The Barnes Foundation: Passport to Paris

It was a privilege to be a part of The Barnes Foundation’s, Passport to Paris, a preview party last month celebrating the museum’s landmark Berthe Morisot exhibition.

Three of my walls added to the outstanding décor of this gorgeous gala with Philadelphia’s finest event vendors pulling out all the stops to celebrate the museum’s latest exhibition exploring the significant yet under recognized work of Berthe Morisot, one of the founders of impressionism. It was an honor to work with so many outstanding professionals and with an art museum of such high caliber.

Berthe Morisot is a role model for women pursuing the arts. She was a maverick in her time, breaking boundaries in the art world. I did some research to learn more about this amazing impressionist artist. She broke social norms of the time to join the Parisian avant-garde in the mid to late 1800’s and she was the only female artist to show in the first exhibition of this radical group which included masters such as Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Participating in this event opened up new avenues of learning and re-sparked my creativity and love for all aspects of art and design. Berthe Morisot is truly an inspiration to me as I move forward to advance my career in silk floral design.

Below are some photos showing how my silk flower walls worked as backdrops for photos during the evening. Some of the guests in these photos include Crawford Hamilton, Samantha Hamilton, Anne Fritchman Hamilton, Andrea Freundlich, Kali Curran, Lynn Shecter, and Darryl Moran.

I’d like to give a shout out to Darryl W. Moran Photography, the event’s official photographer, and to Lexi Eveleth of Ever Laser who created the sign hanging on my flower wall.

Proceeds benefit the education and outreach programs at the Barnes Foundation.

 

Philadelphia Magazine Bridal Brunch at Terrain in Devon

I was honored to be part of this very select group of vendors at the Philadelphia Magazine Bridal Brunch at Terrain Gardens/Devon Yard in October.

The Philadelphia Bridal Brunch shared the latest styles and tips for planning the perfect wedding. Newly engaged couples could find everything they needed from wedding planning help to invitations to florists and every vendor in between... all of Philadelphia’s pros under one roof.

I displayed one of my very popular silk flower walls. They’re a great backdrop for guest photos, behind the sweetheart table during the reception, or behind the bride and groom during their wedding ceremony. Brides can choose from many colors and designs. For some extra elegance, my luxury walls are tastefully designed with the addition of beads, bubbles, and bling.

My silk flower walls aren’t just for weddings. They’ve been used for birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, and corporate events, too. To see all my walls, visit this page .

The event photos below are courtesy of Emily Wren Photography.

Business Women of the Main Line

We all admire strong, confident women. Women who run a business, take care of their kids and run the daily operations of a household…all with grit and grace. That’s what was going through my mind when I stood for this photograph taken for a VanCleve Bridal ad which ran in Mainline Today’s 2018 Power Women edition. It was truly an honor to be standing among these confident women, especially Deborah VanCleve Phelps, owner of VanCleve Bridal in Paoli. She is extremely supportive of the female business community on the Main Line.

The women in this photograph are part of a new generation redefining success and we need to support each other, speak up, and help one another. It’s always been a struggle for women to have a voice and this ad gives us an opportunity to shine.

Business women on the Main Line set an example for our daughters as we represent proud and courageous women willing to take risks and work hard. Seeing us fuel our passions with purpose and perseverance encourages them to forge their own path, striving beyond what they ever deemed possible. We are not superheroes, though. It’s important to be open and genuine with our daughters because having a career and parenting are two tough endeavors. It takes the right tools and the most important one is a collaborative effort from the family. With this team effort, building a business and raising a family can be extremely fulfilling and tangible.

These women are truly inspirational to me. It’s hard to juggle all that they do, but they manage to keep smiles on their faces! They’re empowering and they give me energy and strength to continue to make my business succeed.

I want to give special thanks to Ryan Eda Photography for taking this amazing photograph and for Rachel McGinn who photographed the magazine.

The women in this photography include: Deborah VanCleve, Nicol West Segel, Zoya Egan, Barbara Jordan, Doris Elofer, Lillian DeBaptiste, Phyllis Gambrone, Diane Roshamp, Marcia Vanessa Williams, Sandra Yodesly, Cecilia Rudman, and Meredith Coyle.

