In the lead up to the Fourth of July, we’ve asked a handful of our favorite florists and event specialists to give us a glimpse into some inspired Fourth of July bouquets and tablescapes that they’ve created.
Wherever you’ll be celebrating this weekend, there are ideas in here for everyone—from a bustling patriotic wreath by the former Chief Floral Designer at the White House to a variety of table-ready bouquets in small tin cans by Floresta NYC. And if you’re having an appropriately small gathering—with social distancing in mind, of course—you can take inspiration from the chic red-white-and-blue tablescapes of The Bridgehampton Florist and Chefanie’s Stephanie Nass.
While this year may not be the blow-out Fourth of July you’re used to, with bustling social activity, there are plenty of ideas here to help you get creative on any scale. Read on to learn from the best!
As Chief Floral Designer for the White House from 2009 to 2015, Laura Dowling managed floral design for thousands of official and private events including state dinners, parties and receptions as well as large-scale installations for holidays such as the White House Christmas and the Fourth of July.
Dowling’s approach springs from the belief that flowers serve more purpose than simply being used as decorative objects. They can convey diplomatic messages, cultural meaning, and symbolism. To go deeper on the subject, check out her book (one of several), Floral Diplomacy, her TED Talk, or her Flower Podcast.
Dowling shares with us a couple of her favorite Fourth of July and patriotic images: the first, a patriotic wreath of red, white and blue; the second, an all-American ‘cherry pie’ bouquet featuring a ‘woven crust’ of craft paper and mixed summer flowers.
It doesn’t get more American than that.
The floral design duo of Michael Grim and Jim Osburn have been an integral part of the Hamptons community for over three decades. Their impeccable taste and affable nature has garnered praise from fans including Christie Brinkley and Julie Andrews. But don’t take it from us. Here’s Andrews’ testimonial:
“If you are looking for flowers that your guests will be talking about long after their visit, there is no better choice in my book than The Bridgehampton Florist.From a singular bloom to a riotous arrangement, from the simplest country bouquet to sophisticated gala chic, BH Florist has no equal.”
Caterer and culinary influencer Stephanie Nass, who goes by the professional moniker of ‘Chefanie’ studied her craft in France before earning her Grand Diplôme in Professional Culinary arts at the International Culinary Center in New York City.
In 2019, Chefanie launched her own line of stylish and sometimes tongue-in-cheek tableware and accessories to make it easier for you to give your holiday tables a quick lift.
For the fourth of July, Nass offers a variety of tips for decorating from selecting napkins and tablecloths to centerpieces.
With respect to flowers, she says, “Pick something seasonal, either from your garden or from the florist. Seasonal flowers are always less expensive because they are grown in abundance!”
She suggests putting white hydrangeas from your garden into a wicker basket or placing red roses in a blue and white urn. Sounds simple and easy-going, just what we need this year.
As a fifth-generation Angeleno and one of Los Angeles’s popular hostesses, Stephanie Booth Shafran knows how to entertain with an easy cool. With a passion for decorating, interiors, architecture, gardens, fashion and travel, Rizzoli just published her first book, You’re Invited, this year. Notice how she takes simple hydrangeas in creamy white to make a festive statement that is accented with trays with flags. Simple and easy. Sometimes having one flower choice does the trick.
As the owner of Dandelion Floral Art in Chicago. Olena brings an exuberance to all her work. She uses interesting grasses to great effect. Also, she embraces many colors. Takeaways from this arrangement should be utilizing certain flowers for their colors. Blue hydrangeas, red roses and white carnations are perfect for any July 4th arrangement. Then find the independence to add to it with your own flair.
Or create a sculptural arrangement inspired by Lady Liberty. Tcaci calls her top photo “Rose Freedom.” She used red gerbera red spray carnations, dyed gypsophila and dusty miller. So smart the way she uses all types of flora including grasses and whatever inspires her. Tcaci encourages us to look around and see things in a new way.
Lydia Menzies, the Georgia-based owner of The Party Wagon, thinks this July 4th celebration can actually be more special.
“Small gatherings are a great opportunity to spoil your guests a little more with small details,” she says.
What are some of her signature details?
“Add thoughtful gestures such as a small party favor at each place setting at the table.,” she adds. “For a fun flair, top dessert with a sparkler when you serve it. Or host an American wine or beer tasting to create a fun activity for everyone to enjoy.”
A favorite for all of the equestrian community, Wellington Florists creates classic designs with a twist. Always elegant but with a little surprise. Red roses, blue accents and then a sea of white flowers, hydrangeas, orchids and lilies make this a lovely addition to any table or mantle.
Marna Ringel is an award-winning floral designer based in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Her flowers have been commissioned by The Hampton Classic, The American Red Cross Ball in Greenwich, Connecticut, The Greenwich 2016 Antiquarian House Tour, and Rooms with a View in Southport, Connecticut.
She gives lectures at Garden Clubs throughout Connecticut and offers classes at the Greenwich Botanical Garden and the Delamar Hotel in Southport, Connecticut. Above is a creation she made for The American Red Cross Ball in Greenwich.
Floresta is a local floral design studio based in Long Island City, New York offering ‘high-end floral art.’ They specialize in small romantic arrangements that blend natural materials with vintage finds.
True to form, for the Fourth of July, Floresta offers bouquets in vintage tin cans that they recommend for “picnic décor.” As most of us are dining en plein air these days, this couldn’t be a more charming choice.
Another thematic work is a pincushion protea and craspedia arrangement that evokes the spirit of fireworks. Being that 80 percent of displays of holiday fireworks from large cities to small towns have been canceled due to the pandemic, this might be a nice way to bring on some of that spirit for your intimate celebration.