Inside the Design Studio of Event & Floral Designer Eddie Zaratsian
Eddie invited us into his studio, a delightfully eclectic space 25 years in the making, where his visions are free to unfold. We enter through the office. This is where the planning begins: plush velvet couches are framed by statuesque shelves filled with books and magazines; his team sits at a table amidst sketches, inspiration photos and countless lists. They work away, pausing to offer us another piece of chocolate or an espresso served in dainty gold cups—a perfect reflection of the man behind the madness.
Eddie is grand, yet intimate; extravagant, yet refined.
With nearly thirty years of practice, his client list is impressive. A partnership with Restoration Hardware, designing Oprah Winfrey’s launch event for the O Network, a flower wall for Kim and Kanye—in the world of flowers, the opportunity to impress doesn’t get much more influential than that. Despite such a glamorous clientele, Eddie is admittedly playful, but passionate. After all these years, it’s clear that Eddie still enjoys what he does.
“My grandmother used to make rose petal jam in Armenia. I have this distinctive memory of that smell,” he recalls.
He takes us into the enchanting warehouse where massive bundles of roses sit in white buckets; he begins to arrange the flowers.
A true artisan, he is fluid in his craft, handsomely plucking the bottom leaves from the stems of the roses in his hands. He works quickly, then humbly presents a pristine bouquet, perfectly arranged, perfectly groomed; simple yet elegant. “Every time I go into my garden, and there are roses blooming, it just takes me back to my grandmother.”
We envision a young Eddie in the garden and ask him how he first began making flower arrangements. “I closed my eyes, and I dreamt,” he jokes. But Eddie’s story doesn’t start in the garden—it begins with balloons.
It was the ‘80s and balloons were having a moment. Eddie and his partner were in the decor business, which at that time meant making a lot of balloon arrangements for events and parties.
When a client asked them to make the flower arrangements, too, Eddie did what any true entrepreneur would: he faked it.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” he remembers, admitting that he would never make an arrangement like that today. Certainly, his aesthetic has since blossomed; moreover, his business has evolved. “As an entrepreneur, you’re always looking out for the next thing that you can add to your business. For me, decor was the business—so it went from balloons, to flowers, to event design, to interior design. It’s about the aesthetic, and if you’re creative, you can do anything.”
Eddie recalls working with GUESS a few years ago for the 30th Anniversary party. Paul Marciano had asked him to design the event—everyone knows that Paul loves flowers, and lots of them.
“I had the most fear—well, not fear, but it was a different scale.” More than 2,000 people attended that event. “I was hired to design it, and then suddenly I was producing it.” Years later, Paul still talks about that evening. Eddie, like always, exceeded expectations.
Whether he’s doing an intimate dinner party for 25 or a large-scale event for thousands, Eddie aims to bring the experience to a whole new level. “I have to tell a story in flowers.” It’s more than simply doing whatever is trendy. “Everyone gravitates to what they see on social media, but I try to push my clients a little bit further, away from what’s trendy.”
Surrounded by the flowers that will one day become his extraordinary creations, the simple bouquet in our hands reminds us that it’s ok to stop and smell the roses along the way.
3 Questions for Eddie
01. What’s your favorite flower?
Everyone always asks me that, but I don’t have one. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m sophisticated and sleek, other times I’m feeling frilly.
02. In all your years in the flower business, what’s the one thing that never goes out of style?
All white. Whites and greens, that’s classic. You can never go wrong with that.
03. If you were to plan an event that was for you, what would you have at your party?
I would keep it intimate, even though I’m so grand. It would just be the closest of friends, but they would be totally into the experience of it; from the moment they walk through the door, to how their name is placed on the table, to the gifts they get at the end of the night. Or I just might go completely over-the-top and do a whole Great Gatsby type of thing.