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Flower.Style35: German Designer and Publisher, Klaus Wagener, Finds His Inspiration in Family, Nature and Understatement

Klaus Wagener, designer, owner and creative head of BLOOM’s—a publishing house and agency based in Minden, Germany—wears multiple hats in the flower world. From world champion designer and trend scout to lecturer and book publisher, Klaus is recognized internationally for his creative and educational contributions to the industry. Influenced heavily by natural themes and a “back to basics, less is more” mentality, he continues to inspire audiences with his craft and pure style rooted in simplicity.

1. What is your idea of the perfect flower arrangement? A parallel style bouquet with a few long, thin branches and three white French tulips—all arranged together using wide bowls and some large stones.

2. How did you get started in the floral industry? My parents ran two flower shops, and I grew up in the middle of them. I liked the creative atmosphere and lifestyle, so it was clear to me very early on that I wanted to stay in this world.

3. If not a florist, what would be your fallback profession? Architect, garden landscape designer, forester, arborist or botanist—to name a few.

4. What is your most treasured possession? My family!

5. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Understatement! I love people who are modest and live by the principle of “understatement.” Lately, I’ve been talking about it more because I don’t like loud, arrogant personalities so much anymore. That’s why I often talk about the virtue of understatement. So, perhaps I overuse it, but I really love the word!

6. Where do you find inspiration outside the flower world? Everywhere: nature, traveling, the internet, social networks, hiking, sports, talking to people, exhibitions….

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I often work too much and sometimes cannot take care of my family the way I would like to. Conclusion: do not work harder than necessary and find a good work-life balance.

8. What do you consider your greatest achievement? It’s hard to say. I always try to meet the challenges of time, and have also taken on many tasks that traditional florists normally don’t do. This is how BLOOM’s, the company I founded with partners and helped shape, came into being.

9. What’s one thing you would tell your younger self? Stay calm and don’t get angry so quickly. Anyone can sprint, but it’s in the long run that things are decided. Also, leverage your strengths and don’t waste more energy than needed. 

10. What event or job has been your favorite? My book productions, including Naturwerkstatt (Nature Workshop) and Pure Style.

11. Any projects that you wish you could forget? Everything isn’t always good, but, most things are never so bad to the point where I wouldn't want to be reminded of them.

12. What is your most marked characteristic? I am the nature man/florist—that’s what people say.

13. Who are your heroes in real life? My wife, my children and my parents.

14. Who is your floral hero? It’s nature, for sure. Nature is the model for most of what I design. Of course, I am also inspired by the work of other florists around the world, so I could realistically include several names here. But then, it would be a very long list.

15. What is your favorite color? Green.

16. What is your favorite flower? Lupinus polyphyllus (large-leaved lupine).

17. What flower could you live without? I cannot name one specific flower, so I’d rather list what I can’t live without—trees. Trees are very important for me.

18. What would you call your style of design? Contemporary, nature oriented and artisanal.

19. What is your favorite tool for working with flowers? My knife, which I carry with me every day.

20. Who’s on your playlist? Aloe Blacc, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, Ella Fitzgerald, Till Bròˆnner and HAUSER.

21. What flower best represents your personality? Why? Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose). I grow many different types in my garden. And why? They have botanical character, can be found in the forest (which is where I feel most at home) and they last a long time.

22. Who is your favorite artist? Paul Klee.

23. What’s the last book you read (and loved)? Oh—I forgot the name, but it was a book about hiking. Sorry!

24. Any pets? Yes, a chocolate brown Labrador and Münsterländer mix named Paula.

25. How do you unwind after a long day? There are three possibilities: 1. Put on my hiking boots and get out into nature. 2. Go into the garden and do something. 3. Light candles, choose a nice musk and pour a glass of wine.

26. Favorite beverage? Water, wine and coffee.

27. What do you see trending in floral design? Less is more: vegetative designs, pure style and ikebana.

28. What’s out? Overconsumption and everything that is useless, excessive and not sustainable.

29. What is your flower [design] motto? “Lifestyle is a constant source for contemporary floristry.”

30. What’s your motto in life? “Don’t take yourself too seriously, stay tolerant and be a good observer. Then, you will find the right way.”

31. What would surprise us most about you? I am quite self-absorbed and definitely have an opinion.

32. What have you learned from flowers? Flowers and plants are building blocks in the “big picture” of this world. Evolution shows us how changeable the ingenious system is, and that has taught me to reinvent myself again and again.

33. If you could invite 3 people (dead, alive or fictional) to a dinner party who would they be? Describe the centerpieces. Angela Merkel, Barack Obama and Berni Wagener (my wife). The centerpiece: a very natural, reduced design with thin branches and pure white blooms, like white tulips. Perhaps a few stones in water would be included to support the airy construction.

34. What’s your best advice to someone just starting out in the flower industry? Off the top of my head, the following qualities need to tie in well together: creativity and talent; passion and diligence; energy and perseverance; readiness for continuous learning and healthy curiosity; humility and healthy self-reflection. Additionally, you should respect nature, work sustainably and have a good sense of lifestyle and trends. You should also love craftsmanship and be open to new techniques and combinations.

35. What did we forget to ask? A lot!


To stay connected with Klaus and view more of his work, click on the links below.

Klaus Wagener Website | Klaus Wagener Instagram | Klaus Wagener Facebook | BLOOM's YouTube