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Book Review: WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

Foraging flowers and foliage, is now a thing, we all delight at coming home with a handful of hedgerow discoveries, but how to make the most of our collection?

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I was sent a review copy of the book WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler. It gives a glimpse into the world of flower arrangers, Worm, packed with insider knowledge into how they achieve their original and contemporary approach to wreaths and flower installations. Exuberant and full of life, the can do flower company aims to bring the delight of natural foraged flowers to your home or venue.

With their characteristic enthusiasm they set out to demystify the art with a wealth of fresh new tips for constructing and building up original floral installations so they look their very best. Even if you are not into creating with flowers the book is a must for the beautiful images alone. Photographer Kristin Perers, creates serene moments of floral calm leaving us all wishing they were part of our lives.

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Liberated from more formal arrangements this book reflects the recent move away from monoculture flower arrangements towards a more seasonal approach, as often as possible, using foraged and farmed British flowers and foliage. People who know me will be aware I am always looking for new ways to bring the outside in and I love the crazy, mad, romantic almost Midsummers Night Dream vibe of Worm designs.

The detailed recipe for Meadow Ball, makes the concept approachable, I’m itching to sling a hook in the ceiling and get on with it. Another design I am keen to try is the Late Summer Chandelier, which uses a gnarled, ropey clematis vine as a base. The smell from the Giant Pine Wreath promises to deliver an intoxicating perfume, so that’s a must when the time comes round. And for sheer vibrancy the Autumnal Wreath would be the star at a Harvest or Thanksgiving celebration.

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Dip into the pages of this beautiful book, Wreaths, with its glorious images and all the tools and know how to develop your own instinctive floral style,  you will be ready to create a wreath to celebrate each seasonal event when it comes along. 

WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler (Quadrille, £14.99)

Photography: Kristin Perers

Worm London http://www.wormlondon.com

Kristin Perers http://kristinperers.com

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If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots

Book Review - IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors by Hans Blomquist

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

We’ve been stuck in a neutral colour rut for so long, how can I resist the lure of this book title In the Mood for Colour by Hans Blomquist, everyones all time favourite interior stylist, art director who recounts his story of colour, which is a major interest for me. To find all this rolled into one generous tome means well established books at the top of my extensive must have list have been bumped off in favour of this colourful newbie.

The book opens with A World Full of Colour, a lush mosaic of mainly polychrome images from around the world, its grid format is very familiar to Instagram users. It is then divided into chapters, Dark, Pale, Natural, Soft and Bold. Each chapter is layered with a visual feast of colour images illustrating ways to bring colour into interiors. Running through both text and images the constant message to remember is 'designed by nature' when using colour in interiors. In order to grow your confidence combining different hues, take note of  the many ways nature successfully combines colour. This is a personal account of his relationship with colour, his response to the different colours is engaging and effervescent particularly when he discusses how his mood responds to different combinations. 

The eclectic schemes illustrating ways to use colour are summed up with delightful names like Pistachio, Duck Egg and Faded Denim, hinting at a layered experience that engages all the senses. The double page spread, Rose, Powder, Petal, like a mood board, uses a variety of illustrations, paint, fabrics and flowers, with the main image demonstrating how to layer up with style and confidence. 

With its wealth of eye candy still lifes and dreamy compositions it’s an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to find ways to launch into the colour zone and on their way to creating confident colourful interiors. In the Mood for Colour is now my go to volume for inspiration. I’ve worked on many rewarding projects where colour has been pivotal. As lead colour expert on an innovative government research project, colour was used to show how environment affects children learning. Further projects have used colour to develop rooms for teanage cancer care as well as psychotherapists consulting rooms.

IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors

Hans Blomquist

Published by Ryland Peters & Small £19.99

If you like this post check out my post on 'The Flower Farmers Year'