What Inspires You?: The Romance of Flowers
By Michael Putnam, Interior Design '12
Flowers have an energy. They can change the energy of a space—and change a person’s mood. A lot of floral designers miss how you can interact with space and create something transformative; you’re thinking from all different angles.
That’s something I learned studying interior design at FIT. I loved it, but I didn’t like sitting at a desk. I’ve always had a passion for nature. As a child, I would visit my aunt in California, and I remember being in her flower garden with these big, big cosmos above my head. I’m insanely tactile, I love working with my hands, and I love instant gratification. It all comes together in floral design. The Putnam & Putnam aesthetic is definitely romantic. There’s a sense of movement, an organic, alive feeling, as if it’s growing out of the vessel. And there’s always a sense of drama. Some of our favorite flowers are rare varieties of ranunculus from Japan, and incredible dahlias, some local and some from Holland. We also include more common stuff—yarrow, zinnias. Working with plants is like painting: the colors, the textures, how you layer them. We’re creating ephemeral art. The thing that makes me most excited is that it’s not just an object. You see it through all the stages, all the changes until it dies. It becomes a memory.