My week with Ariella Chezar

This past week I spent a few days in Sonoma to take some design courses with the famed Ariella Chezar.  I rarely sign up for classes, so this was truly a treat!  The classes were held at a private estate in Wine Country and everything was quite beautiful.  We went through things like new techniques to wrap a bouquet, more interesting ways to design arrangements, and then on the last day (my personal favorite) Ariella had inspiration boards to show us some ideas for some table top designs.  This was such a great time for me to mix and mingle with other designers.  I met some awesome people, some designers from the east coast, some from right here in California, and one even from out of the country!

Ariella is a very sought after teacher as well as designer herself.  Her work has been seen in Martha Stewart Weddings, Real Simple Weddings, Better Homes and Gardens, Oprah, Snippet and Ink, In Style Weddings, Town and Country Weddings, San Francisco Bride, and Sunset Magazine.  Here are some photos of my time there, I hope you enjoy them. For more information on Ariella and her work find her at: or the New York Flower School at:

A couple other people to check out are Holly at Holly Heider Chapple at: and the amazing Kim Sanders down in Southern California



ABOVE:  Ariella on my first day of class, talking with us before a demo

ABOVE:  One thing that really made me happy was the use of all the vintage containers.  If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with little things, and these really made me smile.  We have all of the same containers that we used at this workshop in Sonoma, so this is wonderful to let others see what we have to offer in action!

ABOVE:  It’s all about the details!

ABOVE:  The colors here just melt they are so great!

ABOVE:  The pool at the estate…

ABOVE:  Who doesn’t love some petite macaroons?!  They seemed to be everywhere in Sonoma…now I just need to find some at home in Sacramento.  If you are looking for macaroons let me know and I will get you some contacts, because there are some places where you can order them…thank goodness for shipping!

ABOVE:  Lunch break!

ABOVE:  I was a major fan of the detail that went into hosting us…even the napkins and silverware are to die for!  ….not to mention we have and use all of this at the flower shop;)

ABOVE:  We spy a tiny friend:)

ABOVE:  Bouquet treatments!

ABOVE:  I was thrilled to see that I’m not the only one with a MASSIVE magazine collection!

ABOVE:  One of Ariella’s books; a MUST have on your bookshelf!

ABOVE:  Okay, so here is the fun part…the inspiration boards!  This was our first look.  Spraying the magnolia leaves to create a rich Grecian look was such a cool idea, and it just added a more delicate flare of interest.  There are lots of women in lace on the board, so we were trying to imitate that soft feminine feel.  This look is perfect for venues like our home-base at Grand Island Mansion!

ABOVE:  More milk glass! We have tons…plus I love how the gold gives the glass a more contemporary twist.

ABOVE:  I love all the vintage silver! …we have a TON at the shop

ABOVE:  Mixing the copper orchids created a rich depth.

ABOVE:  OBSESSED with this foliage! It’s so delicate and soft.

ABOVE:  We also have an extensive collection of glass…this display is so clean and fresh.  It also looks great mixed in with colored glass or more rustic elements.

ABOVE:  Any tiny detail that you can add really does make all the difference.  From the linens, to the china, or even a tea leaf napkin ring.

ABOVE:  Try and not be so closed minded when it comes to mixing elements.  The key is to not go too crazy, but keep things in the same color family or universal look.  The gold rimmed china creates warmth, similar to the rustic silver bowl and wooden-colored stemware.

ABOVE:  Ariella and Maria sitting around the table after a job well done.  Maria Limon is from Mexico City, Mexico and does amazing work as well.  Find her at:

ABOVE:  Ariella and I after the workshop

ABOVE:  Some super fun zebra stripes from Brannan in SF

ABOVE:  Chelsie and I were in love with this skirt.  We searched everywhere for it!  Sadly Mango was sold out entirely:(

ABOVE: The second inspiration board!  This was more of a contemporary look with pops of bright colors to grab your attention.

ABOVE:  Starting off with some lovely linens.  All of the linens for the week were provided by La Tavola.  Find them in their adorable store front in Midtown or online at:

ABOVE:  Linens really do make all the difference!

ABOVE:  Some of Ariella’s trinkets

ABOVE:  Here is the lounge area before flowers…(still gorgeous!)

ABOVE:  After…looking bright and festive

ABOVE:  These plants were so cute! Blowing around in the breeze, they were fun to watch.

ABOVE:  Before…

ABOVE:  After…

ABOVE:  The food was just as delicious as it was fun to look at!  Provided by:  Check her out!


One thought on “My week with Ariella Chezar

  1. What a beautiful place you visited, and what a fun time you must have had Jackie! It’s always fun to get new inspiration from others in the industry! I am always blown away by you and Chelsea’s creativity, and I am sure this weekend of fun, will only take you to new heights. I CANNOT wait until my wedding (someday) so that you can design it all! 🙂

    Love you two!

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