Chances are that if you know anyone who worked at a certain type of glossy magazine before the industry’s budgets were slashed to the point of sustaining little more than a room full of monkeys on typewriters, that person has, at least once, waxed poetically about “the perks.” Expense accounts. Car services. In-office eyebrow threading. Name it, and you likely could’ve had it.
The title that gave me my first job was no exception. In addition to those aforementioned, one recurring indulgence was a weekly delivery of multiple, fresh cut flower arrangements. One of my early responsibilities included swapping the new blooms with the old—most of which, of course, were still perfectly healthy. So I developed the habit of decorating my then approximately 300 square-foot apartment with them. Going on nine years later, that job is long gone (the magazine, notably, is not), my living quarters have marginally expanded in size, and my desire for cut stems in my home remains, stronger than ever.
Over time, I’ve learned that regularly purchasing fresh flowers is, in a word, unpractical—especially when one’s budget for them has grown about as much as the size of his apartment over the years. Which is why I do not consider it an understatement when I say that discovering The Green Vase’s exquisite paper blooms was life-altering.
Made by New York City-based artist Livia Cetti, the hand-crafted flowers range from the everyday (Poppy, Garden Rose) to the exquisite (Hollyhock, Rhododendron), and each is as delicate and vibrant as the real thing. There’s a bit of whimsy to them, too, but make no mistake: These are works of art, not arts and crafts. The Green Vase sells select styles online but, to those who are able, I suggest browsing the selection at John Derian, in Manhattan’s East Village.
Perhaps the most important, or at least the most justifiable, reason for my obsession: Paper flowers last forever. Which isn’t to say I’m buying any less, just appreciating their aesthetic touch a whole lot more.
Top Photo Credit: Addie Juell