Former White House Chief Floral Designer Uses Flowers to Create Messages with Meaning

Feb 15, 2022, 18:57 PM
 decoraLaura Dowling is known around the world as one of the top florists and flower experts in the industry. Having appeared numerous times on HGTV, Laura was also the florist for the White House for the Obama administration, a very prestigious honor, of which there have only been four in history.

As Chief Floral Designer for the White House from 2009 until 2015, Dowling managed White House floral design for thousands of official and private events, including state dinners, parties, receptions and large-scale installations, such as the Fourth of July, Halloween and the iconic White House Christmas. She is renowned for creating a new romantic style of flower arranging featuring free-flowing lines of vines and flowers emanating from a classical bouquet. This style is most evocative of nature and the garden, and balances a strong artistic vision with the wildness of nature.

Laura Dowling

Laura’s unique approach focuses on the premise that flowers can be more than just decorative objects, conveying important diplomatic messages, cultural meaning and symbolic metaphor. Under her leadership, Laura implemented floral artistry at the White House, designing bouquets of seasonal garden flowers in a style that is both modern and refined, yet casually elegant. Floral diplomacy — the art of honoring visiting dignitaries through floral symbolism that articulates compelling artistic and strategic themes — became a signature initiative during Laura’s time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Her first book, “Floral Diplomacy at the White House” (March 2017), describes her approach for creating inspiring White House flower arrangements and décor, while “A White House Christmas: Including Floral Design Tutorials” (October 2017), gives readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into decorating the White House for Christmas. Her third book, “Wreaths: With How-To Tutorials” (2018), launched a new series of floral and design books. And her newest book, “Bouquets: With How-To Tutorials” (2020) features 75 how-to designs illustrating innovative floral styles and techniques.

She was also commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service to design a collection of four holiday wreath Forever stamps that launched nationwide in 2019.

Laura Dowling Designed Postage Stamp

Come meet Laura at the Flower + Patio Show on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, 2022!