Designer Spotlight… L’Atelier Rouge
Meet Caroline Bailly, a native of France, and founder and owner of L’Atelier Rouge.
Jamali Garden: How did you get started?
L’Atelier Rouge: I had a long history in fine dining and event management in both France and Manhattan. After years in hospitality, I rediscovered my childhood passion for flowers after overseeing hundreds of high end parties. I transitioned into a more design-oriented role at another floral and event studio before venturing out to start L’Atelier Rouge in March 2010.
JG: We love this idea for dressing up the entrance to a wedding or event.
LAR: Our client was hosting a party in their residence. Management restricted the addition of flowers to the lobby, but they took no issue with floral arrangements outside. We collaborated with Okamoto Studios, an incredible ice design studio in Long Island City, to create these custom ice pillars with flowers frozen inside them.
JG: Candlelight always makes some magic. This entrance looks amazing.
LAR: This was at The High Line Hotel in Chelsea. The converted refectory where the events are held is stunning, but we especially love designing within its central stairwell. We wanted to create a sense of romanticism and warmth for this particular couple. We lined the wide stairs with floating candles in tall vases and suspended glass ball votive holders with LED tea lights from the ceiling. We took advantage of the giant proportions of the entryway to create this exciting ‘moment’ that really welcomed guests and set their expectations for the decor upstairs, where you saw all the flowers done by our team and head of floral design, Takaya Sato.
JG: Tell us why we shouldn’t forget the bar in our decor planning?
LAR: Bars are ideal for adding visual variety to the room. Creating floral moments throughout the room, not just on the tables, are an excellent way to strengthen and reiterate the design scheme, bringing greater cohesion and impact. These arrangements were for use in a residence, so we wanted to transform the spaces throughout the home not typically used when entertaining. The open kitchen lent itself to utilizing the kitchen island as an additional floral moment: keeping with the all-white color scheme throughout the residence, we designed white roses, tulips, and cherry blossom branches in a collection of mixed height vases. We positioned the flowers at different angles to create a larger sense of scale and proportion. For candlelight we used tea lights in Reflective Mirror Tea Light Holders and pillar candles in Reflective Mirror Pillar Holders.
JG: This is a gorgeous room. It’s sparkling, quiet, and still beautiful.
LAR: After I attended the opening party for the Rainbow Room, I raved about the new renovations; it’s a consummate New York venue that’s loaded with history, and that history wasn’t masked with the updates to the room. We had the opportunity to design this major dinner party there. The hanging crystal chandeliers reflect the room’s light in a beautiful way. It’s understated and luxurious, so we mixed muted shades of metallics and grays to continue the color story of the room.
JG: We often see orchids in tall centerpieces, so it’s nice to see these unique, low arrangements.
When you have such high quality orchids, like the white phalaenopsis blooms we used in these centerpieces, you want to keep them at eye level, the better for guests to appreciate them up close. We surrounded them with floating candles and silver mercury glass votive holders.
JG: We noticed that candles are a big element in your decor.
LAR: For floral design, proper light is hugely important. You can create an amazing table scape, but, if the lighting is poor, it’s a waste. All the candles we use cast a warm and natural light that flatters almost every arrangement. We provide full-service event design, including linens, candles, and other rentals. Coordinating the style of candle and candleholder with the overall design scheme is an additional way to bolster the overall concept. They can add depth and height to both the room and individual tabletops, and can be mixed in different ways to create greater visual interest with the flowers and other accents. On these tables we used Antique Gold Leaf Pillar Holders with white blooms in brass julep cups and candelabras accented with ivy and lemons.
JG: Any advice for brides and grooms about choosing a venue for their wedding?
LAR: Find a space that you love and that makes sense for you and your fiancee. More than any other element on your wedding day, the venue will define your ceremony and reception. If you’re set on having a dance floor, make sure the location can reasonably fit it after you factor in your guests and any other furniture. I would also encourage couples to ignore whatever prestige and pedigree a given venue may come with; just because it was perfect for socialites in the 50’s doesn’t mean that it makes sense for what you want to achieve today.
JG: What advice would you give brides about wedding decor?
LAR: What’s important is that the wedding decor (and everything else) feels specific to you and your fiancee. While Pinterest, instagram, and other online resources for brides provide an unprecedented level of access to designs from all over the world, don’t base your choices on what has the most repins or likes. These resources also tend to promote what’s most on-trend. When you look back on pictures from your wedding day, you should love what you see and remember how meaningful and personal all of the little touches felt.