What if creating bouquets (or flower crowns) could reduce our stress levels? Wouldn’t that be lovely? If anyone could agree with this sentiment, it’s Silka Rittson-Thomas. The British florist was a successful art curator before opening her floral shop, Tuk Tuk Studio, in the heart of London’s Mayfair district. She developed her flower-arranging hobby as a way to wind down while spending time at her country house in the Cotswolds, where she grows a cutting garden—and where she eventually turned her love for florals into a thriving business.
Tuk Tuk Studio is a floral shop unlike any other. Featuring sculptural vases made by contemporary ceramicists and oversize paper blooms made by Rittson-Thomas herself, it’s a wonderland of fine art and flowers. Plus, her artistic background gives her a unique perspective on flower arrangement. Semaine recently visited the gifted florist at her country home in the Cotswolds, and tapped her on how to artfully curate a flower arrangement. Try the to de-stressing method with a few blooms of your own this weekend.
“There are no rules apart from your own,” says Rittson-Thomas. It’s always best to choose seasonal blooms, but outside of that, use your intuition to create your arrangement. When in doubt, channel Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation.
When dreaming up your arrangement, consider the tablecloth fabric, the vase, and the room in which it will sit. Picture the arrangement in the space before creating it, to weave a coherent story: “Thinking about the background and visual nuances of the placement for the arrangement is immensely helpful,” says Rittson-Thomas. Are you picturing tall cherry blossoms or a series of bud vases?
“To create an impact, it is helpful to bundle up similar flowers,” says Rittson-Thomas. “Play with certain tested ‘laws’ of height,” mixing tall blooms with smaller stems to create a layered effect. Conversely, she suggests “using a single type of flower will always reward you with greater impact with color and texture.” Nothing beats a big bunch of blooms propped in a large vase.
“Pick a still-life painting and imitate it,” says the florist. Drawing inspiration from paintings or even photographs can influence arrangements that you wouldn’t have dreamed up on your own. “When the flowers become your brushstroke, the bouquet comes alive,” she says. “With flowers, there’s nothing that can be gained apartment from beauty and happiness really.” Create an arrangement that makes you happy.
Lastly, Rittson-Thomas suggests to pick your arrangement based on scent. (“Everyone has flowers associated with moments.”) For example, she fondly talks about the Cotswolds, where she shares a country house with her husband: “The richness of countryside nature, the simplicity of life, the slow pace of life—let those types of memories inspire your own personal arrangement.”