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Love from O Magazine

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It’s true: we are hopelessly in love with O magazine. So you can imagine our delight when O magazine publicly proclaimed their love for our Valentine Irresistible luxury gift set in their February issue.

The fresh cut rose arrangement is paired with Ovando’s Rosa Mexicana candle, composed in our signature sleek glasses vase, for a gift that is fabulously beautiful and fragrant.

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It’s so wonderful to share a little love on Valentine’s Day…and, in the words of O, “Say it with flowers.”

The 2012 BOFFO Showhouse Ovando

The 2012 BOFFO Showhouse

Can you imagine coming home each night to the colors and textures of nature, or, by contrast, to a bedroom that holds a virtual bed? This year’s BOFFO Showhouse brought together artists and designers with the precise purpose of redefining possibilities on interior space, as fashioned according to four distinct themes: Nature, Future, Work and Play.

The 2012 BOFFO Showhouse Ovando1

The 2012 BOFFO Showhouse Ovando2

 

Each theme was conjured in the physical space of a bi-level apartment in the Madison Jackson building of the Lower East Side and, certainly, each 1300 square foot allotment pushed beyond the notion of contemporary living and interior design. Apartments instead offered a glimpse into what could be:

FUTURE: reveals a distant evolution of domestic lifestyle.

WORK: focuses on productivity both mentally and physically.

PLAY: allows for rules of behavior to be mitigated and rules of play to be reinforced.

NATURE: brings sensations of the exterior world to the interior world.

The 2012 BOFFO Showhouse Ovando3

 

Ovando collaborated with brilliant designers to create a Nature room that introduced a tropical forest-like atmosphere. BOFFO guests stepped into a world where furry chairs, wooden tables, and Ovando’s floating trees offered a sense of mystical escape.

The 2012 BOFFO Showhouse Ovando4

 

And while this year’s showcase ended on June 4th, the sentiments evoked will endure for some time longer. A tremendous thanks to BOFFO and artist, Andrew Yes for inviting Ovando to participate.

Photos by Ovando and Evan Joseph Images.

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Vendor Spotlight: Carlos Huber of Arquiste

As seasoned admirers of all things floral and recent inductees into the captivating world of home fragrances, we’ve developed a discerning nose for floral fragrances in particular. Naturally then, it’s quite inspiring when a fragrance comes along that has the power to reinvigorate our senses and offer a new perspective. Behold: Arquiste’s newly unveiled Boutonniere no.7, a sumptuous gardenia cologne designed by Founder and Creative Director, Carlos Huber. Not only did we have the wonderful opportunity to design the launch party for Boutonniere no.7, but we also had the great pleasure of speaking with Carlos about his inspirations for the new fragrance.

Vendor Spotlight Carlos Huber of Arquiste Ovando

 

Ovando: Why gardenia?

Carlos Huber: Gardenia was the quintessential “Opera flower” used by men in black-tie during the Belle Époque. I thought it was interesting that its scent was so closely tied into the idea of masculinity.  To me, it represented the proper way for a man to use a flower.

Vendor Spotlight Carlos Huber of Arquiste Ovando1

Ovando: Of all of the Arquiste fragrances, do you have a favorite fragrance?

Carlos Huber: Boutonniere no.7! We’ve worked really hard to create what we think is the best gardenia perfume possible.

 

Ovando: What initially inspired your interest in fragrances?

Carlos Huber: I’ve always been very connected to my nose; every time I would do research on a building or city I would come across an anecdote or a part of the story that led me to think, “What did it smell like?” I’ve also always been a real perfume and grooming aficionado, so I came into this as a very passionate customer. I realized that my passion for scent and the culture around it was just as strong as my love of architectural history. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux gave me classes on perfume for a year and a half, and he really has become a sort of mentor for me. At a certain point, I decided I had to find a way for perfumery to remain a constant in my life–to make it my own. I knew it had to be related to history, art, and architecture, and to me they are much intertwined. My fascination with historic architecture has always been connected to its experience, and if you are sensitive to scent, then what you smell and feel is just as important as what you see.

