Monday, March 21, 2016

Sublime Flowers: Glorious floral creations by New York’s highly talented Lewis Miller of Lewis Miller Design are presented in an inspiring new book, ‘Styling Nature’, published this spring by Rizzoli. I love his floral style—abundant, seasonal, and a little bit wild.

Growing up in the countryside in New Zealand, I loved plunging into the garden early on Saturday mornings to pick armfuls of white lilacs, or palest green hydrangea blooms or ivory peonies to arrange simply and profusely for a dinner party that evening. My mother loved flowers in every room to look fresh from the garden, generous, lavish.

I was inspired by my grandmother’s collections of books on floral décor by English designers like Constance Spry, and I followed Miss Spry’s natural and abundant approach, keeping flowers and leaves mostly monochromatic or softly tonal.

My eye was immediately captured by New York floral designer Lewis Miller’s new book. His elegant flowers have the same soft tonality and lavish simplicity.

Lewis expresses his style with generosity, spirit and a sense of freedom. He is guided by painterly color, somewhat formal composition, plus a sense of movement, shape, and texture, his basic principles for creating a floral still life.

In the new book, in the heritage of Constance Spry and Dutch still-life painters—Lewis Miller’s flowers look natural and fresh from the garden, a look I love.

Lewis Miller’s ‘Styling Nature’ offers ideas and inspiration with a naturalistic style. His lovely and artistic creations are presented so that professionals and enthusiasts (and Saturday morning flower designers) can emulate his confident approach.

Miller’s collaboration with New York photographer Don Freeman in this in-depth new book is a brilliant one. 

“My approach to floral design has always been a bit unorthodox. I see flowers in an unusual way and I am happiest when I am combining opposing elements in my work. My aesthetic can go from monastic chic to the court of Versailles in the blink of an eye, and if sometimes I describe a flower as if it is an unruly teenager it is because all flowers have their own unique charms.” – Lewis Miller from ‘Styling Nature’

Lewis Miller

Behind the Scenes: An exclusive look at Lewis Miller and Don Freeman at work creating ‘Styling Nature’

About the Author

Lewis Miller is an acclaimed New York–based floral designer. Since 2002 he has been the proprietor of LMD New York, making flower arrangements and creating party settings for his private and corporate clientele, including Givenchy, Chanel, Bergdorf Goodman, Bulgari, and the Whitney Museum. He memorably designed the romantic Florentine décor for a recent gala at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, sponsored by Ferragamo.

Lewis Miller, who has a background in horticulture and landscape design, describes his work as "sumptuous nature".

In his new book, in chapters organized by color, composition, movement, shape, and texture, he explains the thoughts that guide his artistic process.

Vivid images of brightly hued poppies, full-blown roses and peonies, hydrangeas, and graceful tulips explode on each page, inspiring the reader to style them in a joyful and confident way.

He offers fresh ideas on containers high and low, old and new, and the endless textures of unexpected foliage.

Practical information is generously offered and the book ends with an invaluable thumbnail index of all images, listing the types of flowers in each arrangement, so the reader will know what to look, or ask for.

“In addition to special occasions, I want to encourage everyone to incorporate flowers into every day, and to embolden connoisseurs of natural beauty to take this soulful domestic art into their own hands,” said Lewis Miller.


‘Styling Nature 
A Masterful Approach to Flower Arrangements’ By Lewis Miller with Irini Arakas, with all photography by Don Freeman (Rizzoli New York, 2016).

All photography, including behind the scenes images, and outtakes, by Don Freeman.

Introduction by Nina Garcia. Nina Garcia is a fashion journalist, television personality, author, and the creative director of Marie Claire.

Don Freeman

Don Freeman is an accomplished fashion, still life, and interiors photographer based in New York. His work is often published in design and style magazines such as The World of Interiors, Elle Décor, and Architectural Digest. His photography illustrated the dramatic and beautiful volume, ‘Ted Muehling A Portrait’,’ also published by Rizzoli. 

“The images in this book and my photography of Lewis Miller’s work for the past ten years are an exploration of an inner dimension of the mind that also expresses itself with music and poetry. By using simple sets and all-natural lighting these images paint a rich dreamscape that recalls a faded remembrance of beauty and simple, rhythmic gestures.” — Don Freeman


Karena said...

Sublime! Fabulous florals all!

The Arts by Karena

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

KARENA--Thank you. You are a flower expert. You understand beauty.


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


JUAN LLURIA made the following observation--so vivid and passionate:

" Quelle joie! I am SO over this trend of recent 10 years in which floral arrangements are so acidic and gaunt and devoid of such charm to which this artist happily advocates a sensible return!"



Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

I received a lovely email from SHELBY DE QUESADA…who said simply, 'Flower envy'…

I agree. Lewis loves abundance and beauty…and his flowers all look so vivid and beautiful.

Bravo to Lewis for creating beauty that is uplifting.

very best--DIANE

columnist said...

Delightful arrangements, (and arranger).