Experiential, dried and immersive

about us

Who we are and what we do

our ethos

our founder

Established by Emily Ayres in 2017, Design by Nature signals a different approach to floristry, incorporating a background in sculpture, installation and fine art.

Studying Fine Art Painting & Sculpture at Kingston University gave Emily the opportunity to work with concrete, metals and bronze alongside the paints and sketchbooks she had grown accustomed to. Cracked and broken textures, the impastoed paintings of Frank Auerbach and peeling surfaces captured Emily’s imagination, beginning to fuel a fascination for derelict buildings, sculptures and experiential installations. 

After graduating, Emily spent ten years working for some of the UK’s most sought-after artists and designers, supporting them in their studio, client and exhibition management. An instinctive visual literacy began to take hold, and after establishing Design by Nature, it’s a language through which flowers are now the subject. Faded hues, negative space and asymmetric angles appear instinctive, allowing the designs of nature to take centre-stage. 

The ancient Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi refers to the beauty of the impermanent, imperfect and transient. Within this concept, the marks of age and individuality enhance beauty. While Wabi-sabi intrigued Emily,  the perspective is at odds with the expectations of perfectionism that are so prevalent in mainstream floristry. Yet, as Design by Nature matured, the focus evolved into the often underappreciated abstract forms that dried flowers take. Emily’s floral styling now looks to create immersive sculptures from dried flowers, accepting imperfections and taking a more considered approach to the transient beauty of flowers and botanicals.

(Top photo by Sara Hibbert)

(Right photo by The Venetian Pantry)

Photo of Design by Nature founder Emily Ayres