During this time of year, the desire to fill my apartment with fresh flower arrangements becomes too strong to ignore (though, who would want to?). But I often find conventional springtime bouquets – you know the ones – a little uninspired. So imagine my delight when I came across Calma Floral on my Instagram feed (@calma_floral). The Miami-based floral design studio creates modern, tropical-ish arrangements that bring unique shapes, colors, and whimsy to your space.
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Calma is led by florist Elizabeth Jaime, a fellow Miami-native who left her New York media job in search of something new. With time, experimentation, and a budding list of collaborators, Calma bloomed into one of Miami’s most sought after floral studios. Today, Elizabeth works on everything from bouquet deliveries and events to immersive floral installs for major brands like Dior, Glossier, and Nike, to name a few. I got the chance to connect with Elizabeth to talk about Calma, get some flower arranging tips, and even create custom arrangements inspired by her favorite vases from the Design Milk Shop.
@design_milk Build a dreamy springtime flower arrangement with Elizabeth Jaime of @Calma_floral! Find her modern vase picks on Design Milk part 1 of 3 #AFairShotWithBlock #springdiy ♬ Lofi nostalgic old music box(833007) – NARU
What does your design process look like?
If I’m working on an event, by the time it comes to designing I will have already established a look and feel with the client so I’ll go into designing each arrangement with that mood board in mind. I don’t normally get into the nitty gritty with clients as flower work requires flexibility and creativity. For example, I’d hate to promise an exact flower only for my wholesaler to tell me that the flower shipment didn’t come in on time. So I only like to work with clients who trust me and the process. If I’m designing for delivery orders, I always use what’s fresh and exciting in the market that morning. While we do have colorways and styles to choose from, exact flower choice is always dependent on what’s in the market. For that reason, I usually let the flowers dictate each arrangement. There’s no use in planning what an arrangement will look like when you don’t even know what’s in the market. I know a lot of people don’t like to work this way, as it can be super stressful, but that’s how I prefer to work.
@design_milk Floral designer Elizabeth Jaime of @Calma_floral ♬ Intentions (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Justin Bieber & Quavo] – Elliot Van Coup
What inspires your approach to floral design?
I really just love creating arrangements and working with new (to me) and interesting flowers. I’m also inspired by other mediums such as music, photography, and painting. Most inspiring though are the flowers themselves – I usually let their shapes, colors, and lines dictate an arrangement. When I walk into the flower wholesaler’s and see a new flower that I didn’t see there the week before, I sometimes get so excited and inspired by them.
Are there any design trends you’re excited to experiment with this year?
I really love the whole wildflower look that’s been prevalent lately and I’m excited to figure out what that means for me in Miami. We don’t have a lot of places to forage for wildflowers, so I think it’s about taking what grows in my yard or my neighborhood and incorporating them into arrangements that also uses flowers from the wholesalers.
What has been your favorite project to work on to date?
I have really loved working with Glossier. I love working with brands who appreciate the art of floristry and make it a focal point of their brand. Their brand and retail spaces have a heavy emphasis on florals, and I love complimenting the brand and environment with my flowers. I also loved working with Sabah for their residency at The Standard here in Miami. Every year they partner with an artist to create a piece that lives in the space for the whole month-long residency, and I created a wall piece using amaranthus that I hand-dyed myself. I love that they gave me the space to create whatever I wanted.
Can you share any styling tips on how Design Milk readers can integrate floral arrangements into their living spaces?
Floral arranging doesn’t have to be complicated, and I think with a few basic foundational rules and tricks, everyone can create beautiful arrangements at home. I tell people to start by visiting your local flower shop and shopping their stem bar – pick out whichever flowers speak to you and start playing around with different compositions at home. I think if you just start to do it, you might find it’s easier than you think!
@design_milk Elizabeth Jaime of @Calma_floral creates a simple + modern flower arrangement with the Hexagonal Table Top Vase by Extra&Ordinary Design! Available on Design Milk Part 3/3 #springdiy #flowertok ♬ Similar Sensation (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP
Do you have any tips on how to best maintain fresh arrangements?
Change the water in your arrangements daily and keep them away from any heat or direct sun. Changing the water prevents bacteria from building up and heat and direct sun can cut the life of your flowers short. Flowers love cool spaces!
Tell us about your vase picks from the Design Milk Shop. What inspired you to pick these?
I picked these two jesmonite vases [the Sculptural Bubble Vase + Hexagonal Table Top Vase] by Extra&Ordinary Design because I loved the material in which they’re made and also loved the fun shapes and colors. Bud vases allow you to make small but impactful flower moments throughout your house and they don’t require a lot of skill because you’re only using a few stems.
I picked the Monday Vase and Metal Vase Stand by Puik Design because I loved that while the vase itself isn’t very large, the stand still allows the arrangement to have height. So it allows me to use shorter stemmed flowers but still create a tall flower moment in the house.
For more modern vases and planters, visit the Design Milk Shop!
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.