Showroom Now Open for Pop Up Events and Photoshoots!

What could be more fun than organizing and hosting a party? That’s a rhetorical question at Nicol Floral Design. We wake up every day with thoughts of parties, specifically about making them beautiful with silk floral décor. Our job is to make people happy and we do this by providing an abundance of exquisite silk flowers on walls, on tables, in vases, and pots…in people’s homes, in offices and at weddings and events.

And, now, you can see, feel and touch all our silk flower walls in our new space at 1544 Lancaster Avenue in Paoli where we showcases our 24 flower walls. Additionally, our new space is available to rent for pop up events and photoshoots. Replete with sensational silk flowers adorning the room, the décor is an open canvas for the most creative photographer or business to work with.

The silk floral décor works as an outstanding backdrop for photoshoots with all 24 flower walls accessible. We provide an extensive list of photographers on our website or you can bring in your own. Reservations for photoshoots are available on Mondays and Tuesdays. With the holidays coming, space is filling up, so book your session now!

Wednesdays are reserved for pop up stores for vendors who work virtually or out of their home and need a short term store. Some events lined up this month are Stella & Dot, Madda & Co. Handbags, Madalynne Intimates, and a false lashes workshop with locally and nationally recognized make-up artist, Beke Beau.

We also rent our two large storefront windows on a weekly basis. For an additional fee, pop-up vendors can use them the week of their event, but even without a pop up shop, the storefront windows are great for visual merchandising with lots of walk by and drive by traffic on the Lancaster thoroughfare.

Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs 2018

We were thrilled to show off our flower walls at the Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs party earlier this month. We joined Van Cleve Bridal for the evening and provided one of our 8'x8' walls from our Luxury Collection as a stunning backdrop for photos. Van Cleve model brides shined for photos in front of the wall and party goers posed like princesses next to a model cut out of newlywed Prince Harry! Fun for all!

Van Cleve Bridal has always been a strong supporter and promoter of our flower walls. Their customer service and belief in other local bridal vendors makes them a favorite in the community. It's no wonder they were awarded the 2018 Readers Choice awards for "Best Bridal Shop" and "Best Evening Wear" for 2018.

We were thrilled to be a part of this event celebrating the best of the Main Line. Besides Van Cleve, many of our friends were honored including, Ellis Preserve, Ame Salon and Spa, Clay's Creative Corner Bakery, Aux Petits Delices, The Argyle Bouquet, and Valley Forge Flowers. 

 

Prom Night Means Lots of Pictures

If you are a parent of a teen, this is the time of year when you find yourself charging your camera and gearing up for prom night photo opps. It's the biggest night of the year for many high school students and my silk flower walls make exquisite backdrops to catch the perfect pose. Add my "Prom Night" sign to the wall for a final touch to remember this milestone. My silk flower walls bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, so even on a rainy prom night, photos can look fresh with flowers! You can choose silk flowers that match the couples attire or pick something neutral. I have lots of color themes available! For more information on my walls, please visit my website

Happy Spring Everyone!

Hopefully we are done with all the late winter snow on the east coast and the warmer weather is fast approaching! We need the gray days to morph into blue skies and fluffy, white clouds! To welcome the new season, Jennifer Fuller of Fuller Interiors just ordered one of my pink floral panels for a dressing room project she’s working on. The two-foot square panel will hang adjacent to a window and across from a mirror, giving it light and reflection to show off theRoses, Peonies, and Baby’s Breath accents.

Flowers brighten any room and breathe life into any space. I love fresh flowers, but the thought of adding another weekly chore into the mix can get overwhelming. You can still get the look of fresh flowers with my silk arrangements because I meticulously select the highest quality silks for my pieces. They are so authentic you can even mix them with fresh flowers in a room without anyone being able to tell them apart!

My silk panels are a unique touch to any room, but work especially well in sun rooms, baby’s rooms, little girls’ rooms, dressing rooms, and covered porches.

