Floral Arrangements for the Holidays

Floral Arrangements for the Holidays

January 29, 2010
Photo by: Jon Whittle

Though based in Boston, that enclave of conservative style, David Winston of Winston Flowers is always looking for ways to challenge the standard approach to floral design, to bust outside the box. At this New England home, he and Marc Hall, creative director of special events, put their heads together and found an envelope-pushing concept for every standard-issue holiday convention, from garlands to Christmas trees to yule logs. While their guiding precept — elegant but organic — might seem paradoxical, it worked.

The result is something very modern but also homey and inviting. One reason for this is Winston Flowers’ dedicated celebration of the intrinsic beauty of plants, from root to seedpod. “There’s not a single part of a plant that’s not usable,” says Hall. Here, bare paperwhite bulbs can be found clustered at the base of amaryllis in full bloom, a row of pine cones lines a mantel, berries nestle beneath candleholders, pine needles carpet an entry floor and stacked firewood is displayed like sculpture rather than hidden away.

But this woodsy winter wonderland also has its share of bling, thoughtfully placed — such as the stunning mother-of-pearl vase in the foyer, the twinkling Mylar snowflakes and faux gems on the chandelier, mirrored stars among the amaryllis and crystal “tumbleweeds” topping the trees in the sunroom. After all, what would holiday décor be without a little glimmer, though in this case, it’s all done without plugging in a single string of lights.

While the elements are recognizable, they are used in some surprising ways — Christmas red shows up but in a topiary of rose blossoms, tropical orchids join hellebores in a bouquet, and poinsettias emerge from a ruffled collar of juniper in a 4-foot container. As Winston says: “There are so many ways to do Christmas. Some people like tradition but others are willing to take risks — they want something other than the same-old. We want to let people experience something different and contemporary.” 


Designer profile: David Winston

Co-owner with brothers Ted and Michael of Boston-based Winston Flowers — a floral-design business started by their grandfather more than 60 years ago — David Winston proudly ticks off a list of company accomplishments: six retail locations, a busy online-shopping website, a bustling design studio and more than 200 special events a year. His latest venture is landscape design — a natural next step.