If you’ve never heard of Holly Heider Chapple, allow us to introduce you. As one of the most influential floral designers of the last two decades, Chapple grew her once kitchen-run design studio into a major business and brand. Chances are, you’ve seen her work in Martha Stewart Weddings, Town & Country, Style Me Pretty or the like. She maintains an international network of florists called Chapel Designers in addition to her event design business, as well as Hope Flower Farm. And oh yeah, she’s raising 7 kids.
When we in the industry describe a floral piece as “Hollyish,” we’re referring to Chapple’s signature style, which you’ve definitely seen before. Why? Because it’s an approach that has informed literally every aspect of the floral landscape. All of those lush, romantic, trailing centerpieces and bouquets? Those are “Hollyish.” Designs that feature fresh, seasonal blooms in a wild-yet-polished style? Straight from Chapple, who is affectionately called “Flower Mama” by industry types. Her vision is modern and progressive (see her recent fashion show devoted to wearables), but also hews to an earthy, organic sensibility. In essence, it’s pretty much perfect.
A sense of abundance is characteristic of this style. Foliage is prolific and usually spilling over alongside the flowers. It makes for a new kind of cascade bouquet, where structure is less important than the natural shape the floral elements make as they fall. A healthy mix of flowers is key, too. From this comes texture and interest, a visual feast for the eyes
The Chapple method extends to ceremony arches and chuppahs as well. Here a look that is by nature expansive has plenty of room to do its thing. Rich greenery is studded with orange and peach roses for a fresh, bright look. Nothing feels overworked in a Chapple piece, creating a vibe that is elegant and easy.
The use of other natural elements alongside flowers is an important part of the Chapple look. Fruits, ferns, branches and the like give a botanical or woodland boost to the overall design of an event. Along with adding texture, they make a strong appeal to the senses and can create more of a story on the table.
We think the Chapple look will continue to evolve, but it will always stay true to its roots. And that’s just fine by us.