So much floral inspiration with talented designer, Tulipina…
I have been enamored with flowers for as long as I can remember… As a young girl I grew up with parents who loved to garden. We had incredible rose gardens that filled our yard and home with large glorious blooms and strong fragrances. My Mom was always entertaining and flowers were a huge part of her decorating style. I have since followed suit and as a result my home is always full of flowers… either fresh from my own garden or the local market.
I first stumbled upon Kiana Underwood’s Instagram @Tulipinadesign last year and was immediately drawn to her incredible gravity defying flower arrangements. I don’t think I’ve ever seen flowers outside of their natural garden state look as beautiful and honored as those she designs. Every stem is carefully placed and accented by another equally beautiful flower. Kiana’s sense of color and style flow effortlessly with each arrangement and I’m excited to feature her today.
Kiana, a busy Mother of 3 not only runs her very successful floral design boutique but also holds workshops where you are given the opportunity to learn from the master herself and often has a Guest who brings something extra to the table. Such an amazing opportunity!
Take a peek at the beautiful video on her website, Tulipina.com which shows her performing her ‘Art’ alongside Beethoven’s Piano Concerto. It’s a performance that is one I will always remember and is as special and unique as the girl behind the Tulipina Design…
I’m fortunate to have been able to ask Kiana a few questions below regarding her craft as well as tips for flower novices such as myself. I have learned so much… Enjoy!! :)
I am crazy about your incredibly unique flower arrangements! How did you fall into the spectacular art of flower arranging?
I grew up around flowers all my life. My grandfather had a beautiful garden where I spent a lot of time as a little girl, and my mother always had fresh flowers in our house. After I earned my Master’s degree in International Relations, I worked for a couple of years, but then had children and chose to stay home with them. Despite the fact that I loved being at home with my kids, I always felt like I needed a bit more – something for me. With a strong push from my husband, Tulipina was the result of that desire. In a short period of time, my business grew tremendously and I found myself ever so in love with the art of floral design, and constantly striving to be better at it.
Who inspires you and influences some of your creative pieces?
I would have to say that Ariella Chezar is someone I look up to. She began this revolution with garden-style design and remains my number one flower hero.
Beyond that, I’m inspired by color, art and music. You never know what will happen when I’m listing to Beethoven’s piano concerto for the thousandth time; each time there is new inspiration.
What style arrangements do you prefer for your own home? Your home MUST be filled with gobs of leftover flowers?? ;)
I absolutely love lush, organic, garden-style arrangements, but I have to admit, unless I have guests, most of the time you’ll just find flowers sitting in a galvanized bucket in the corner of my breakfast room.
I see that Gardenias are your favorite flower… What would be your 2nd and 3rd choices?
What are the ‘hot flowers’ of 2015 and what styles and trends do you see approaching the summer season?
I think that peonies and garden roses win the award for “hot flowers”, as I have never met a bride who doesn’t love both of them. I think that many brides now do want the lush garden-style look, more wild than sleek. There has also become greater awareness about sourcing locally grown flowers, which is very cool.
Can you give a few ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for the flower novice on what to look for when picking fresh flowers from our local market or store?
Believe it or not, I do buy flowers from Trader Joe’s quite a bit. When I am choosing, I look for flowers that are not so stiff – ones that I could incorporate into a a loose and free flowing arrangement. I often don’t buy tightly closed roses at the market, and instead prefer those that are a bit more open.
Any tips on how to make our flowers at home last longer?
Nothing magical – just give them a fresh cut when you bring them home and make sure their water is clean, as well as your vessel. Of course, try to avoid putting them in direct sunlight.
Where do you find all your vessels and vases? Do you have a favorite style?
Pedestal vases are my absolute favorite as they complement my floral design style best. I can generally find pedestal vases anywhere – from thrift stores to Pottery Barn, or even fruit bowls at Crate and Barrel!
Should most stems (except roses) be cute straight across?
I cut everything at an angle and woody stems cut and then snipped up in the middle.
Thank you so much to Kiana for taking the time to open up to me about her love and art. I cannot wait to visit her boutique floral design studio, Tulipina in my hometown area of San Francisco!
Floral design, styling, and photography by Kiana Underwood / Tulipina Floral Design
Select photography © 2014, 2015 Nathan Underwood