27th May 2022
This week we spoke with Huiyin from Echevaria.co, the Singapore-based botanical creative design studio behind our beautifully British ‘Belgravia In Bloom’ window display at our Pimlico Road showroom.
Echevaria.co was founded in 2020 by Huiyin. Trained in McQueens Flower School in London, her knowledge in Floristry has been passed down by London-based tutors who have a wealth of experience in the luxury floral scene.
Embracing lines and geometries in its most natural form, their botanical bouquets and installations showcase the best of nature’s beauty. With a background in Architecture, Huiyin’s designs find balance in bringing out the curation of form and zen in the midst of chaos and wildness in botanical elements. The selection of plants for each installation is carefully curated with context, scale and senses in mind. Lines, shapes and textures are the fundamentals to her design thinking.
What was your journey to botanical creative design?
Coming from an architectural background, I graduated with an architectural degree back in 2019 in Singapore. I took a gap year right after graduation and took a solo travel through Europe for a couple of months and upon returning to Singapore, I took on an architectural job in a firm specialising in private residential projects and also started dabbling with botanical bouquets on the side. Gradually, through this play with plants and flowers, Echevaria.co was born!
I first started out with using mainly succulents in my bouquets as I wanted to provide an alternative to fresh cut floral bouquets that allows the receivers to repot their beautiful gifted bouquets into potted plants. Through this exploration with botanical bouquets, my interest in botanical design grew by folds and I started dabbling in workshops and wedding decors soon after. This eventually gave me the courage to take the leap of faith to take a pause on my architectural career to experiment and pursue botanical design & floristry on a higher level here in London.
My time in the architectural industry definitely also fuelled my interest in botanical design. In all designs, regardless of scale and space, botanical elements are always incorporated into our designs to create balance and soften the feeling of the spaces.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration usually comes from people’s interactions; between people or between the botanical installation and the viewers. I enjoy creating designs that allow people to create more experiences out of them after the first product has been created. The first series of succulent bouquets was launched during Valentine’s Day 2020 with the intention of allowing couples to repot their bouquets together as an activity after Valentine’s Day. The idea of creating an experience for people to do something together beyond the gift of a bouquet is fun and meaningful.
What are your top tips for interior designers looking to incorporate floral displays into their designs?
Things to consider are definitely the scale, colour and texture of the floral display. Floral and botanical elements add a great deal of value in an interior space if done well. They need to fit the space proportionately and can accentuate the architectural features of the interior space.
What is your favourite flower combination to work with?
I don’t usually have a favourite flower combination to work with. Here in London, I try to use seasonal flowers as much as possible and create different designs with the flowers that are available in the market. I think there’s a lot of fun and unexpected surprises that come out of this too! But if I had to say my favourite flower combination, this Spring, it has been Tulips, Ranunculus and Gypsophila.
Advice for aspiring floral designers?
Just start and experiment. Everyone starts from somewhere but most importantly, it’s to have the courage to start. There aren’t any hard and fast rule in floral design in my opinion. Everyone will have their own unique style and taste and that takes time to hone.
And always remember to have fun and enjoy the process of design exploration!
What was the process behind the planning, design and installation of Collier Webb’s ‘Belgravia in Bloom’ display?
I had a great time working with Laura, the Marketing Manager, to plan and design the installation for Belgravia in Bloom. When we first started the discussion, I was intrigued by the various fabrication processes employed by Collier Webb, ranging from traditional methods like lost wax casting to modern methods like 3D printing and CNC. It was fascinating learning about the crafting process and the casting methods and hence I decided I wanted to showcase this process with the floral media.
The design process went through multiple rounds of discussion with many iterations of the window front considered. We landed with this final design where it showcased the most traditional fabrication method of casting molten brass and an interactive floral crown to create an Instagrammable moment for the passers by.
The installation of the display took a team of 3 floral designers in about a day to complete. We completed the display with sustainable floral mechanics and no floral foam, meaning all of our materials used are either reusable or compostable.
How did you decide on the flowers used in the Belgravia in Bloom display?
For this display, the choice of flowers was split into two parts.
For the window front display, the main consideration of the choice of flowers was the texture and the colours. To mimic the airiness of the smoke and the ombré look of the flowy molten brass, monochromic colours of flowers were used for these.
As for the floral crown, to be in line with the theme “Beautifully British” for Belgravia in Bloom, a large proportion of the flowers used are British Blooms. Cornflowers, Alstroemerias and Scabious, British flowers that are readily available in this time of the year were used in this Installation.
What is your favourite project that you have worked on to date?
My favourite has been a wedding decor table I did in 2021 in Singapore where I created a houseplant bar as the main decorative element and used plant cuttings as the plant material. This installation was 100% sustainable and was intended for the wedding guests to pick their favourite house plant cutting to bring home and grow!
It was super fun to see the wedding guests interacting with the plant displays and them bringing home the plant cuttings at the end of the wedding.
What’s next for Echevaria.co?
There are a few exciting potential projects in the talks back in Singapore, a couple of weddings and a collaboration with a oriental contemporary fashion brand specialising in modern qipaos and cheongsams. I’m really excited for these upcoming projects, stay tuned on echevaria.co and follow us on Instagram @echevaria.co to stay in the loop!