, A Simple Ceremony, does best. Whether you are an eco-chic vegan couple or rock and roll royalty Melissa has the design know how, historical references and the resources to turn on the juice. This wunderkind got her start in Beverly Hills working with celebrities such as Jane Seymour, Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, and Barry Manilow; and companies such as Pixar, and George Lucas. Her work has been featured in several magazines including Martha Stewart and Grace Ormand. Her inspiration comes to her in random ways: a building, a pattern on a skirt, the color of a sunset, a trip to Home Depot, a stack of vintage Tarot cards, a mad scientists laboratory. If you have a dream for an event that must be expressed and created down to the detail, Melissa is the girl for the job like no one we’ve yet seen.

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