laura thomson design

special occasion florals


The Inn at Hastings Park

Workshops, Custom, floralsLaura ThomsonComment

Let's start with the backdrop of all backdrops and talk about the Inn at Hastings Park, where I recently designed a flower workshop for a very special birthday girl. This quintessential New England gem is located in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, not far from my studio. Boasting some of the most beautiful spaces that I have seen in a while, and reminiscent of the quaint villages that I visited in The Cotswolds and the boutique hotels in London, the Inn's charming interiors made my job of "let's make things look beautiful department" a lot easier. Add in hundreds of gorgeous seasonal blooms, a rustic trestle table, gray paneled walls, and viola!

Projects such as this are far and away some of my favorites. I loved having the opportunity to interact with 44 lovely ladies and share the stage with the Inn's signature Lobster Cobb Salad and French 75s.

Creative juices were definitely flowing on this picture perfect day, which included discussions about flower selection, color, and ways to achieve balance in an arrangement. Lush peonies in shades of blush, white, and pink were on hand, pink being the favorite of the day, and were complemented with astilbe, maidenhair fern, lily of the valley, ranunculus, hosta, double pink tulips, hydrangea, sweet pea, green and white roses, garden spray roses, and lilac.

If you haven't already scheduled a visit to the Inn at Hastings Park or dined at Artistry on the Green (did I mention the Lobster Cobb Salad), I would suggest adding those experiences to your summer to-do list.

If you would like to incorporate a fun, hands-on workshop into your next event, please give me a ring!

Photography: Maureen Cotton Photography  Venue: The Inn at Hastings Park | Artistry on the Green

a breath of fresh ideas

floralsLaura ThomsonComment

I spent four days in March in NYC, battling high winds and bitter cold temps, at The Chapel Designers 5th Annual Conference. It didn't feel much like spring in New York, but the weather was certainly no match for the abundance of fresh ideas and inspiration that was ever-present amongst this warm-hearted group of wedding and event specialists from around the globe.

Lauren Carnes Photography
Lauren Carnes Photography
astrid photography with model Cari Funkhouser

For those who may not know, The Chapel Designers is a unique and eclectic group of studio-based wedding and event designers that was created by the talented Holly Chapple of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers. I became a Chapel Designer last July, when I traveled to Virginia for a portfolio workshop at Holly's home studio, tucked in the historic and beautiful hills of Loudon County. Her vision was to create a platform where designers could share and support one another through a variety of learning and networking opportunities. The group is a testament to her unyielding dedication to the business of weddings and her love of flowers. To us, she is the quintessential Flower Mama. 

Lauren Carnes Photography with model Cari Funkhouser
astrid photography

I listened intently over the course of three-days, as new floral techniques and design styles were presented by some of the best names in the business, including Holly, Sarah Winward, David Beahm, Naomi DeManana, Robbie Honey, and Ariel Dearie. We talked about business practices with the help of Sage Events, had a lesson in Quickbooks, and were cleverly reminded by David Beahm about the importance of just being YOU. We spent a day designing compotes and bouquets at David's fabulous studio digs in the South Bronx, and were treated to lunch at Verde Flowers, across the street. We visited Squarespace headquarters to learn about how to further customize our websites, and the importance of capitalizing on SEO. Joy Thigpen helped us better grasp the true meaning of composition, through visuals that spoke without the use of words. We toured Martha Stewart's downtown studio, and were able to see the magic created with the help of a prop room that was to-die-for. From Meg Biram, we heard tips and tricks on being more effective within the realm of social media. As she spoke, I realized that living with a teen, as difficult as it may be at times, has helped to keep me informed about current trends, like Snapchat. We ended the three-day conference with a kick-ass, eye-opening speech from the edgy Jes Gordon. 

Lauren Carnes Photography

A gigantic thank you to Holly, her husband Evan, and the many hands and voices that made this an opportunity to remember. Next stop...London!

Photography: Lauren Carnes Photography and astrid photography  Venue: David Beahm Studios

Post One

floralsLaura ThomsonComment

Today is my first official post here at Laura Thomson Design. Throughout the last four years, I have enjoyed sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my personal and professional design projects on Designing Forty Four. Now that my florals have taken center stage, it feels more natural that I should dedicate my talks on LTD to florals, floral design, and "Designers who Inspire," (seen on my Pinterest page).

Pictured below is a design of mine that was featured last week on Botanical Brouhaha, alongside some quite fabulous names in the business. I am a long-time reader and admirer of Amy McGee's blog, Botanical Brouhaha, which features a unique gathering of industry experts and professionals, floral crushes, and featured designers, all of whom provide a lot of visual inspiration. I encourage you to pay her a visit!

Please don't forget to visit me at Designing Forty Four, where I will continue to post about decorating, design projects, cooking, travel, and whatever strikes my fancy!