San Francisco | March 28, 2023
Meet: Floral Artist Amanda Luu of Studio Mondine
Meet Amanda Luu, the floral designer behind San Francisco Proper and founder of Studio Mondine, a floral design studio based in San Francisco, California. We are thrilled to collaborate with Studio Mondine to further enhance our inspiration-filled, design-driven Proper flagship with her renowned arrangements. Read on to learn more about Amanda, her vision, and partnership with San Francisco Proper.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and what sparked your journey in floral design.
A: Seems trite to share, but as a sensitive young person, flowers and the natural world provided me a welcome distraction from the noise around me. Later, I’d go on to dabble in a few other creative endeavors, but my work with flowers was the only thing that stuck. Working with flowers requires both halves of the brain firing, which I find deeply satisfying.
Q: What inspired you to create Studio Mondine? Can you share a bit about your floral studio and the team behind it?
A: We are a team of designers, producers, and educators united by an insatiable curiosity of the natural world. As a design studio with a diversity of experiences in hospitality, fine art, production, and fabrication, we endeavor to surprise, delight, and invite you into the splendor of the natural world.
Q: How has San Francisco influenced your design style and creative process?
A: San Francisco is a city of self-starting tinkerers and craftspeople, and our greatest export is a certain way of thinking. We create, we share, we iterate, and we learn together. This methodology runs through our studio practice as well. As for style, San Francisco is low key – things are pared back, naturalistic, and honest.
Q: Can you share with us your experience on collaborating with San Francisco Proper, in what ways do you feel that both of your visions align well?
A: San Francisco Proper is layered, textured, and smart. Housed in a landmark flatiron building, the interiors pay homage to what was once there and what lives now. As a florist, there’s much to respond to.
Q: How does San Francisco Proper’s Kelly-Wearstler designed spaces influence your creations for the space? What factors come into play when you are designing?
A: For me, it’s about line and form. You won’t find anything too precious here –I’m ambitious about showing the uncommon, unconventional, and unexpected. Compositions are either diminutive or oversized in response to the room.
Q: Tell us about your floral designs at San Francisco Proper and what kind of arrangements to expect while visiting the property.
A: The historic San Francisco Flower Market is just a few blocks from San Francisco Proper, so expect hyperseasonal, locally grown or foraged material throughout the hotel.
Q: We’d love to know more about your first book, Ikebana Unbound. What was the inspiration behind it?
A: We were approached by Workman, who would go on to be our publisher, about creating ikebana-inspired projects for the home arranger. Something that would feel approachable, so that lay people could experience the transformative power of nature inside their homes with immediacy. As the book was released Spring 2020 at the height of pandemic uncertainty, I’m overjoyed that it provided people a bit of respite.
Q: We are so excited to continue our partnership with Studio Mondine. What are you most excited about for the future of floral design?
A: I’m most excited by the diversity of new voices in the floral space, from growers to wholesalers to designers. We’re tracking a growing list of small (sub 1-acre) farms to support, all of whom are growing rare, unusual, or heirloom flowers for our work.