Vendor Spotlight Carlos Huber of Arquiste Ovando2

 

Ovando: Tell us more about Arquiste. What distinguishes the brand?

Carlos Huber: Arquiste was born out of the idea to create the highest quality scents with a serious emphasis on story-telling and experience.  I wanted to do this through serious research, not a marketing brief. Fragrances are real works of olfactory art that allow us to see the value of a seemingly distant, or “disconnected,” past with our present–with our own emotions.

Ovando: You’re also from Mexico City! Tell us about how your upbringing there influenced your sense of design.

Carlos Huber: Mexico City is one of the most fascinating cities on earth, and I’m not saying it just because I’m from there. I think it’s a very creative place.  It is a city built on layers that mix and fight for preeminence: Aztec, Viceregal, Beaux Arts, Modernist and Contemporary. It is also a truly Imperial city (Mexico was an empire three times, during the Aztecs, and in the 19th century) which conquered, destroyed and continuously re-built. And, today as it was then, it is chaotic, rich, diverse and alive. When I am there, I swear it’s as if there’s a tingling feeling. The design references are so vast that your sense of design can pick up the craziest things.

Vendor Spotlight Carlos Huber of Arquiste Ovando3

Ovando: As you know, Ovando has a candle collection that is similarly inspired by the fragrances of nature and the power of fragrances to conjure memories. What memory or feeling does your gardenia boutonniere inspire in you?

 

Carlos Huber: The gardenia boutonniere conjures both distant and close memories. The last time I wore it was during a gala night with my friends and colleagues Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Sophie Bensamou, and Yann Vasnier. It was a very happy night and I it was around the time of the launch of Arquiste. When I smell gardenias, it takes me back to the beginning of this great adventure.

Gardenias also evoke Mexico City to me, namely because on my way home from university I would buy little bunches of them that I would give to my mom and my sister. It also reminds me of the flower vendors in the streets of my old neighborhood. All positive things as you can see!

 

Vendor Spotlight Carlos Huber of Arquiste Ovando4

Ovando: Give us the scoop…What’s next for Arquiste?

Carlos Huber: We are releasing a special edition of L’Etrog, Flor y Canto, and Anima Dulcis–three of our best-sellers– and the fragrances will come with a custom refillable atomizer that you can take wherever…it’s a very cool gift and we are offering it this holiday season.

We also have lots of traveling coming up, with Arquiste launching in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain! I couldn’t be happier!

Ovando: Anything else you’d like to share?

Carlos Huber: Flowers inspire and excite, and they soften your heart… They represent life and nature, but also fragility and artifice. To share a passion for flowers with an artist like Ovando, and to work together in this passion is an honor.

We feel the same, Carlos. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and beautiful inspirations with us.

Photos courtesy of Arquiste

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A Look That Never Goes Out of Style…

The summer of 2011 saw white as the peek of true chic in the realm of floral and event design. Truth be told, however, whites never fade out of season. As we head into fall, the demand for white, creams, ivories and others of the ashen spectrum continue to permeate throughout the design landscape.

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A recent evening at the Pearl River Hilton saw white orchids, callas, delphiniums and other flowers, furniture and accoutrements in beautiful abundance.

Ovando at Pearl River Hilton Ovando at Pearl River Hilton

 

 

Ovando’s signature arrangements were strewn together to create patterned tablescapes, finished off with satin linens, warm spotlighting and the glow of each perfectly positioned votive. The clean contours of the chosen La Marie chairs finished the grand ballroom off with contemporary appeal.

Ovando at Pearl River Hilton

 

 

Whites were woven into the lounge and cocktail spaces as well:

Stylized bunches of delphiniums were perfectly poised in one room. And, in another room, phalaenopsis orchids entwined in a sculpted steal grass spout climbed their way up through a  plexiglass fountain.

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Guests lounged upon white island sofas to admire the decor. Others gathered in conversation amongst the white rectangular tufted benches, paired next to a modern mirror and square chrome coffee table.

