Sunday, September 29, 2013

October Sponsor: Laura Thomson Design

Join us for the first of a series of monthly sponsored highlight posts featuring New England based businesses! Our October interview is with Laura Thomson, a Massachusetts based floral designer who blogs at Designing Forty Four and specializes in event florals. 

Floral designer Laura Thomson
photo credit: Richard Thomson

Laura Thomson Design at Glen Magna Farms
photo credit: Laura Thomson

New England Finery: When did you first become interested in floral design?

Laura: I first became interested in floral design when I started participating in my garden club’s Art in Bloom program interpreting art with flowers. Through that experience I made the creative connection to floral design and later pursued my interest further by taking a floral design class at Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston. A few years later I would be awarded a scholarship to the Telefloral Education Center in Oklahoma City; continuing to learn new floral design techniques. I would have to attribute my love of design, and creative abilities to my childhood. My parents exposed me to home renovation, gardening, interior design, DIY and craft projects where I gained a great respect for good old fashioned hard work. When I became a homeowner at 24, my childhood experiences would easily translate into my own creative home projects. 

Laura Thomson Design at the Boxford Holiday Homes Tour 2011
photo credit: Yvonne Blacker

photo credit: Laura Thomson

NEF: Where do you find your inspiration?

Laura: I know that this will sound rather corny, but I find inspiration in nature; mainly because it is what speaks to me. I take time to observe the details of my surroundings, noticing the vibrant color of moss growing on a rotten stump, the angle of a maple branch, or the fabulous texture of a nest left behind by a bird. I take into consideration how these things relate to the choices that I make when I design. I also find inspiration in the work of others, and the limitless availability of online resources. Just spend a few minutes on Pinterest, and you know what I mean. I also love to take advantage of design classes when I have the opportunity, and the New York Flower School is on my bucket list. 

Kokedama // photo credit: Laura Thomson

NEF: What are your favorite types of design projects?

Laura: My favorite types of floral design projects are the ones in which the client allows me to be creative with little interference. I enjoy pulling plant material from right outside my door, using unexpected greens and natural elements. I especially love home projects, because making my home a warm and inviting space has always been a top priority of mine. Rolling up my sleeves and literally digging into a good DIY project brings me great satisfaction. Whether it is in the garden transplanting a shrub, painting the walls of a room or making a wreath ... I’m no stranger to a wheel barrel, a paint brush, or a glue gun. 

Spring Arrangements // photo credit: Laura Thomson

NEF: What recommendations do you have when selecting plants for interiors?

Laura: Clients often ask me to purchase interior plants and trees for their spaces. As we are all intrigued by the unique appeal of plants that we see pictured in design magazines, it is not always realistic. We don’t really want to think or know about the actual needs of a plant, because it’s all about the look, right? Choosing plants for interior spaces is not like choosing a lamp for your table. Plants and trees have specific light and water requirements which help to keep them alive. The Fiddle Leaf Fig for example, is a super popular plant right now. It works best in spaces with very bright, indirect light, and the watering should be somewhat limited. Just be sure to read the care instructions before selecting any plant for your home, and you will have the best chance for success. 

Fiddle Leaf Fig // photo credit: Laura Thomson

NEF: How do you like to spend your free time?

Laura: I have spent the last 23 years raising two wonderful children, while challenging my design interests with home projects, cooking, gardening, and crafting. Since I started journaling about my home on my blog Designing44, started a floral business and invested in a new camera; there hasn’t been much time for anything else. Investing in myself is a fairly new concept for me, since up until this point being a mother has been the most rewarding aspect of my life. As my children begin to leave the nest, I start to think about “my” future, and begin to shift my focus, just a little. 

Laura Thomson floral design at the
ASID NE Excellence in Design Awards 2013
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

photo credit: Laura Thomson

Learn more about New England Finerys October sponsor, Laura Thomson Design, by visiting her blog designing forty four. If you would like to be a future monthly sponsor of New England Finery, contact us at