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Faux Flowers Travel Far and Wide

If you’ve caught an episode of Gossip Girls, your attention might have been drawn to the rather lovely flower arrangements gracing the show’s sets. And it might surprise you to know those arrangements were all made locally --  in Norwalk. by Diane James Home .

Turning a hobby into a successful business is a dream many have but Diane James made it come true. An executive wife who spent many years abroad, Diane discovered a passion for fresh flowers in her home while living in Europe. She learned about floral composition from Lady Pulbrook, the doyenne of English design, and her artful arrangements were so admired that she soon found herself with a clientele.

Back in the United States, with homes in Darien and Manhattan, Diane began experimenting with faux flowers as a way to keep the floral look alive longer. Once again, friends begged her to make arrangements for their homes, and the husbands wanted her flowers in their offices. If this wasn’t enough to keep her busy, in 1997 Bergdorf Goodman launched her first formal collection and sold out completely within two weeks. It was time to call in the troops.

Diane’s twin daughters, Cynthia Matrullo and Carolyn McDonough, quit their jobs in PR and finance to come to their mom’s rescue, and they have helped grow the business far beyond Diane’s dreams. In addition to local upscale home décor stores, such as Dovecote in Westport, Nielsen ’s in Darien and Hoaglands in Greenwich, Diane’s arrangements are sold at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman , as well as in stores in Australia, Japan and Panama City. “We ship across the world,” said Cynthia. The company puts out two collections with around 40 new designs every year. “Our designs are handmade so each one is a unique piece. They are limited editions and many of our clients collect our designs.”

In addition to the collections, Diane James Home will hand make arrangements to order. “Diane herself puts all the custom pieces together,” adds Cynthia. There’s nothing like the mistress’ touch.

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