Gloria Baker and Nate
Whether you are selecting flowers as a gift, picking out a bouquet for your wedding or simply buying a bunch from the supermarket to brighten your home, there are tricks of the trade you can use to create beautiful floral design. Gloria Baker, florist and owner of Mudd Fleur in Chicago, talks with Nate about the art of selecting and arranging flowers.

Gloria says she became interested in floral design after several disappointing visits to florists while planning her wedding. She says she ended up designing her own flowers for her big day, and she later left her full-time job as a corrections officer and opened Mudd Fleur. "My florals, I would like to think, are elegant and sexy…there is a certain sex appeal that comes with florals," she says. Using flowers from around the world, Gloria says she can create exotic designs for world-class hotels or bedside bouquets for her regular clients.

Gloria shares some guidelines when selecting a floral design:
  • Keep it simple. Gloria says that her designs are monochromatic—the flowers are generally in the same color scheme and they complement their surroundings.
  • If you want to arrange a monochromatic design yourself, Gloria says head to the nearest supermarket. "Buy five bunches [of one color] and put it in a great container at home," she says. "I am telling you, the impact you make is pretty unbelievable, and it is not crazily priced either."
  • Use vases, bowls and other containers as decoration in your home and then fill them with flowers when you have company.
  • Borrow Gloria's signature double vase arrangement design: Make one floral arrangement in a large vase and a nearly identical arrangement in a smaller vase.
  • Branch out from the ordinary! A dozen roses may be classic, but Gloria says exotic flowers are flown in from around the world every day and you should experiment with those you have never seen before.