Being a fan of The Martha Stewart Show I have been aware of the New York City based designer Matthew Robbins for awhile. I “like” his company on facebook, follow him on twitter and read his blog. I really enjoy his work and as a designer I find inspiration in his segments on Martha. I am also a floral, wedding and event design book junkie! Matthew had announced on all of his social media outlets that he had a book being released January 1st of this year, So naturally, I headed down to the book store and picked up Matthew Robbins’ new book “Inspired Weddings” and it is truly inspiring! Each inspiration (chapter) Matthew takes a simple and pure design approach to the event and all the details! This book is fantastic and I highly suggest it becoming part of your design library! Matthew just wrapped up his book tour promoting “Inspired Weddings”, be sure to check out his blog to see his adventure and guest spots on local television stations around the country!
I was able to catch up with Matthew and ask him a few questions about the book:
What prompted you to write Inspired Weddings?I really wanted to bring something fresh and unfussy to the market. There is so much out there for anyone planning a wedding. After doing all of my research and working in the industry for ten years I soon realized there was a real need for inspiration and ideas that don’t stem from the fluffy, over the top standards. My own inspiration was the desire to bring an artist’s or stylist’s approach to the reader. We all have a sense of our own style, taste level and design preferences but if you aren’t in the design world it can be difficult to articulate that inspiration. My hope is that the book empowers the reader with a general understanding for how to take even the most basic inspiration and use it build an entire vision or design plan for their event. We all need to be reminded to look around our own world for inspiration. What do you collect, where do you travel, what makes you tick? These are the elements necessary for building a unique and truly personal event.
Was being an author something you always wanted to do? Yes, most definitely. I love sharing ideas and inspiring others to create beautiful things. I had the book at the top of my “to do” list for several years and it was finally the right time in my own career to make the leap!
When you put the concept of this book together, who was the reader? I always imagined the reader as a stylish, independent individual overwhelmed by all of the fluff in the wedding world. I wanted to create a book that could speak to the reader who’s looking to host a beautiful, personal and unique event…not just a big, over the top wedding.
Which is your favorite section of the book? My two favorite chapters include the Portuguese Bead and the English Pitcher. I love how lush and abundant both chapters feel and I’m crazy for both color palettes.
How did you start your business, Matthew Robbins Design? I started my company after moving from San Francisco to NYC. It wasn’t easy and I had to slowly build on word of mouth referrals and the generous support of friends and colleagues. Martha Stewart and her wonderful team really put my work on the map. I was in the magazine and on her show within the first six months of being in business so that really helped give my business and my confidence that essential boost in the beginning.
Did you move to NYC with the hope of becoming a celebrity designer? Not at all! I moved to NY with plans to focus on my fine art career with plans to complete the graduate program at Columbia but life is filled with surprises. I believe we are all pushed in the right direction but we have to be open to the guidance the universe offers. I’m so glad I listened!
To date, what has been your career highlight? Completing my first book is number one and probably just finding a solid place in the design world as a voice and inspiration. I’m blessed to have a huge list of amazing highlights including incredible clients, editorial features and media opportunities but the book is certainly my pride and joy!
How would you describe your design style? Eclectic, modern romance is really the focus of most of my work. I love that perfect place where classic meets whimsy and surprise. I believe good design should look and feel effortless. You never want to look like you tried too hard by pushing something too far. Learning how to edit is probably the best tool one can have in their design approach. I always say edit, edit and edit a little more. This will take your work to the core of what makes it special and powerful.
What do you think will be the signature flower of 2012? I’m not really sure as floral preferences seem to be all over the map, which is a good thing. If I had to choose one I would say lush, romantic garden roses.
What are some of your favorite emerging trends? I’m happy to see an overall trend to working with a more effortless, unfussy style. I also see a great trend to getting back to timeless and classic details. Trends can be fun but they can also leave your wedding or event looking dated so choose wisely!
What trends are you dying to see disappear? Over the top, huge “princess” weddings are finally falling out of favor. I’m also happy to see a more balanced approach to the crafty, DIY trend. It felt like that trend was getting out of control and people were sacrificing good design for cutesy ideas that don’t always hold up or feel timeless. Ideas need to mean something personally or they just end up feeling random and not authentic.
What or who inspires you? Travel is probably my number one source of inspiration. I love seeing new places, meeting new people and being forced to live in a different world for a short time. The jolt to my senses is necessary and important for generating new ideas. I also find lots of inspiration in the art world. I was recently in Rome and a masterpiece in a church brought tears to my eyes. The use of light and shadow was truly magical and it filled me with inspiration for days. I also love a great outdoor food market. These are always magical places and you can really get to know a place by spending time in the markets.
Do you have a favorite color? Blue is my absolute favorite color and grey would be my second favorite. I grew up by the ocean and I can never get enough of the sea which is probably why I’m obsessed with blue.
What one piece of advice would you give a new designer? Allow yourself to grow and take in criticism instead of running from it. Resist the temptation to compare your work to everyone out there. Remember you are offering something unique but your personality needs to match the power of your work. If you can’t bring both to the table find a business partner who can handle the personality part of the business. You need good design and good people to make it all work.
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers? Remember to search for inspiration and record it. I take so many photos of random details, moments and places just as a record of a color palette, texture or idea. You never know what might inspire your next big design plan!
Thank you Matthew!
For more inspiring work from Matthew check out his website here.