Turquoise, green and gold ornaments come together with chocolate brown, bronze and gold to produce a glamorous vintage look, while a full size Christmas tree adorned with hanging crystals, glass droplets and spun glass baubles evokes a luxurious Alpine ski lodge vibe. And that’s just to start. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and there’s no place more festive right now than Neill Strain’s, The Flower Lounge. It should come as no surprise really, that when it comes to Christmas, no one does it quite like Neill Strain. “Christmas time at our Belgravia store means a complete change of look and style for the season,” the talented floral designer explains. “The store is transformed into a world of festive opulence, with twinkling lights, bright colours, seasonal floral arrangements and elegant displays of magnificent baubles, decorations and luxurious ribbons.
“For this year’s seasonal installation, I was inspired by the opulence of Fifth Avenue combined with the glitz of the Rockettes performing at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. “Heavy sparkle, layers of red and gold baubles on lush winter foliage, and red-dyed, glittering faux Phalaenopsis Orchids feature,” he says.
Christmas is a very busy time for Neill but it’s also a time of unlimited creativity; it is for this very reason that the haute couture floral designer especially enjoys the festive season. “I adore Christmas! I love the scent of the Spruce and Pine. I love the texture of the winter berries and foliages. I love the Christmas flowers such as Amaryllis, Cyclamen and vast Cymbidiums. “But what I love most is the fact that I can fully express my love of the theatrical through the opulent Christmas decor we create for our clients,”
The festive season signals the beginning of Neill’s Christmas home styling service, a service which involves designing interiors, creating bespoke table centrepieces and of course, luxurious Christmas trees.
“I select my Christmas trees from a specialised Christmas tree farm in Yattendon, Berkshire. They are the largest grower in England and have the best selection.
“I walk around the fields where they grow to select the ideal tree for the client and they cut it for me, there and then, to guarantee the ultimate freshness. Embellished with our luxury decorations, these Christmas trees are truly exceptional,” he said.
The trees are decorated in much the same way as how Neill Strain Floral Couture decorates a home; they create a theme and colour co-ordinate the decorations with the style of the interiors to reflect their client’s personality and taste. “We start with lots of sparkle and lights; we sometimes add natural plant material such as dyed twigs or clusters of gold Magnolia leaves,” he says.
Then we densely cover the trees with luxurious baubles, glass decorations and exquisite ribbons – the best selection available in the industry that I personally select from abroad during the year.”
This festive season Neill is collaborating with talented candle maker, Rachel Vosper, to create handmade bespoke candle wreaths for his clients to use as lavish table centrepieces.
Clients select their candle from Rachel’s library of fragrances along with the hand-cut crystal vessel. We then create the wreath around the candle according to the style and colour requested, “Clients can choose the individual decorations from our store,” he says.
Christmas wreaths to hang over the door are another quintessential sight of the festive season. Neill’s handmade wreaths are yet another of his bespoke seasonal specialities that are distinguished by their intricate detail and exquisite ornamental features. “The wreath base is handmade with a variety of seasonal foliage carefully bound together, large and full,” he says.
“We add sumptuous ribbons, gorgeous baubles in different shapes and textures and other decorations according to the clients’ wishes. Our wreaths are densely packed with an opulent, luxurious look.
“Colours range from traditional reds, golds and silvery white through to modern trends such as chocolate, turquoise and magenta. “Clients consider their door wreath as a work of art that reflects their style and personality for the festive season,” he says. Christmas isn’t the first time Neill Strain Floral Couture London sees changes to it’s decorative facade – did you see Neill’s Celebration of The Rose as part of the Chelsea Flower show? It’s truly a site to behold!
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