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Kelly Marie Thompson: Fleur’s Natural Beauty

I start with something classic and take it further to surprise the viewer. I love anything that makes my guests pause and lose themselves in an object.

“I love contrast in flower arrangements.” Kelly Marie Thompson, floral designer and owner of Logan Square’s Fleur, is known for unexpected pairings. In a custom arrangement for PAGODA RED, she forgoes a traditional vase in favor of a circa 1900s cast iron vessel from the collection. Originally a mortar and pestle, it would have been used by a Chinese doctor to grind medicinal herbs for curing any number of maladies.

“I love the shape,” she says. “The feet lift up the arrangement, so it doesn’t feel heavy, even though the container is solid and monochromatic.”The finished creation blends creams, ivories and bright greens as a fresh counterpoint to the sculptured form. Thompson chose blooms that appear “lush and full, so as they grow, they become airier.” Clients (and devoted Instagram fans) look to Fleur for natural displays that feel a little wild and wispy. “I start with something classic and take it further to surprise the viewer,” she says.

At home, Thompson is all for mixing antiques and contemporary pieces. “I love anything that makes my guests pause and lose themselves in an object.” Flowers are the ultimate conversation piece. “Peonies work so well with Asian art, but I wouldn’t want that to be the only focal point. I’d choose something native to this area, too.” It’s the signature behind Fleur’s style—tradition with a twist.

Takeaways from Kelly Marie Thompson’s Artful Arrangements

  1. Think outside the vase.
    Anything that holds water can work as a container. Pitchers, cups, glasses, bowls—even stone or iron mortars.
  2. Make it mean something.
    In China, both peonies and metal bowls symbolize abundance, so they pair perfectly together.
  3. Go (a little) wild.
    One unexpected element—like herbs, branches or sculptural greenery—can completely transform an arrangement.

Portrait courtesy of TRU STUDIO


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