Hygge (hoo-ga) is Danish for cozy

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Pattern Players: Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo

Posted on March 17, 2016 by Melissa Andersen

If there's one thing that can transform a room just as much as great wallpaper, but in far less time, it's a fabulous floral arrangement. Pair said floral arrangement with aforementioned pattern and you've got yourself a powerhouse combination of color and pop.

Even the simplest flowers can breathe life into a space and give a heartbeat to any home. So what could a to-die-for floral arrangement due to a room decked out in our favorite wallpapers? To find out we tapped Jill Rizzo of the renowned Studio Choo and tasked her with creating arrangements inspired by three different H&W patterns. The results were nothing short of magical - and the perfect way to usher in the flower-filled spring season.

Hygge & West: As a florist, it goes without saying that you're inspired by nature. But what else, perhaps a little more unexpected, also inspires your work.

Jill Rizzo: Of course… I am always inspired by the beauty in the natural world, but I am on the lookout for unique color and texture combinations all around me. Maybe a piece of jewelry with tightly wrapped woven threads (we once made a wedding with colors themed around one of my necklaces!) or a particular vase shape that pushes me to use blooms outside my normal repertoire. I am very interested in how my flowers interact with their place and space - the area they will exist in will often inspire the composition of the arrangement. I also love working on collaborations with other artists! It is a fantastic way to reach outside your comfort zone… it can be very easy to get stuck in a flower rut where all your arrangements begin looking the same. 

H&W: You created three stunningly gorgeous arrangements inspired by three of our wallpapers - Moons Midnight, Cosmic Desert Gold, and Foret Plum. Why did you choose these patterns and colorways and how did they inform your arrangements.

JR: I had a good look at all the wallpaper designs and picked out several that were exciting to me. Then I visited the San Francisco flower mart and scoped out the blooms available that would help me to create an interesting interaction with the papers.

For Moons Gray I was able to make some very direct design references to the paper. I started with arching “crescent moon” shaped vines and branches (acacia, black kennedia vine, and black salvia). I looked specifically for materials with dark blooms, pops of white and yellow, and blue/green toned foliage to match this colorway. I included the acacia and the astilbe to mimic the delicate dotted texture of the stars and the black calla lilies brought in another dark crescent shape. The icing on the cake was the white shooting star hydrangea!

The Cosmic Desert Gold pairing was less about color and more about the playful and unusual shapes. I used tropical looking materials with long skinny stems (French parrot tulips, anthurium, ranunculus) to emphasize the leggy trees. The fantastic stem of dark centered leucadendron, neon protea, and spiky succulents translated the sunburst shapes from the paper very well. The feathery asparagus fern and citrus finished off the piece with some fun texture.

The Foret Plum was all about color! I wanted the arrangement to blend…like when someone is wearing a shirt with the same print as the wallpaper behind them! The paper has so many beautiful details- you can look at it for a long time and keep discovering a new bloom or creature. I made the arrangement to feel the same- a dense bloom packed textural plum wonderland! Some of the players include ranunculus, rose, amaranthus, sweet pea, hellebore, happy wanderer, stock, viburnum berry, sumac, astrantia and more.

H&W: Creating different palettes and mixing shapes and textures in your arrangements is a lot like designing an interior. What's your approach to your work, and how can some of those same ideas be translated into decorating at home?

JR: I actually approach decorating in a similar way to making my arrangements. In terms of palette I start with two colors and look for accents to blend them together. There is usually a fun hotter tone on the outskirts of the color range! Those blending pieces really tie an arrangement, or room, together. It could be a pillow, rug, or even a plant with unusually colored foliage.

H&W: Spring is just around the corner, and for those of us not in the year-round floral business, it's the season of flowers! What are some of your favorite spring blooms and how do you like to showcase them?

JR: Spring! I like the two opposite sizes best - big flowering branches and tiny blooms. With branches you can use just one amazing specimen and display it in a simple glass vase. Depending on the variety they can last for weeks. On the opposite spectrum I love creating tiny compositions in small special vessels. Muscari, lily of the valley, snowdrops, hellebore, and fritillaria are some of my favorites.

H&W: We love wallpaper used in unexpected ways. What are some unexpected ways to use flowers?

JR: I love going outside the norm with floral displays. In our second book, The Wreath Recipe Book we created tons of projects thinking “outside the vase”…chandeliers, wall hangings, and of course wreaths! It is fun to experiment and see how different flowers and branches hold up over time.

H&W: If you could design a floral arrangement for any famous person - dead or alive, real or fictional - who would it be and what would it look like?

JR: My mom was a florist and passed away when I was 15. I’d love to make an arrangement for her, I think she’d be quite into what I am up to now. I’d make a big sprawling California style piece with draping rosemary, big dangling citrus, and eucalyptus to show her where I lived for the last 12 years. And then maybe a little accompanying arrangement with lily of the valley. I used to pick it for her from the park next to our house when I was a wee one.

H&W: 'Hygge' loosely translates to the Danish concept of coziness. How do you create a sense of hygge at home, whether it's with a special ritual, treasured objects, or something else entirely?

JR: Having just bought my first home, I have been doing a lot lately to settle in. I made a big move from California to Rhode Island (where I grew up) so in a sense I have really returned “home." Flowers and plants are a big part of coziness to me - in a visual sense and also in ritual. I set aside a few hours each week to care for my plants and create simple displays with flowers… then sit down and enjoy them. It may seem hard to believe but when you work with flowers every day, you can get a little sick of them! I try and make an effort to not have them be all business.

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