Ovando at Pearl River Hilton

 

 

Ovando’s ever-beloved calla lilies made an appearance as well, afloat in our signature vision vases.

Ovando at Pearl River Hilton

 

Admiring the ballroom from a far, we indeed concluded that whites simply never go out of style or season.

Ovando at Pearl River Hilton

 

And from what we’re told, the lovely lady in white whole heatedly agreed.

Photos by Photomuse.

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The Floral Festivities: Orchids & Succulents

Wednesday eve marked Ovando’s 2nd floral arranging class, focused on “Orchids & Succulents” and our design principles in combining the two species; one an ever-so-delicate blossom, and the other a far meatier plant prototype.

It began with snippets of curly willow as well as several sighs and giggles as our participants began fashioning the branches into Ovando’s signature vision vases.

Next came the Lisianthus and Mokara orchids, shaped and laid atop the willows, dynamically suspended within the vase.

And alas, the accent flower, an Ovando “must”. The pink Vanda orchids offered a rich focal point to finish off the “Opposites Attract” arrangement. We had such a wonderful evening! Call us over zealous, but August 18th seems terribly far away.

“Wedding bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages” to come…!

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Floral Couture in the Land of Cakes

Hypothetically speaking, were we ever to tout our own horn, it might be said that we’ve indeed flourished quite brilliantly in the world of floral design. In the land of cake couture, however, we’re decidedly novice and downright delighted to see some of the gorgeous designs coming out of these NYC kitchens…

Artisanal cake designer and devout locavore, Amy DeGuillo, opened Sugar Flower Shop some years back with the express intention of creating beautiful cake designs using only local and sustainable ingredients. What’s perhaps even more frenzy inducing are her magnificently crafted sugar flowers, strewn across many-a-cake and also available as sugar floral bouquets. This is a great alternative for brides & grooms weary of the pesticides used by some floral producers but nevertheless hoping for a wedding cake with floral flair. We must say, Amy’s callas, cymbidiums, and peachy garden roses boast a shockingly vivacious quality that might engage the eager fork holder in a little game of trompe-l’œil!

We’re also quite smitten with the cake and, oh yes, cupcake (!) creations wafting their way out of Sugar Couture, headed up by seasoned confectionery artist, Penny CM Stankiewicz. With designs ranging from chic to whimsical to petit confectionary accoutrements– including sugar-flower studded cookies– Penny will be sure to capture your sweet tooth and your inquisitive eye somewhere along the way!

And, of course, our ode to cake kingdom wouldn’t be complete without a mention of our beloved “Queen of Cakes”, Sylvia Weinstock. Her sugar-flower and buttercream creations are an inspiration to cake aficionados (and floral designers!) internationally. And, with a client list fully baked with big name celebrities, her cakes will most certainly be coveted by brides-to-be for decades to come…

Cheers to the brilliant artists whom make our dessert ogling wholly more forgivable.

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The Art of Gift Giving

Flowers are personal. We emphatically and wholeheartedly believe that. They tell a story, they bring positive energy to any space, and they are living and breathing creatures that develop relationships with their admiring owners. Such is perhaps why flowers are and always will be such exquisite gifts.

Indeed we believe that gift giving can be an especially intimate exchange when there are 2 newlyweds tearing through the wrapping. But, we also know that finding that “bestowal-beyond-compare” can in fact be quite stress inducing! And so, fear not, here a few Ovando picks on how to tenderly add in that extra, personal touch.

One of our favorite Brooklyn designers, Mélangerie, offers an adorable, silk-screened “To Have and To Hold” cotton tote that can be lovingly festooned with breathtaking peonies from Ovando’s West Village boutique. It’s not only the ideal carry-all, but it’s also an everyday reminder of Mr. Beloved.

Our friends at Paperfinger can most certainly help squeeze in a few other intimate notes. Our favorites include the ever-so romantic love letter, or “letter of love”, transcribed in elegant calligraphy on fine Italian stationary. This is a perfect way for a Maid of Honor (or Best Man!) to make certain that the affectionate words of her speech are forever treasured. Paperfinger’scustomized return address stamps are another exquisite addition to the “tote of love”, as well as the ideal time saver when Mr. and Mrs. finally get around to sending out “thank you” cards!