Below are samples of floral panels in various rooms including sketches of the dressing room design from Fuller Interiors. Once Jennifer’s project is complete, I’ll post pictures of the final design. It’s always fun to blog about my projects for interiors, weddings, and events. Happy occasions and flowers are always easy to write about!

Thanks for reading!

Luxury Silk Floral Walls. New for 2018!

The 2018 fashion and design trend is faux finishes and silk florals fit the bill! Designers are turning to faux materials for budget-friendly alternatives to authentic materials. In the world of events and weddings, think marble dance floors, faux fur wraps and even faux wedding cakes.

We have always touted using silk floral walls instead of real floral walls as a cost-cutting measure. Although we stress that real flowers are a must for weddings, we consider our silk florals as compliments to the real ones. Their affordability allows event space to be filled to the brim with blooms.

New for 2018: Our Luxury Wall Collection offers the same beautiful silk florals as our standard walls with the addition of beads, crystals and baubles of silver and gold woven into the mix.

Below are some photos of our intricate luxury walls. Just look at the gorgeous details and how they make the walls pop and sparkle!

There is so much to look forward to in 2018 party planning! Expect to see lush bright blooms, baubles and beads in our floral creations this year. We will use today’s trends to create wonderful memories with our floral products. We will not disappoint!

Table Runner Rentals. New for 2018!

You’re throwing a dinner party and you’ve worked hard for weeks planning and preparing. You’ve created a guest list of compatible people who will spark interesting conversations. You’ve planned the menu…simple but elegant. You’ve even polished the silver, cleaned the crystal and ironed the linens! All of this was done weeks before because the week of the party you have to concentrate on preparing the menu!

With all this hard work planning and prepping…don’t forget flowers! You don’t have to leave flowers for the last minute if you rent one of our silk floral table runners! 72 inches of lush, floral beauty can adorn your dining table for weeks before your big soirée. Rent one for $250 and have it delivered for $50. This is money well spent! Your dinner party table will look spectacular, and it’s one less thing to worry about when you are concentrating on meal prep!

Here are a few photos of our runners below. They come in many colors and can be custom designed. Place your order today and check it off your to-do list!

Photography by Rachel McGinn.

Little Walls Line. New for 2018!

New for 2018, we are offering a Little Walls line. Measuring just 6’ tall by 4’ wide, our Little Walls were initially developed for bridal showers, baby showers and birthday parties, but, no matter what the event is, they are a great way to add a little color and beauty to a party.

We offer walls of exquisite silk flowers in hues of blues, pinks, whites and yellows. We even offer gold and silver signs in script lettering reading, “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl.”

Sit in front of a silk floral wall as you open your cherished gifts from family, friends and loved ones. Celebrate the new addition to the family, an upcoming nuptial or rent one for your child’s next birthday party. They are great backdrops for photos.

Walls rent for $250 plus $50 delivery fee. Taxes not included.

Photography by Rachel McGinn

Finishing Touches for a Luxury Wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Wedding Venue

 

Finishing touches are just that. They are the little extras to the details that often go unnoticed but when done right they turn something standard into something extraordinary. My recent wedding experience at the Ritz in Philadelphia is a perfect case study in finishing touches.

Finishing Touch No. 1: The Wedding Planner

At a basic level, wedding planners help you organize your big day, but if you want the day to flow smoothly and the wedding style be nothing short of a fairy tale, then you need more than basic. Lauren Lerner Akman and Jamie Nadeau of Lauren James Events are anything but basic! They are luxury event planners who bring creativity and professionalism to every detail. They engineer a manageable time line for vendors, the understand the family members and their personalities and they offer design services that create a stunning, picture perfect wedding.  

Finishing Touch No. 2: The Wedding Cake

Van Earl’s Cakes is not a bakery, they are artists creating cake art that will blow your mind! Other than the bride and groom, the wedding cake was the celebrity of the day. Adorned with cream-colored and bedazzled cascading florals and squared off at the bottom with a tailored layer of silver beads, the cake coordinated flawlessly with the backdrop of my custom-made wall made with similar luxurious jewels and florals.

