For many months now, we have been enthralled by the renovation process of Raleigh’s new boutique hotel, Heights House (formerly known as Montford Hall). Nestled into a graceful curve at the entrance to Boylan Heights, one of Raleigh’s artful and historic neighborhoods, this 1858 Italianate mansion has held a mysterious, Sleeping Beauty kind of allure through its recent years of slumber. It has been fascinating to watch it reawaken under the loving care of its owners Sarah and Jeff Shepherd. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to tour and create flowers for this enchanting and storied space.

As wedding florists we are accustomed to designing in venues that are made to be a blank slate, and to come to life anew for each client through an entirely different set of furnishings and florals every weekend. While this approach to weddings allows for event visions of all shapes and sizes, we have found ourselves yearning for spaces with a more grounded sense of history and character, which might inspire more curated, quality-over-quantity kinds of styling. From our first Heights House tour last winter, we fell in love with the house’s personality. It’s tough to pinpoint the exact style of Heights House, just as it’s hard for us to pinpoint the style of our florals. It’s a harmonious blend of old and new, classical and contemporary, historic and whimsical, poised and playful. It feels alive just as we want our arrangements to feel alive: full of breath, movement and light. It felt like a kindred spirit.

We collaborated in March with the Heights House team to design personal florals and installations for wedding photoshoot featuring a couple whose wedding was postponed due to the pandemic, to help prospective clients envision the possibilities for Heights House Weddings. We set to work drawing inspiration from the rooms and grounds to create something that felt true to the house’s striking, richly layered beauty. We created two floral urns to frame the entrance, an airy installation of spirea and cherry branches to wind around the foyer columns, a romantic floral tablescape dancing with fritillaria, and a sensual installation of flowering branches and blooms adorning the marble fireplace. For the couple, we created a bouquet and boutonniere that felt ethereally romantic (especially while being held by this gorgeous duo!).

Our floral materials included local flowering cherry, spirea, ‘Drumline’ tulips, loropetalum, anemone, hellebore, and butterfly ranunculus, and imported lilac, sweet, pea, frittilaria, roses, eucalyptus and purple feather acacia. Lately we’ve been drawn to chocolately reds, and the drama they lend to a wedding palette alongside whites, blushes, dark purples and mauves. We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our local fairy godmother, Susan Clarke, for bringing a literal truckload of flowering branches from her magical yard to our studio the day before the shoot. Our work really becomes special through grower connections like these, which allow us to capture the kind of fleeting, seasonal beauty that could never be successfully shipped.

Radian Photography captured the extraordinary beauty of the house, couple and florals perfectly, as they always do. We love how alive Radian’s images feel–rich with texture and emotion, and capturing the colors and quality of light so gracefully. The images go beyond simply documenting to telling a love story.

We can’t wait to create more florals for Heights House events, and look forward to our upcoming staycation in their serene rooms. Thinking about a small wedding in Raleigh that’s full of storied details and artful design? Look no further than Heights House. It is a dreamy space, and it offers a singular opportunity to create an immersive experience for guests without having to start from scratch on design. We are grateful for this inspiring asset to the Raleigh community, and we’d love to bring your Heights House event to life through seasonal flora.