Putnam & Putnam on entertaining, arranging flowers at home, and more

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There’s a magic line between artful and effortless, and part of what we love about Putnam & Putnam’s arrangements (and the invitations they made for us) is how they dance across that boundary as they see fit. We talked to the duo about how they put together their immersive floral installations and how us mortals can conjure up that same wizardry at home.


There’s an organic nature to your work, a lush yet loose feeling that defines each of your arrangements. What is your creation process like—do you sketch or moodboard first, or do you arrange more intuitively?

We absolutely arrange from intuition. We start with a base color palette and then hit the 28th Street Flower Market in search of the best heirlooms and fresh flowers we can find. Once we have the natural materials in-hand at our studio, we start building shapes organically and aim to make everything lush, whether it’s a single table centerpiece or a large-scale installation. For weddings or events, we often begin this process with inspiration boards and sketches of a few key floral moments. But intuition is always key.

Photo by Jeremy Liebman

You use such unique color palettes and layered textures—how do you decide which flowers and tones to use for an occasion?

That all comes from our lead designer, Michael. He comes from an interior design background and has such an incredible eye for color. Layering is an important part of all of our work—we get it by incorporating diversely-sized flowers alongside branches and other textural elements.

One thing we love about your installations is their uncommon use of props and vessels. What’s the most interesting container you’ve put an arrangement in?

We’ve created an oversized statement arrangement in a bathtub, more than a few enclosed arrangements in Plexiglass cubes, and built a garden in the bottom of an empty pool—just to name a few of the highlights. We can’t wait to see what’s next!


What’s your one quick trick for someone who’d love to use flowers to decorate or entertain, but doesn’t know where to start?

Keep it simple–use perfect single stems in a gorgeous vase. We are obsessed with vases from Astier de Villette and Frances Palmer–they are made to showcase choice stems.

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Your arrangements are always bursting with blooms—for us amateurs out there, how do you know when to stop adding flowers?

The key is to ensure your arrangement has a depth you and your guests can see. The way we think of it is that our arrangements are very full, but have enough room for a butterfly to flutter in and out of the flowers. Also, when you add too much to your arrangement, it starts to take on a dome shape. Avoid the dome.

What are your visual inspirations—including floral designers past and present, but also other artists, images, or touchstones?

We love strolling through the Met Museum and viewing old Dutch Still Life paintings in the European section. In the present day, we are constantly inspired by the fashion designers we work with–Adam Lippes, Jason Wu, and Philip Lim, to name a few.

What dream party would you host with one of your P&P invitations, and who would be on the guest list?

An over the top disco party! Everything and everyone in gold, and we’d invite all the important players in our life and all of our partners in parties.


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