Eric Buterbaugh’s DIY Valentine’s Day tips

WAG spent a pre-Valentine’s evening with Eric Buterbaugh, floral designer to the stars, via Zoom and courtesy also Lalique.

Eric Buterbaugh  is a Los Angeles-based floral designer to the stars and perfumer. He’s also one gentle charmer, the best kind of host. So when he offered WAG a chance to see his Valentine’s Day run-through – via Zoom and also courtesy Lalique – how could we say no?

It was a fun evening with easy cocktail recipes – stirring, no shaking – by mixologist Lorenzo Cyril; a version of the old “Newlywed Game” played by real estate agent/TV personality Josh Flagg, interior designer Kevin Isbell and Traditional Home editor Jill Waage and their significant others; and a conversation with Jennifer Zuccarini, founder of Fleur du Mal, offering ooh-la-la lingerie and lingerie-inspired apparel.

Best of all, though, were Buterbaugh’s tips for setting the mood for a most romantic V Day with partner Patrick. It began with his table.

“I love to set a fancy table. I love it more than anything I do,” he says. “I love lots of crystal – yes, Lalique – and silver.”

 Buterbaugh’s table for two featured layered pink and gold place settings; peonies, his favorite flower, in one of Lalique’s pink luster crystal Sakura vases; and his own lily of the valley unisex fragrance, which he poured into a Lalique lily of the valley-styled perfume bottle for Patrick and dabbed on himself. On Valentine’s Day, he’s moving the table out to their patio by the pool and adding twinkle lights and candles.

Not all of us can set a table with Lalique – not to mention caviar, Champagne and tiny lamb chops — or be by the pool, although in the Northeast in mid-February just seeing a pool on the computer or TV is delightful. But for someone who’s a professional flower designer, Buterbaugh thinks homemade offerings are where the heart is this year, and that includes arranging flowers that you might get from a flower market or a supermarket for good prices. Don’t be afraid to prep and play with them, he says. Don’t have a fancy vase? How about an old perfume bottle or glasses in different sizes? Petals falling off, a broken stem? Why not put flower heads or petals in a bowl of water?

And don’t forget to set the table with china and silver, if you have them: What are you saving the good stuff for?

“Now is the time to do more special things at home,” he says. “In a year like this, everyone notices a handmade effort.”


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