In Full Bloom
FIELD TRIP- June 2010
By Veronique McAree Photography Amanda Kowalski
When it comes to flowers, Stephanie Pilk is no shrinking violet. Her Flora Home studio is bursting with ever-changing, fresh-cut blooms that make you stop and admire.
On a recent spring afternoon in Yarmouth, Stephanie Pilk of Flora Home is in her studio sorting curly willow branches, clipping stems, and arranging a breathtaking assortment of Oriental lilies in a simple galvanized-steel vessel.
The striking combination is living proof of why Pilk has earned a reputation for being one of Maine’s most compelling and sought-after floral designers.
Formerly, Pilk presided over a retail flower shop, but now she is focusing on her floral-design business, which encompasses weddings, special events, and a number of corporate and residential accounts.
After college, Pilk found her way into the world of flowers through the film industry, where she worked as a set designer. “As soon as I started working full-time assisting a floral designer in Maine—where I had my hands in flowers every day, learning their personalities—I felt very much at home” says Pilk.
After striking out on her own with Flora Home, Pilk was determined to be unique right from the start. By adapting the principles she learned as an art student and set designer, she breaks away from the conventional florist mold. Pilk developed her fresh approach by honoring nature, mixing atypical floral combinations with unusual vessels (she gravitates toward galvanized-steel urns), and pursuing innovative ideas inspired by sculpture, architecture, and design.
Whether it is smaller arrangements or large-scale floral compositions, Pilk pushes the traditional boundaries of color, composition, and texture in her creations by incorporating such unexpected elements as exotic grasses, moss, and unusual combinations of flowers.
“It’s fascinating to explore the interplay of control and chaos,” Pilk says. “I am constantly fascinated with the element of surprise, the sense that anything can happen when working with nature, water, and weight.”
Pilk considers flowers to be rejuvenating addition to our daily lives. “Flowers have the power to make everyone feel special,” says Pilk, “and they also are a wonderful interior design element that lends a focal point, light, spirit, and texture to any room or every event.”
Pilk’s work makes us feel very special indeed, and provides a welcome pause from the pace of our hectic lives.