Finishing Touch No. 3: The Photographer

As you can see from the photos below, MK Photography is more than just a photographer. They capture the story of the moment with a photojournalistic style.

Finish Touch No. 4: The Florist

Silk flowers never replace the real deal, but they can coordinate with each other and Jami Rothstein helps pull it all together. She is a florist artisan, nationally recognized for her designs. It was a pleasure to work with her staff to create a memorable setting for the special day.

With the right vendors who believe in the extra special details of finishing touches, weddings can go from ordinary to extraordinary!

For connections to the vendors listed, please contact Nicol.

Silk Florals for The Holidays

Happy Holidays! I’m excited to share an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer where I was featured for my home décor. I have so much fun keeping my home decorated for each season and no season is better for decorating than the December holidays! And, just because the weather is outside is too cold for real budding blooms, there’s no reason why you can’t spread the warmth with silk florals! Whether I host a party or just decorate for every day, I like to create warm spaces throughout my home using silk floral bouquets, table runners and even walls of silk florals. I currently have walls of silk florals in my dining room and my home office. Please take a moment to read the article so you can get ideas on how to decorate your home with silk florals!

Happy New Year!

Photos by Maddie Flanigan

 

Styling Wedding Florals for a Styling Specialist

You know the pressure is on when you’re working with a fashion blogger who has close to 18,000 Instagram followers and is a style influencer for the fashion industry. It makes sense that Jacklyn Gerace-Dunn, who runs the blog Three Sisters One Closet, would insist on incredible details for every aspect of her wedding. Despite the pressure, working with this vivacious go-getter with impeccable taste was one of my highlights from 2017. What made it so special was that Jacklyn was nothing but pleasant to work with. As a communicator by trade, she knows the value of open communication. As a stylist, she played an active role in designing her own custom silk floral wall. And, as a savvy businesswoman, she worked well under pressure with me and all her vendors.

Communication is key to coordinating a wedding

Not just in terms of telling vendors what you want, but by being responsive, working with deadlines, and staying connected. From the start when Jacklyn contacted me after she saw one of my silk floral walls on display at a bridal shop in Suburban Square, I knew she would be easy to work with. She clearly described her needs and vision so we could we worked together to customize a wall unique to her own style. She responded quickly to emails and texts, allowing us to stay on target with her wedding date.

The Jackie Wall

That’s what I call the silk floral wall Jacklyn and I created together and is now part of my silk floral wall collection. With the perfect combination and florals in cream whites with a touch of blush, we created a wall precisely in sync with the bride’s neutral color palette and modern-meets-romantic décor.

Outstanding Vendors

Jacklyn’s extensive research of the area’s top vendors made turned “work” into “pleasure.” Finley Caterers and the Ellis Preserve create fairytale wedding events. Photographers Grace & Ardor Co. out of Bucks County describe themselves as storytellers. They captured the moment and created breathtaking photo documentation of Jacklyn’s special day. They photographed the wedding party as they shot off confetti cannons when the couple stood in front of The Jackie Wall sharing their first kiss. The moment was spectacular and now Jacklyn can remember it for a life time.

Getting Some Buzz

The "icing on the cake" with this project is that Jacklyn's wedding was highlighted in the Spring/Summer 2018 Philadelphia Wedding Magazine in their "Real Weddings" section. What a great way to start the new year! 

Fairy-tale Wedding in Philadelphia

On one of the coldest autumn days on record, I was part of the one of the warmest weddings ever!

Last weekend Dawn and Mike braved the cold with their bridal party to capture quintessential Philadelphia photos for their fairytale wedding. Not only did they shoot in front of City Hall, a must with Philadelphia brides, they launched doves to symbolize their new life together! They also arrived at Ballroom at the Ben in a horse and carriage fit for a princess! The couple’s love for each other was felt by everyone and the beautiful surroundings captured their love and sweet personalities.

I knew this wedding was going to be extra special from the moment the bride contacted me. We hit if off right away and I enjoyed working with her directly as we designed a custom silk floral wall and table runner for the sweetheart table. Dawn inspired me to start my new Luxury Collection which includes embellishments like gemstones, crystals and pearls. 

