Uninspired and unfulfilled by her post-college corporate job, Corrie founded Petal NYC, which burst onto the scene as a go-to resource for inventive arrangements that manage to be both playful and elegant. We sat down with Corrie in her studio in the Flower District to talk about “the biz” and how to use some of her tricks at home.
What’s one thing you learned quickly upon becoming a professional?
The importance of being flexible. There are so many factors beyond my control that can affect which flowers end up in my hands on any given day, from the weather to the customs officials at the airport.
Obviously, color is extremely important to your work. Do you have a philosophy on color? Are there any flowers that embody it?
Take risks. You can always abandon a combination that isn’t working, but you may stumble on a pairing that’s new and exciting. Poppies, ranunculus, and tempest dahlias capture my favorite lively candy coral hue. It pairs well with anything – from butter yellow, to spring green, to berry, to eggplant.
What about texture? Any advice on how to easily incorporate texture into a centerpiece at home?
If you’re using traditional flowers, don’t discard all of the foliage. Keep the uppermost leaves on the stem. A cluster of leaves peeking out of the blooms creates nice contrast. For a bolder look, choose a bunch of non-traditional floral accents like scabiosa pods, star eucalyptus, or flex berry for instant interest.
Do you have a favorite centerpiece that you feel is perfect for a dinner party or cocktail party at home?
A line of simple glass bud vases each filled with one or two blooms running down a dinner table is an easy but dynamic look for any type of gathering. The focus can be on unique blossoms that might not be practical in abundance.
5 essentials for a party at home?
A great playlist. Candlelight. A simple, self-serve bar for bubbly, wine, and water. Floral touches. Strategically place finger foods that help guests move around the space.
What kind of music complements your entertaining style?
It depends on the gathering, but I usually like to start things off with some retro standards. We’ll Take Manhattan is a current favorite.
Any easy go-to dishes or apps that you like to serve?
Curry lime dip with vegetable chips.
Best hostess gift you’ve given or received?
A set of Jolly Roger cocktail napkins.
If you could party with one person – living or dead – who would it be?