You’ve Never Seen Floral Designs Quite Like This

By Camille Styles
Fall Floral Centerpieces | Transplants Florals w/ Camille Styles

I love getting to know people who challenge me to check my assumptions at the door and remind me that there’s often so much more to a person than first meets the eye. When you’re introduced to Antonio Bond, you may notice his full beard, his many tattoos, or his trucker hat and metal band tees (he’s been a bartender at Austin institution Emo’s for years.) Two minutes into the conversation, you’ll discover his warm personality, unabashed devotion to his family (he has two young daughters and a wife he speaks of with such affection that I found myself saying “awww” no less than 3 times.) And then the surprise: his unbridled passion for flowers. Antonio is the owner of Transplants Floral, the company behind some of the most creative, edgy, and awe-inspiring floral creations around. I got to spend an afternoon getting to know him over bucket-fulls of flowers as I watched him in his element… turns out that his approach to floral design is as delightfully surprising as he is. Click through the slides for Antonio’s tips on incorporating unexpected objects into your centerpieces this fall and holiday season — we’re betting you’ve never laid eyes on floral designs quite like these before!

*photos by Kate Zimmerman

This is not your typical flower arranging demo. The first thing I noticed about Antonio’s work is that he approaches it more like a sculpture than a centerpiece, taking careful notice of color, texture, and form in each of his creations. And his arrangements are not limited to flowers and foliage: it was fascinating to watch him tuck dried mushrooms in between red branches for an effect that somehow reminded me of seashell and coral. Or a crumbling porcelain hand into lavender-colored blooms, taking the effect straight from precious to downright eerie. Like a work of art, Antonio’s designs invite the viewer to examine, think, and be both surprised and moved by their beauty.

Antonio stumbled upon his calling seemingly by chance: while working at a grocery store when he was 18, Antonio was transferred to the floral department where he got to observe his coworkers creating arrangements. As time went on, he decided to give it a try and after a lot of creative experimentation, realized he had discovered a way of creating art with flowers that was personal and inspiring. He started doing flowers for friends’ weddings, then more events started coming in as word about his unique style spread. As his popularity grew, he became the preferred florist at Hotel St. Cecilia, and designed florals for movie premiers, SXSW Events, and openings for local restaurants. When people hire Antonio, they expect him to bring a design that pushes the boundaries beyond what everyone else is doing… and he delivers.

One element that sets his work apart is his use of unexpected or found objects in his arrangements, including broken statues, bones, gemstones, natural objects, and trinkets he’s picked up at flea markets. “For one of my favorite wedding clients, I asked for items that belonged to the bride’s mother and grandmother,” he says. “I was able to take those heirlooms and breathe new life into them with flowers, and it made the table settings feel that much more intimate and special.”

Since I love the idea of incorporating these meaningful items into Thanksgiving and holiday tabletops, I asked Antonio to share his top tips for adding objects to florals:

  1. Look for interesting, unexpected pieces. One of the first items I incorporated into my arrangements was a wasp hive. The texture was cool and it had an interesting shape. Look for things that speak to you.
  2. Use items that bring back memories. I’ve used rocks that I’ve found on vacation or pieces of driftwood from the beach. From a trip in upstate New York, I brought back pinecones that I’ve used in many arrangements.
  3. Once you’ve chosen your object, start with that and build the rest of the arrangement around it so it can be a focal point. I usually use an oasis brick to give support and serve as the bones of the arrangement; it holds water and helps the flowers stay where you place them, allowing a more sculptural-looking arrangement.


Tips for choosing flowers for a seasonal arrangement:

  1. Incorporate dark accent colors – the dark purples, browns or blacks makes the brighter colors like orange and yellow really pop. And then adding some organic greens to the arrangement always ties it all together.
  2. Focus on the texture of the flower instead of seeking out a certain variety – this can really help with budget, too. If you walk into the flower market with an open mind, you might discover an unexpected flower or leaf that has a really interesting shape and texture.
  3. Roll with the seasons. Your local flower market will most likely have whatever is really seasonal — for a Thanksgiving arrangement, I might pull some of the berries and mums that are everywhere right now. As I’m considering different flowers for my arrangement, I like to hold them in my hand and experiment with putting other flowers next to them to see what complements each other. See how they relate to each other and how the foliage plays off each other – You might discover some unexpected combinations that are really beautiful.



This arrangement was my favorite, and also the most unexpected: red roses, seafoam statice, astible and dryer mushrooms (!!)

Antonio says that he arranges flowers as he imagines they might have naturally grown together. By clustering and grouping like colors and varieties together, the end result is more impactful.

“Moss is amazing – you can use it so many different ways. Tuck it into an arrangement to fill in gaps, or let it drape down over the side of the vase to make it look organic and discovered — like it’s been there so long that moss just grew over the side.”

pictured here: lisianthus and seafoam statice

Think outside the typical “vase” when deciding what to house your arrangements in – even driftwood and rocks have been the unexpected vessels for some of Antonio’s previous creations. Right now, he’s really into vintage glass: carnival glass, milk glass, and old dishes from the thirties and forties. “I like an arrangement to be interesting from the bottom to the top, including the vessel — it makes it look that much more complete.”

*pictured here: red roses, mood moss, rose hips and lisianthus

Antonio is an artist who not only inspires with his stunning visuals — his zest for flowers reminds me of the importance of finding your calling, following your passion, and devoting your days to doing what you love. For him, flowers are a way to make other people happy, while expressing himself and doing something truly innovative. His final word on arranging flowers at home? “Build what speaks to you! It should be a creative adventure for everyone.”

*pictured here: red roses, rose hips, and marigolds

Be sure to follow Transplants on Instagram to see what flower adventures are next for Antonio and team!