Though Nolan Kiser never met a rose he didn’t like, his floral creations are far from traditional. Whether he’s spray-painting an anthurium, piercing a hanging heliconia, or placing a papaya in a picnic-themed tablescape, Kiser pushes the boundaries of floral design. His sculptural arrangements, made under the moniker Bottega de Flores, range from edgy to ethereal, with palettes inspired by album covers, fashion trends, and whatever happens to be on hand at Kiser’s go-to floral supplier. “I like to get inspiration from whatever’s in the cooler,” he says.
Nolan Kiser didn’t intend to launch a floral design business. Really, he just wanted to spruce up the new house he and his fiancé had recently moved into. It was the height of the pandemic, and the couple were going only two places on a regular basis: home and the grocery store. So Kiser picked up some flowers on one of their trips to Central Market and put together a small arrangement for the new place. On their next trip to the store, he bought some more flowers and made some more arrangements. Then he bought some more—and some more.
“I started making flower arrangements just for fun, and I started posting them on Instagram,” he says.
That’s when everything changed. As soon as Kiser’s colorful creations hit his Instagram account (@bottegadeflores), his DMs blew up. “The first time I posted, people started reaching out,” he says. “It was crazy.” At first the messages came from friends who wanted him to re-create the arrangements he had shared on social media. Then the requests got bigger and more complex: a trio of arrangements for a dinner, a floral arch for a wedding, an oversize centerpiece for a little girl’s “unicorn tie-dye birthday party.”
Today, business is blooming for his Bottega de Flores. Kiser still does daily deliveries for his clients, but he now operates on a much grander scale. For starters, he no longer buys his flowers at the grocery store (he found a floral wholesaler for that), and he has become known around town for his immense—and immensely imaginative—installations.
Kiser’s designs have only grown more massive. He installed thousands of red roses for Nastia Liukin’s birthday party.
From a 20-foot table teeming with lime-hued florals and neon green-painted palm leaves for a Fitish event to a 7-foot-tall, fairy tale-worthy installation for a Watters fashion shoot, Kiser’s designs have only grown more massive and more creative. There was also the moody Basquiat-themed tablescape at Monarch, the thousands of red roses he installed for Nastia Liukin’s birthday party, and the 80-plus arrangements he created for a Dallas Contemporary and Saks collaboration at the Thompson Dallas hotel.
Not bad for a guy whose only real floral design education came from watching YouTube videos for what was supposed to be a hobby. But it turns out Kiser’s floral fixation goes back much further than that. When he was a kid, his artwork almost always featured flowers, a fact he didn’t realize until he and his mom recently went through a box filled with his childhood drawings. “Every one she would pull out was flowers, flowers, flowers,” he says. “I would just draw flowers all the time.”
Back then, he was just having fun. He was also just having fun when he first shared his unconventional floral designs on Instagram. But Kiser hopes to always find joy in his projects—no matter how big his Bottega de Flores dreams get.
“I’ve always wanted to transform a whole room with an installation. It would be so fun to build a little world,” he says. “I never want to stop having fun.”
This story originally appeared in the November issue of D Magazine with the headline, “In Bloom.” Write to [email protected].