F2V featured florist Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective and co-owner of Studio Choo Florists.
The work of Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective is untraditional and ‘big’ according to Sunset Magazine’s garden editor Johanna Silver, who says Field to Vase guests can expect to be ‘wowed’ next month.
Alethea will be wowing F2V guests at Cornerstone in Sonoma with beautiful floral arrangements designed from stunning blooms found in Sunset Magazine’s Test Garden, as well as from Certified American Grown flower farms.
Alethea’s passion and fascination for the natural world are apparent in her floral arrangements. We had the pleasure of chatting with Alethea this week to discuss her inspiration for our upcoming dinner and her involvement with Cornerstone in Sonoma. Check out the interview below!
Sunset Magazine’s Test Gardens at Cornerstone Sonoma was designed by Homestead Design Collective and is home to interesting varieties of plants, trees, and blooms.
F2V: We are so excited to be back in California to celebrate American Grown Flowers next month at the beautiful Sunset Test Gardens at Cornerstone in Sonoma. Can you share with us the theme for the night? Why types of flowers will guests get to enjoy at the dinner table?
Alethea: The theme for the night will be “Garden-to-Table.” Within this overall look, I am planning on using wonderful flowers from local farms in the area and beautiful additions from my flower room, which is a part of Sunset’s Test Garden. Expect to see beautiful dahlias, garden roses, delphiniums, foxgloves, and more!
F2V: How important is it for you to use local American Grown Flowers in your arrangements?
Alethea: Honestly, all I use is local, American Grown Flowers. We do not always know about the sustainability practices of flowers grown overseas, nor do we know the working conditions. It is important for me to use American Grown Flowers in my arrangements because I want to have the best-looking product possible. Typically, flowers that are sold out of season are imported and they aren’t always the best quality. So if that means only using peonies when they are in season, then I won’t use them any other time of the year.
Sunset Magazine’s Test Gardens are divided into many garden rooms: Cocktail Garden, the Farm Garden, Gathering Space, Backyard Orchard, and the Flower Room.
F2V: So we heard you designed Sunset Magazine’s new Test Garden at Cornerstone in Sonoma. Can you share any cool facts about it’s design?
Alethea: Sunset’s new Test Garden is 11,000 square feet. It houses five different rooms, which cater to their own unique audiences. The rooms include the Farm Garden, the Gathering Space, the Cocktail Garden, the Backyard Orchard, and the Flower Room. It’s exciting to see how the Field to Vase Dinner Tour will be added into this beautiful mix of floral wonders.
Garden-inspired bouquet designed by Homestead Design Collective.
F2V: Can you give us some background on how you became a part of the floral industry?
Alethea: It all began 15-years ago when I was a florist working in San Francisco. I made the move to Seattle to begin working as an estate designer, which lead to the start of my business Studio Choo, which I started with my best friend. Studio Choo specializes in weddings, events, and we also teach classes. With myself being located 0n the West Coast and my business partner living on the East Coast, we have gone bi-coastal.
With Homestead, my business partner and I have always had the landscaper and florist team mindset. I do a lot of design work with the wonderful flowers and foliage found growing in home gardens. I do a lot of foraging and have a minimalist approach. I try to not use anything imported or that is considered wasteful within the floral industry. I will always choose to use items found around the garden, farmer’s markets or a local farm. It’s my new mission.
F2V: If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be?
Join us in welcoming Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective as our featured floral designer when the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner visits the new home of Sunset Magazine’s Test Garden at Cornerstone Sonoma on Sunday, October 16 in Sonoma, CA!
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