Fiona Fleur holding a large white bouquet of lilies while wearing a coordinating all-white outfit
Making a home

When
florals
meet art

Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom:
One woman's bold move into the world of floristry and design,
leading with intuition and an innate understanding
of how to create a unique,
artistically driven arrangement of flowers.

Spring table floral arrangement with tulips, butterfly ranunculuses, and sweet peas in pastel pinks, yellows and whites

Pastel Spring flowers like Tulips, Butterfly Ranunculus and Sweet Peas surround the space in a soft peppermint pink.

When pragmatism meets an intuitive and creative mindset, something beautiful is born. Or, that is what happened when the founder of Fiona Fleur, Fiona McLaughlin, decided she was unsatisfied in her PR and marketing role and craved a more creative and independent career that she ‘could do with her hands’. The result is an incredibly successful, stylised brand driven by ‘personality and passion’. A reimagining of floral design so breathtaking it’s hard to believe it stems from determination rather than formal training.

The Condo and Fiona of Fiona Fleur in conversation on never tried before designs, floral arrangements for the home and finding inspiration in the most unexpected places.

Lucy Siddall: How do you approach your design process?

Fiona McLaughlin: I don’t have any formal floristry training, so my approach to design is very intuitive. I’ve no preconception of how designs should look because I haven’t learnt the “correct” tried and tested ways to arrange. But I like that. I don’t have the same education as 1000s of other florists, and I believe this lack of training produces the most unique designs. I do what I think looks good rather than following a specific recipe. I used to work primarily from mood boards or Pinterest boards, but I started to see how limiting this was as you can only show clients designs already created. Now, I use sketches to bring my ideas to life and help the client visualise what I want to do, but also so I can have more creative freedom and create something original and unique.

 

Floral sketch in pink, white, yellow and green, displayed in a pedestal atop a table
Client illustration

Fiona Fleur, the floral virtuoso, creates personalised client sketches for flower arrangements, ensuring each design perfectly captures her clients' visions and emotions.

Bespoke dried floral arrangements in Cherie Lee Interiors , London interior's project

Cherie Lee Interiors elevates their interior projects with meticulously crafted bespoke dried floral arrangements by Fiona Fleur.

Cluster of anemone flowers on a bed of leaves

Artfully arranged cluster of anemone flowers for one of Fiona Fleur’s clients.

Summer wedding table display adorned with Fiona Fleur's floral arrangements

Fiona Fleur crafts floral arrangements for weddings across the globe, enhancing and adorning each celebration with her exquisite blooms.

Soft ivory florals cascading on Rosewood London's grand marble staircase by Fiona Fleur

Romantic cascade of soft ivory florals draped over the grand marble staircase of the Rosewood Hotel in London.

LS: How would you describe your floristry style?

FM: My style is clean, simple and told with a contemporary narrative. The shapes are soft and embody the naturally occurring, organic movements and patterns seen in the world and oceans. It’s essential my designs have a softness while also appearing stylised, contemporary and sculptural.

LS: Do you only work with real flowers?

FM: No, I work with fresh, silk and dried flowers. Depending on the brief and the client, I will mix and match a combination of these three types. I recently created a tabletop arrangement for Christie’s using 100% natural flowers. However, I also did a trailing cascade installation for The Rosewood Hotel in July using both silk and real flowers and the entrance to Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant, The Lucky Cat, using purely silk flowers, so it varies a lot.

LS: How do you optimise your arrangements for longevity?

FM: It depends on the brief and the client. If the arrangement is only for one day, I’ll use fresh flowers for maximum impact and not worry that it will wilt or lose shape. If a client requests an arrangement for a three-day stand, I’ll incorporate silks. I’ll include silk and dried if the design needs to last longer. The combination of dried and silk provides an abundance of texture and looks beautiful in a very luxurious way. The two work very well together. Silk flowers give the brightness of real flowers, and you get a softer feel with the dried varieties. The other great thing about silk flowers is that they are reusable and, therefore, sustainable, especially compared to fresh flowers, which are single-use.

Candle Light floral arrangemetn for Rose Wood Hotel by Fiona Fleur
installation

The Rosewood Hotel, near London’s Covent Garden.

Editoral floral arrangement on table using blossom by Fiona Fleur
ditorial floral arrangement by Fiona Fleur featuring hanging lilies

LS: Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?

FM: I always start with a desire to create a design I haven’t seen before. I’m constantly asking myself, ‘What can we do to make this shape different’? So, I’m untraditional in the places I search for inspiration. I look to nature rather than typical Pinterest floral designs. I look at the way tree branches drape, leaves fall to the ground as the seasons change or the way water and oceans move - the rolling narrative of the waves. I try to replicate that movement in my designs. It gives the design a unique look because it’s not a traditional way of placing flowers.

LS: How do you tailor your designs to the seasons?

FM: I’m constrained by the seasons because you only have access to certain flowers at specific times of the year, so if you want the best and freshest versions, you have to work with what’s available when you want to create the design. However, I love this as I work almost entirely in colour, as I believe this creates the most substantial visual impact. I don’t like diluting my designs with foliage or other colours, which is also useful when working with seasonal tones. Other florists do this, but I want to challenge the traditional narrative. Fortunately, there is enough range within each season not to have to compromise your designs. I couldn’t work with peonies now as they are spring flowers, but I could work with berries that aren’t necessarily available in the warmer months. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete berry design, so that’s something to look into. See? Inspiration in the most unexpected places.

English garden leaves and branches arrangement by Fiona Fleur for The Ned London.

Timeless elegance of Fiona Fleur's English garden creations at The Ned London.

LS: What would you recommend if someone wants to incorporate flowers into their home, especially as we enter the cooler months?

FF: I love plain foliage on its own. I recently collected wild twigs and arranged them in a vase; they looked beautiful, simple and sculptural. As we move towards Christmas, things like pine are fragrant and work well in the home. The other great thing about foliage is that it lasts longer. Next, don’t mix flowers; stick with one type and play with tonal colours to create depth, but only use one variety at a time in a vase. Work with a single colour composition, play with the different tones and explore the depths of shades within that palette. This way, visually, the look is very impactful. I also recommend buying seasonal flowers and arrangements, so they last longer. Lastly, consider your interior styling and complement your existing shades. For example, if your interior is cream or beige, incorporate a neutral colour palette with your flowers. It’s an understated and elegant approach.

Discover more of Fiona Fleur’s beautiful, artistic and sculptural designs here and follow her Instagram for inspiration and news of exciting floral projects she has coming up soon.

Beaverbrook Townhouse's floral arrangement by Fiona Fleur
BEaverbrook town house

Fiona Fleur's seasonal installation at Beaverbrook Town House, a 5-star luxury boutique hotel in Chelsea, London.

Share