And, it was a pleasure to work with so many top-notch professionals in the area. Marcus Hook Florist and Beautiful Blooms made coordinating my silk florals seamless. Dawn’s stunning princess-like gown is from Van Cleve Bridal. Of course, I don’t work directly with them, but they certainly play an important role in turning the special day into a fairytale story. I can’t say enough about the outstanding photography of Ron Soliman. Ron’s use of light captured the beauty of my silk florals, but, more importantly, his photo journalistic talent told the story of two sweet people as they start a magical lifetime of happiness together.

Lastly, I want to give a special shout out to Finley Caterers. I work with them on a regular basis at many of their venues including The Ben and Ellis Preserve. I love working with them because they make my job fun!

Tips for Birthday Celebrations

All birthdays are special and they deserve to be commemorated. For adults, these are often milestone birthdays; the ones that make you feel like you need to freeze time to honor the moment. They arrive at a time when the guest of honor may be overwhelmed with the thought of entering a new decade of life. That’s why it’s important to surround the birthday person with the people they love in a setting that fits their personality and style.

While decorating for my own birthday party this year (it’s not a milestone but any birthday is a reason to celebrate), I thought it would be fun to share my top three decorating tips that can really make the day special.

Proof is in the Pudding…or Birthday Cake!

The birthday cake completes the party. It acts like an exclamation point, presented at the end of the party and “wows” the guests with its beauty and deliciousness. Often a cake is forgotten about because its decorations are generic and boring, but don’t miss this decorating opportunity! The cake can match the style of the guest of honor using color, shape and embellishments. For my birthday cake, I used a pastel pink that reminds me of springtime pansies and romantic pink roses. It’s elegant, simple and classic which fits the style I strive to keep. The vanilla cake tastes equally delicious as it is beautiful, made exquisitely by Patrick at Aux Petits Delices in Wayne, PA.

Celebrate Happy Moments.

Sometimes the birthday person is not extremely excited about “aging up,” so keep their mood happy by celebrating the past. Ask guests to bring photos of fun and special moments they’ve shared together. Create a decade-based theme party if the guest of honor is entering a new decade. For example, a 40th birthday party could include big band music from the 1940s. You could use the decade they were born and host a party around that time period as well. It's always important to document the party with amazing photography. I always use Maddie Flanigan Photography.

Of Course, Use Silk Florals!

One of the latest trends in party decorating is the use of a silk floral wall and lately, my birthday walls are almost as popular as my wedding walls. My walls come in 14 vibrant color themes to match any party style. They make amazing backdrops for photos of guests. I encourage my clients to get creative with the wall and take photos sitting, standing, and even being silly with props. I set the walls up in no time and work well with other vendors you might be using. I also create floral table runners. They can match the color of the floral wall and run on any size table. Flowers have the power to create an elegant and fun atmosphere and silk florals can be used to create a lush backdrop without the expense of using real flowers. Most of my clients use my silk floral walls in addition to real flowers for other decorations like table centerpieces.

If you are planning a birthday party, or any special event, please call me for a free consultation.

 

 

 

Silk Foral Walls For Special Events...Not Just Weddings!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE working with brides to make their special day perfect, but I don't just do weddings! I recently collaborated with Lohner Plastic Surgery and Porsche of the Main Line for an informative, fun and elegant evening. Dr. Lohner, a highly respected plastic surgeon in the area, sponsored an evening of fun and education, sharing some of the new and innovative trends in plastic surgery. With the help of my red silk floral walls, the showroom at the Main Line dealership popped! Not only did the florals add a superior touch of elegance and beauty, the wall was a perfect backdrop for guest photos. Shutterbug Maddie Flanigan was on hand to snap photos of all the guests of the evening.

Hand crafted with amazing detail, my silk floral walls and visual displays have become immensely popular among Philadelphia retailers. Each wall is carefully created to reflect a business, brand or personality. Place your order today!

Ritzy Business in Philadelphia Style

I am still reveling in the glory of being in yet another media powerhouse in Philadelphia! My flower walls were one of the topics of the article “Ritzy Business: Fanciful floral walls and custom cakes offer the finest finishing touches at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.”

