Saying it with flowers in Laxfield
PUBLISHED: 17:39 17 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:59 18 February 2014
Tessa Allingham meets floral artist Kim Beedie
There’s something fantastical about Kim Beedie’s Laxfield home. Slender silver birches glimmer winter-white in front of the handsome house, an entrance hall table is piled high with giant balls of white silk roses, petals peppered with sparkle, and glittering glass tea lights lighten corners.
The feel continues in the elegant sitting room. Silver birches fill the four corners – they’re actually real birch branches fixed into a ‘trunk’ made by Kim – decorated to evoke the four seasons with tiny ornamental birds, summer blooms, bright greens and autumnal reds. A giant wrought-iron chandelier hangs low from the ceiling, twisted with willow, and laden with moss, hydrangea heads and more birds, over-sized mirrors are propped against two walls, and surfaces are filled with artistic floral displays. It’s like walking into a shimmering, magical, Narnia-esque world.
Then Blue the whippet bounds in, leaps on the sofa, gets a ticking off, and I’m pulled away from taking in the richness of the room.
“I love creating layers of interest,” says Kim. “It’s great when people says they can’t stop looking, because they’re not quite sure if they’ve seen everything.”
She doesn’t normally have four trees in her front room, however, nor a table laden with rose balls. They were part of her design for the annual charity Masquerade Ball at Bruisyard Hall, Saxmundham, and she’s finally stopping for breath after an extremely full few weeks.
“It was a fabulous project, the trees were table centerpieces, and the whole barn was strung with fairy lights. I loved creating a fantasy for the evening, though I had glitter all over me for days after! I’d love to do more of that sort of work.”
For now, though, there’s the year’s programme of floristry workshops to organise and run. Her seasonal courses are at the heart of the business, Figa and Co, which she set up in 2006 as a channel for her creative instincts. “The company name stands for floristry, interiors, gardens and art, and I’m inspired by all four aspects, but it’s the workshops that have really taken off.”
She runs them seasonally from her home and from Snape Maltings, and is on the hunt for suitable venues around Bury St Edmunds and Norwich to expand the Figa brand. “I love helping clients tap into their creativity. I draw on my background in interior design, and I love putting combinations of texture, colour and form together, as well as incorporating seasonal flowers at the heart of my designs. On the spring courses we’ll be using reindeer moss, quails’ eggs, guinea fowl feathers, some fresh green moss and tiny grape hyacinths to make some really beautiful arrangements.”
During the courses at Laxfield, clients have the chance to buy the accessories – stately candles, carved mirrors, angel wings, handsome furniture ornately painted by her artist husband Lyndon – that form the other part of her business, and that she uses to design her own living space. “I love the ‘wow’ that I get from clients when they come into my home. I love giving them a taste of my world, and helping them create something beautiful to take back to theirs.”
n Book courses and buy accessories at www.figaandco.co.uk. Find Kim’s pieces also at www.notonthehighstreet.co.uk.