“I'm a guy who loves flowers–I like bringing flowers, I like designing flowers, I like changing somebody's morning with flowers,” says Lewis Miller, the floral designer and founder of Lewis Miller Design, the multi-event production house with a second studio in West Palm Beach, Florida. Lewis says that at an early age, he learned the power of flowers, and how they can transform the energy of a room. “Growing up, we would have company over to our house after church on Sundays, and my happy place was bringing in flowers from the garden and decorating the table,” he says. “Flowers are a celebration–they are here to make us happy.”
Miller is the creative genius behind the spontaneous, free-form floral installations that spring to life across NYC and on the pages of his new book, Flower Flash. Our new Framebridge x Lewis Miller Design capsule collection captures the fleeting beauty and pure joy of those gorgeous, guerilla-style street installations. Like Framebridge, Miller believes in celebrating everything that makes you happy. His Flower Flashes are designed to spread joy, and our four custom-framed prints are here to extend that joy.
We recently sat down with Miller (and his three dogs!) at his office, where he shared the stories behind the collection’s images and talked about finding inspiration, his all-time favorite blooms, and the magic of a trash bin.
How did your love for flowers begin?
“My grandfather and my mother were both gardeners, so we were always surrounded by plants. The garden was my oasis. I went on to study landscape design and horticulture, but realized that my attention span is rather short: It takes longer for oak trees to grow than to transform a venue for a party that's all over at midnight. That kind of speed really fit my personality, which, fast forward, led to the Flower Flash.”
What exactly is a Flower Flash?
“These are very temporary, larger-than-life floral installations outside in the streets of New York. We've done well over 120 of them–in Tribeca, Soho, Brooklyn, Harlem, the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, the West Village. Midtown, Chinatown, the Wall Street area. They can be in a trash bin, on a statue, in a construction zone. The installations are not overplanned, and done very early in the morning when it's dark out so that it's not a spectator sport. When we walk away, there are flowers for people to take. By 10 o'clock there's nothing left but like a rose petal on the ground.”
How do you scout the perfect location? “It really has to do with my mood, the energy of the city, and what looks good. Then putting all of those things together with a great location, and letting the energy of it unfold.”
Where did the trash bin idea come from? “I love urns and baskets and anything that holds flowers. The trash bin is a very New York thing, and to me, it represents a vessel. I like it because it stands on its own like a proud peacock and can be viewed from all angles.”
You talk about the power of flowers. Can you explain? “Flowers are a celebration. They are nature and energy and joy and are here to make us happy. They have such a transformative effect and an ephemeral nature. You love them hard, you love them fast, and then you move on.”
Where do you draw inspiration?
“I love architecture and beautiful old homes and the gardens that accompany them. Also the Fine Arts in the traditional sense of the word–antiques, tapestries, Flemish still life paintings. It’s about bringing the glory of flowers to life.”
Is there a flower you love working with most?
“I’ve always loved dahlias and they’re incredible in September, when they’re in season. My favorites really come and go, but my all-time favorite flower is the black-and-white ebony. That will probably be what covers my grave.”