Peonies and hydrangeas and perhaps a tuft or two of English Rose? You name it and you have it. Remember the recent table styling activity that took place in Bengaluru? One which was hosted by Muji and styled by Ami Kothari? Mi_Ikigai was in charge of making the flowers and I can see why. Today, I’ll hawk a bit about a bunch of fabulous paper peonies that are so good that its unreal. Introduce you all to a very talented girl who was hiding all along somewhere. And later in the post, I’ll give out 3 very easy ways to style paper flowers in your home which can all be done under 10 minutes. Come along ladies and gentlemen. Let’s get going! But before that,

Hello maker of gorgeous peonies

Mi_ikigai is a lovely little outfit run by Urmi, who handcrafts these gorgeous flowers and foliage at her home in Mumbai. And when she is not playing the maker of peonies {I make it sound the mother of dragons don’t I?}- she runs a photography company with her husband “UrmiMehul Photography”, contributes to kidsstoppress (I know you know all about this) and plays mommy to her two beautiful children- Rushil and Ishika. Such a wonderful person to talk to and what an incredibly talented girl. Gosh, you need to see her work to believe me.

This is exactly why I love the internet. I get to meet and know so many super talented individuals from so many walks of life everyday: it’s inspiring. When Mi_Ikigai followed me on instagram, I instantly knew that this needs to come out of the flower closet. Her work is amazing, it’s professional and it’s 100% bang for the bucks. They look so real, I couldn’t believe they weren’t. And they make for such a lovely alternative to real flowers which other than being non-available also wither.

Although I am huge yes for fresh flowers and always no for fake, plastic flowers- these on the other hand deserve to be in your home simply by the virtue of artistry and craftsmanship. They are truly, impeccably crafted. And most importantly, they are not tacky. They are graceful, pretty and perfect! Don’t believe me, get in a bunch and see for yourself. Not to mention that if they weren’t I wouldn’t have blogged about it in the first place 😉

Urmi says, she learnt it all from her mother, Indira Shah who was a common name in every household of walkeshwar and Neapensea road for a good 30 years. She taught hobby classes like they called it back in the day and she would conduct one on one classes. On a trip to Japan she learned and mastered the art of stained glass and flower making which proved a great ‘skill sharpening’ turn in her life. That’s where Urmi learnt it all and that’s why a Japanese name for her crafting endeavour. She carries on her mom’s legacy and runs Mi-Ikigai from her home to keep the art alive in her family! Once encouraged by her mom to follow her passion, today she encourages her own children to follow paths they like.

It was so heartwarming to talk to her, to see her light up with the mention of art- it was contagious. I light up with interior, colours and decor and I know the kind of waters we have to cross to keep it alive. And I appreciate when one follows their passion irrespective of everything else. I get inspired when one’s passion becomes their purpose of life and Mi-Ikigai is one such story. I also think that’s what it means in Japanese!

Doing the ordinary, extraordinarily

We gift flowers. In every occasion. But how about we turn that ritual into something more meaningful? Something more personal? These paper flowers form a wonderful alternative to traditional fresh flowers and they check right 3 points-
first, because they are handmade, they come with that personal touch.
second, they won’t wilt.
third, name the flower you want and you have it. No soul searching required.
Trust me, I’d love a bunch of handmade hydrangeas over a commercial bouquet anyday, that’s only palm leaves and green foam. Ugh.

And just in case you have paper flowers in your home, here’re 3 ways to style it- all under 10 minutes

Pop them in a pretty pitcher. Or a vase. Add on top of a stack of books and there you have a pretty little spot.

Or, add them in a metallic cup! Metal vases and cups are in and this is one of the best and understated ways to get in some bling in your decor without being too direct or on your face. Depending on the type and color of flower, choose a metal and vase.

Color palettes and metals

Peach, blush pink, pink and pale orange will looks fab in copper
Yellow, red and white can add a touch of gold
Foliage and cooler tones look preety in bronze or silver.

Now this is just what I think. This is certainly not the rule and you can feel free to add as you like. I added my pale peonies in a copper mule mug!

Another quick way to display paper flowers is to add them in a basket. You could add them in a wicker basket with books or as is. Or you could add them in a burlap sack and add them in a metal wire basket. Alternatively, you ca hang them from the window as a curtain. Will show this to you all sometime when I am a bit free. For now, here’s how I added these peonies in my wicker.

I specially asked for peonies but Urmi makes a whole range of paper flowers which you can check out on her instagram account. You can also follow her on Facebook and read her articles here. I bet my 2 penny that you all will love her work and love to know her.

Take my word for it.

It’s a weekday, I’ve got work to report to tomorrow and the cat is all over me, so I’m signing off. Do check her out and let me know if you do end up buying a bunch. Tag me with #trumatter

Off then. XO

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