Ornamento is not your regular flower shop, it is a true treasure trove. Tucked inside The Fairmont, one of San Francisco’s classic hotels on Nob Hill, Ornamento is the boutique front for one of the most talented floral and event designers in San Francisco: Orna Maymon.
I discovered Ornamento just over a year ago, when I went to photograph Grace Cathedral while the ribbon art installation was still in place. My friend Valerie was with me that day, and as we came out of Grace, we walked the short block to The Fairmont thinking we could have lunch there, which we did. Since it was my first time at this San Francisco landmark, after lunch we meandered around the hotel, oohing and aahing in various rooms, until we were both attracted by the display in this beautiful shop.
Inside we found a true treasure chest of exquisite gifts and accessories for the home that had clearly been hand picked with care, and then beautifully displayed alongside luscious fresh flower arrangements. We took our time looking at everything, so now I will let you have a look as well before continuing the story. Isn’t that converted book case just wonderful? I am in love with it.
Don’t you just love peonies? Such full, lush flowers that are both simple and opulent at the same time are hard to top.
Orna is not always at the shop as she is usually busy behind the scenes creating and setting up stunning events and/or floral art displays around the Bay Area and even beyond. But on that day she was, and I had the privilege of meeting this talented and passionate woman of strong presence and unconventional imagination.
You may have seen some of Orna’s amazing work in some of the Bay Area’s best known venues, among which are the Ritz Carlton, The Palace, the San Francisco Symphony, the Rosewood Hotel, City Hall, the Palace of Fine Arts and, of course the Fairmont. Orna also participates in the annual Bouquets to Art event at the De Young Museum, creating some of the most remarkable and creative floral art displays I have ever seen.
All the gifts items in the retail shop are of the highest quality and hand picked by Orna in her travels. As you can see above, even the unexpected can sometimes be found at Ornamento. I had heard of crystal balls before, but this one was the first I had ever seen.
A shop run by such a creative person is also ever changing, so you can expect to always find something gorgeous and new depending on what Orna finds and on the season. I have heard that Christmas is the most glorious time to stop by the store, both because of the Holiday treasures you will find there, and the beautiful decorations at the Fairmont. Definitely on top of my explore, photograph and shop list. Why? Don’t you have one?
The shop itself is a work of art, with its vintage-chic design and the clean, grey walls devoid of decorations to balance and offset the opulence of the offerings. There are several vintage pieces of notice in the shop, including the floor, which has been refurbished from a really old building that. I wish I could have a tabletop made of those planks so I could use it in my photography work.
I wanted to make sure I captured the floor and it’s authentic texture and coloring, so I turned off all the artificial lights and placed a few hydrangeas on the floor by the window then snapped some pics. Isn’t it beautiful? And yes, those hydrangeas are just that stunning tone of blue.
We loved Orna’s work so much that we kept talking about it for days and weeks after our visit, and Valerie decided to commission the flowers for her 50th wedding anniversary from her. Below are a couple of images of the exquisite table bouquets she created for the intimate gathering. After the party, I was given one of the bouquets to take home, and I can tell you it lasted for a long time, even in the August heat.
This article is focused on the beautiful shop, but you will soon get to meet Orna as well, and have a chance at a more in-depth look behind the scenes in the work and talent of this woman of passion.
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You might also enjoy viewing the preparations for a fabulous outdoor California wedding designed by Ornamento: