At the turn of the 20th century, Vienna was considered one of Europe’s leading cultural centers. Wiener Werkstätte was a revolutionary production community of visual artists—architects, artists, and designers—brought together under a common commitment to design art that would be accessible to everyone.
In the following pages, we bring together accessible elements of winter entertaining, from recipes and ingredients to floral design and gifts for all occasions, to make your winter festivities a little more elegant with a little less stress.
Paris-born Yasmine Karrenberg is a Tribeca local and mother of three who has an intense passion for blooms. She has been arranging the flowers at Wallsé for the past ten years and recently launched her own business, Flowers by Yasmine.
How did your interest in flowers blossom? I have always loved flowers; it wasn’t anything I ever went to school for, it was just a passion of mine. Growing up just outside of Paris, we had a garden with a magnificent lilac tree in it, which was the flower I first fell for. They are so strong and powerful that you need only one to fill up the house with its perfume. In France, we were constantly going to the markets, where you can pick out your own arrangements at the flower stalls. I always loved doing that, and it evolved naturally into bringing flowers to the homes of my friends, who were usually surprised when I said I had arranged them myself. I started doing the flowers at Wallsé, and it progressed from there.
Does art inspire your floral creations? I am half-German so I grew up with Klimt, but I love Monet. A few years ago, I took my three daughter to Monet’s gardens at Giverny, and it just reinforced my love of flowers and gardens and voluminosity. I wanted to just gather it all up in my arms. Monet is magical and very inspirational. When I was little, every Easter we went to Holland, where I fell in love with the tulip and hyacinth fields! Van Gogh’s paintings have also influenced my work.
What considerations do you give to floral arrangements in a restaurant setting? Practicality and seasonality. You can make it pretty for the customers, but depending on where you put the flowers—on a hostess stand, the tables, or on the bar—they can’t be too big and difficult to work around. Also, I like to work with seasonal colors and flowers, especially since that is what the chef works with ingredient wise, and it’s a good synchronization.
What are some of your favorite flowers and foliage for the season? Amaryllis is a pretty amazing flower by itself that doesn’t need anything to really create a mood: simple, elegant, and powerful, whether potted or singular in a vase. I love white more than red for the holidays, but I do use red in the restaurants as it is festive and brings warmth to the cold. This time of the year, anemones are just spectacular. I always love roses, and I love the smell of pine in the home.