Last but not least, one of our favorite photographers, Matt Schwartz of She Hit Pause Studios, is now offering some of his enchanting Polaroid prints for purchase. We’re of course partial to his beautiful collection of floral prints, framed in handsome, weathered barn wood.

Once your tote is plumped and primped, it will undoubtedly make an unforgettable wedding gift to help the Mr. and Mrs. forever commemorate their special day.

The Floral Festivities Summer Flowers

The Floral Festivities: Summer Flowers

Our idea of a fantastic way to spend a Wednesday evening: chatting with friends, sipping from a fine vintage, and trying your hand at high-end floral design. And we were delighted to hear that the 13 lucky participants who joined this week’s floral arranging class enthusiastically agreed!

The evening began with snacks and sips of Sauvignon while creative genius Sandra de Ovando discussed some of Ovando’s design principle: bold colors, dynamic tension, minimalism. Then, out came the bare grass, the white stock, the chamomile, the sunflowers and the Vanda orchids. We giggled together encouragingly as participants looked quizzically upon their creations, until alas they snipped, tucked and twisted to perfection.

In the end, we were thoroughly impressed with each and every stunning “Summer Flower” arrangement, not to mention the perfectly formed Viburnum berry hand ties! And we hear that our participants had other admirers as well…

July’s session includes Orchids and Succulents and the design principles involved in combining the two…Don’t miss out!

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Our Cultivators to the East

‘Twas the First Week of Summer And all through the city, Suitcases were neatly packed. Then quick, a sprint to the jitney!

Indeed, the race to the beaches of Long Island has launched. And as it turns out, the Hamptons & other LI hot spots are not only a preferred weekend haven for us city dwellers—they are also a common breeding ground for some of our favorite flowers, trees and other decorative vegetation.

While the above may not come as a surprise, what’s perhaps more compelling is that the very first commercial nursery in a land that would later be named the U.S.A was first built in Long Island. Established in 1738 in Flushing, Queens, then a robust farming commune, Prince’s Nursery was said to have been a favorite stop-off for horticulture lovers all along the Atlantic Seaboard. While the nursery was born off of only 8 acres, its popularity in turn fueled an expansion of up to 100 acres by the time of the Civil War.

Other nurseries popped up along Long Island proper in the mid to late 18th Century, and by the turn of the 19th Century, as wealthier folk began flooding to the island to build lux homes, the Hicks Nurseries in Westbury launched the industry into the era of modern flower nurseries and landscaping.

Today, certainly, floral design and landscape decorating are one of the most cherished pastimes, (or worthy expenses, as the case may be!) of homeowners and renters alike. So, too, is horticulture education an enjoyable way to spend time when out on the island. So, when you get off the jitney on your next Long Island excursion, keep these Ovando picks in mind:

The Long Island Orchid Society undoubtedly shares in Ovando’s unconditionally love of orchids. With monthly lectures and events, participants can learn everything about the different species of orchids (some 30 thousand!), planting different breeds, and even digital technique for photographing these lovely blossoms.

We’re also smitten with the annual “House and Garden Tour” organized by Jitney Jaunts. It’s a great opportunity for Long Island visitors to explore some of the gorgeous homes on the island and learn about the cultivation, landscaping and design techniques. Chin-dropping, we’re quite sure.

Enjoy the summer flowers and the summer weekends!

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A Tribute to Dad

Unfortunate but true, flowers are often times considered the classic surprise for mom. And, alas, dad’s desk meanwhile remains neglected. This Father’s Day, it mustn’t be overlooked that dad, too, has great style. In fact, he was wearing Espadrilles long before mom decided to slip them on.

A few of dad’s favorites:

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Succulents, orchids and curly willow branches come together in this exotic arrangement.

This floating flower sphere defines chic, modern and clean design. A beautiful compliment to any modern living space or office.

Happy Father’s Day from Ovando!