Winter blues? Event designer Lewis Miller has never heard of them. In his hands, cold-season blossoms shine, branches become elegant place-card holders, and a flea-market find takes the stage.
"To create the right vision at a wedding, I ask every couple, 'If you were being painted, what would you want the setting to be?'" says Miller, who founded Lewis Miller Design in 2002. Then he relies on carefully chosen flowers and lighting to transform a venue -- be it a sprawling country vineyard or a sleek city loft.
For this story, "I was inspired by the peace and quiet of winter," he says. "The season has such an icy reputation, but it's actually very soft. I wanted to reflect that."
Bunch Up Blooms
Rather than mix these ranunculus, anemones, and snowberries in one solitary arrangement, Lewis Miller, owner of Lewis Miller Design in New York City, kept them separate, making three different arrays and positioning them together for impact. "There's power in numbers," he explains. "To create cohesion among them, I used the same elements -- lichen-covered branches and off-white ceramic vases -- throughout."
Keep It Simple
A twig propping up a place card is so easy that you might have to convince your florist to leave it alone. "The pairing looks crisp and organic," says Miller. "And it pulls this theme together."
You can find lichen branches year-round in flower markets or even your own backyard. Sit them atop natural-white napkins (a warm hue, which is perfect for cooler months).
"This bouquet shows off the beauty of winter flora," says Miller, "but feels optimistic, too, as if spring is on the horizon." He put the focus on dewy, alabaster amaryllis, then framed them with viridiflora tulips, hellebores, and round-leaf sage, adding snowberries for texture.
Note: She is wearing the Jenny Yoo Collection "Ainsley" dress (jennyyoo.com).
Define a Space
Miller considers every detail for an event -- even a Champagne bar. Hanging lanterns bathe the bubbly in light, and a garland of bay leaves echoes the draped fabric background. An iron urn, found in a Parisian flea market, takes center stage with the help of breathtaking hyacinths and lichen branches. When looking for your own vessel, make sure it passes the squint test. "It should have a beautiful shape when you narrow your eyes, because that's how people will see it from across the room," he says.