This is the third time my business has hit media news in that last year!

The recently renovated Ritz Carlton has partnered with Nicol Floral Design to create their own exclusive flower walls for brides. The elevated personal touches of this venue are what sets them apart as one of the top wedding reception venues in the city and I’m thrilled to be working with them!

I handcraft my walls with amazing detail, using high quality silk florals. Some of my walls are available as packages throughout the city, such as the Ritz Carlton, but they can also be custom made and rented to be used anywhere. Call me for a free consultation!

Philly Magazine “Best of Philly” Soiree

I had the opportunity to showcase my blue silk floral wall at the Philly Magazine “Best of Philly” Soiree at Dilworth Park last week. Guests sampled the city’s best bites, danced the night away al fresco to the sounds of DJ Adrian Hardy, and were photographed in front of my blue wall that radiated by the park fountain. The wall was adorned with the Mercedes Benz emblem, the main sponsor for the party. Truly an honor to work with the “best” of the city!

This event is the capstone of a month of curating the best the city has to offer. More than 1,500 guests were treated to exquisite food from past and present “Best of Philly” winners including, Fork, Russet, Tinto, Townsend, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, and Vernick.

Winners were validated and everyone else attending were lucky enough to explore the city of brotherly love all it one convenient location.

It was a privilege to work with the “best” event vendors in the area including Cinemacake, Ritz Carlton, Party Helpers, Carl Alan Floral Designs, Eventine Design, and Maddie Flanigan Photography. Pictured here with me in front of my wall is Vito Russo from Carl Alan and Alicia Vitarelli from 6abc news.

Flower Wall Meets Photo Booth Innovation

Photo booth technology has changed a lot these days. Gone are the days of curtain-drawn boxes and low quality outputs. TapSnap has taken over the photo booth industry with open-air, digitally-integrated, and fully customizable kiosks. When paired with my silk flower walls as a backdrop, party guests take home beautiful keepsakes and instantly share photos on social media.

In an open-air setting, guests can pose for pictures in front of my wall or a green screen then use a touch screen to drag and drop digital props, write messages, and add filters. It’s like “reality Instagram and Snapchat” because the photos are sent to you instantly for sharing on social media. Guests can add the event hashtag or the bride and groom’s hashtag and share party images all night long. If there is a screen and projector set up at the event, the TapSnap action can be displayed at the event in real time.

I recently worked with TapSnap at a wedding at The Logan in Philadelphia and was amazed. The set up was quiet and quick, guests were easily engaged, and they had a great time creating fun photos to take home.

I try to work with top-notch vendors and TapSnap fits the bill! The team is experienced and the photos are taken with a professional DSLR camera. No grainy photos, just beautiful glossy prints with fun props and digital embellishments to add on, if desired.

Here are some photos from the event. I’ve included images of the dining tables and place settings as well. TapSnap was a step above the traditional photo booth and blended well with the sophisticated style of the décor by Evantine Design.

 

Best of the Main Line

I am honored to be included in the Best of the Main Line issue of Main Line Today for my flower walls AND my Instagram account!

Flower walls are all the rage at weddings and other celebrations. They create a back drop for photos, and they act as dividers and overall enhancements to any party. Top notch venues such as ELLIS PRESERVETHE RITZ CARLTON, and PHILADELPHIA CRICKET CLUB have my floral walls available in their wedding and entertainment packages.

I am extremely grateful to be recognized for my Instagram account. My teenaged kids are proud of my social media skills! I'm always sharing photos of my work so if you're stuck inside and need a dose of outdoors, check out my floral design photos at @nicolfloraldesign

Besides floral walls, I create custom silk floral designs for homes, too. Whether you are a home owner, decorator, home stager, or realtor, consider my arrangements to enhance any room with beautiful florals that last a life time!  If you are entertaining guests, decorating dining tables with silk florals is an elegant way to add a natural touch. Use them as centerpieces, place settings, even napkin rings. Because they're silk, you can decorate your table days ahead and have one less task before your party!