Kiana Underwood is the owner of Tulipina, a boutique floral design studio located in San Francisco, California. She is distinguished as a floral artist and teacher with her signature, garden-style designs that pop with color and texture. Kiana employs unique color combinations and floral varieties, including fruits and foliage, that set her apart from her contemporaries and draws admirers and floral designers from all over the world to her sold out workshops.
Since founding Tulipina in 2011, Kiana has quickly become recognized as one of the top floral designers in the world. In addition to chic local and destination weddings and events, Kiana has taught sold-out workshops to hundreds of students in locations around the United States, and in international locations including Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Russia, and Ukraine.
She splits her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and upstate New York.
Kiana’s work can be seen in NY Times, Brides, Elle Décor, Elle Spose, Country Living, Marie Claire, Flower Magazine, French Country Style, Luxe Interiors, California Homes, Veranda, Livingly, Veter, Town and Country, Flutter, Geraldine, Paste, and more.
Interview With Kiana
How did you get into flowers? Did you grow up gardening?
KU: I grew up around flowers all my life. My grandfather had a beautiful garden where I spent a lot of time as a little girl, and my mother always had fresh flowers in our house. This environment really kindled my love for flowers, and is definitely something that formed the basis for how I design today.
Did you have a gateway flower? For example, a flower you completely fell in love with that led to a larger love of flowers, or a flower that you tend to zoom in on whenever it’s in season?
KU: My mother, who loves aromatic flowers such as tuberose, hyacinth and narcissus, instilled my love for flowers in me from a very early age. So, there really was no “one” flower that drew me into floral design; however, the flower that I “zoom in on” is always gardenia.
How do you keep your creative drive going?
KU: A beautiful or unusual colored flower or an interesting botanical specimen is what drives my creativity. I want to take it and see what I can do with it!
What are some of your favorite local spots?
KU: I love going to nurseries! There are a few near my home which I frequent regularly— Golden Nursery, Half Moon Bay Nursery, and if I’m up for the drive, I’ll visit Annie’s Nursery-– which is about an hour away from me. They have an amazing selection of unusual botanicals.
How would you describe your style? How has it evolved over time?
KU: I would describe my designs as lush, abundant, and organic. I think that my style has become increasingly free-flowing over time, and my use of color and texture in arrangements is what wins people’s admiration.
What are your other floral design influences?
KU: Music and art are what influence my work.
If you could travel to any one destination, floral-wise, where would you go?
KU: If I could travel for flowers, it would be the Netherlands in spring.
KU: A double Americano with cream.