Laura is an Oakland based floral designer who specializes in weddings and special events. She was kind enough to open her adorable house and studio to me this past weekend, which she shares with her dog Parker and cat Cleo. With nearly two decades in the floral industry, Laura describes her design style as "inspired by nature, the way plants grown naturally, with layers of texture and dimension. And as an avid gardener, I include unique blooms from my own garden into my designs whenever possible". She has an awesome garden and a massive love for clematis and succulents. Laura is also a collector of vintage ceramics and has wonderful vignettes displayed throughout her house.
Questions with Laura;
How long have you lived in your house? Eight and a half years.
What are some of your favorite things about living in your house? I've always been drawn towards older home and feel in love with it's character and charm, along with the garden space, at first site. It's small, but has everything I need wrapped into a perfect package. I love the diversity of Oakland, and the fact that it's so centrally located to many different areas allows me to work in areas outside Oakland.
When did you start your floral design business? I started working in a flower shop in Los Angeles as a bookkeeper, quickly I was drawn into the "floral" environment, being a gardener at a young age in made sense. I worked in a few retail florists and gift shops as a sales person learning the ins and outs of the business, then I landed a job where I learned design, and that ended in my purchasing an existing business 16 years ago.
What are you favorite elements to design for a wedding? Lately I'm enjoy creating centerpieces more and more, but I've always loved making bouquets and boutonnieres.
What would be your ideal setting and florals for a wedding? Outdoors in a natural setting. Being a lover of nature and gardens, I've always been more attracted to including a wide array of elements in my designs. Including textural foliages along with different sized and shaped floral blooms to create what we see in nature. I'm a sucker for a cool vessel.
What do you find easiest and hardest about having a home-based studio? The easiest thing is NO commute traffic to deal with ever. The most difficult is motivating myself to get things done every day, to keep on top of the future work. When I do have a job I have a difficult time saying good night and not going back outside to work on something else after hours.
You have a lot of collections and vignettes around your house. What are some of your favorite pieces? My doll parts and pottery collection are the overall favorites. I love the floral prints above my desk and the old sheers, but the current favorite is a wooden box vignette in my room.
What are some of your favorite places to go in Oakland and the East Bay? Tail of the Yak (ribbons), Urban Indigo (gifts), Bocanova (food/drinks), Redwood Regional Park (hiking with Parker), Dona Tomas (food/drinks), Tattoo 13 (tattoos), Esqueleto (jewels), The Fox Theatre (music venue), Farmer Joe's (grocery store)