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Falling for Flowers

By Nathan Coker
In Bayou Home
Sep 29th, 2014


Nick McKinney, one of Monroe’s resident floral gurus and an arbiter of chic, impeccably-styled interiors, works his floral magic and creates six different floral “looks” that BayouLife readers can recreate with just a few key materials. The materials he uses for this project range from simple glass vases that you can find at local florists shops, Wal-Mart or Target to an antique bronze vessel. Snapdragons, English roses and stalks of millet, as well as banana plant stalks, are his chosen palette. Nothing adds life to interiors like the staccato of color from fresh flowers and greenery. As Japanese Ikebana floral arrangers say, “In every flower, there is a universe.” Don’t be afraid to experiment and bring the universe that flowers offer to your home this fall.  Of course, you can always call Nick if you get stuck!


IMAGINE SNAPDRAGONS: A round table is centered with a tall glass vase overflowing with snapdragon blooms, which ombré from a tinge of green to light cream and varying from pink, coral to hotter shades of pink which are echoed in a large painting by Bunny Mitchell Hewitt. Nick uses four bundles of snapdragons to create this stunning arrangement.


Nick says beauty is all around us. We just need to slow down and look for it. From his own yard, he cut these exquisite banana plant stalks, complete with baby bananas and out-of-this-world looking petals in an indescribable hue of fuchsia with long stamen in a rich saffron color. Don’t be afraid to add plants to your gardens that you can run out and cut greenery or blooms for an instant lift. Other great plants for instant “green” arrangements are fatsia, cast iron plant, pittosporum and philodendron, as their leaves look good on their own or interspersed among flowers and are perfect for our climate.


FLOWER POWDER: For a small powder room, Nick keeps the arrangements simple. Utilizing three small vases in contrasting white and a vibrant orange, he adds just one snapdragon stem to each. The result is a playful design, easy for beginners to duplicate.


A ROSY OUTLOOK: Inspired by the color palette in the Lacey Stinson landscape, Nick groups four dozen English roses in shades of pink with green edged petals in a glass globe vase and has interspersed stems of snapdragons in hues of pink, cream and coral.


AN EXOTIC WELCOME: A dramatic tone for the home’s foyer is set with a nod to the Oriental altar table and carved wood panel. Arranged in a Japanese bronze usubata, Nick first gathered 3 bundles of fresh millet (a reminder of the ongoing fall harvest) and tied them together with a stem of millet. A frog (a spiky device to secure flower stems) is placed in the vessel bottom and holds the millet stems upright. A gorgeous stem of chartreuse orchids with aubergine centers lends a touch of the exotic to the arrangement. Elderberry sprigs are placed at the base.


RISE AND SHINE: Nick adds a whimsical touch to a bedside arrangement featuring a sculpture of “El Sol” peaking his head through stalks of millet, beckoning “Rise and Shine.” Nick divided a bundle of fresh millet, loosely attached two groups by tying them together with an extra stalk of millet, and placed in an oval glass vase, creating a simple, easy and fresh arrangement.