Kathleen Varner of Petals & Props
Kathleen Varner is a Birmingham-based prop stylist and florist who creates beautiful details with petals and props for publications, brands, designers, and more. Kathleen is truly a detail-oriented creative, and she uses her wealth of experience and her expertise to seamlessly execute both prop and petal designs while considering each client's hopes and dreams from start to finish. Whether it be staging a photoshoot for a designer's portfolio using a mix of art and props or styling a flat lay for an upcoming article in a national publication, Kathleen crafts the perfect details for any occasion.
Kathleen got her start as an intern for Southern Living, diligently working and soaking up all she could. She eventually transitioned to Hoffman Media as a prop stylist where she continued to build her portfolio, and it was during this time that Kathleen truly found her passion for petals and props, working to refine her unique style and hone in on her craft.
As more requests for freelance work began to come her way, she decided to take the leap and venture out on her own creating Kathleen Varner | Petals and Props. Today, Kathleen has had the opportunity to work with a variety of publications and brands, including Veranda, Country Living, Flower Magazine, Southern Living, Katherine Melvin Designs, and Hammett.
When she’s not creating tablescapes or knee-deep in blooms, you can find her spending time with her husband, their son and daughter and their two pups!
In Her Words...read on to get to know Kathleen!
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I would describe it as old world meets a touch of modern, at least for my personal taste! I love dark and moody tones, lots of texture, but still clean and chic elements mixed in. Although the fun part of my job really is that I get to play with a variety of styles all the time! I’m basically a chameleon to the client. If they need bright and cheery with lots of color, I can do it, and get into it for that job. If they need minimal and clean, I can do that too. That’s what makes it so much fun, to experiment with all these different looks and make it the best I can for that job!
What is your favorite room in your home?
My formal living room. It’s the one room I like to keep kids toys out, we have a piano in there, and a beautiful bay window, and no TV. It’s where I like to have a cocktail and good conversation with my husband and friends. But on the flip side of that, I love my kids rooms - they are the total opposite of that space, but they are colorful and happy and I can’t help but be happy in there with them.
I would love to do something for Martha Stewart one day. I don’t know why, I just feel like I will have made it at that point! But really I love working with all the different homes and shops in Birmingham. We are lucky to have such a plethora of beautiful places right here, and I always feel honored when someone asks me to play a small part in their space!
I love this question because I actually grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but have southern roots in Nashville, so I feel like I have a good perspective. It’s true when they say there is a certain hospitality in the south unlike anywhere else. They also have something special when it comes to entertaining. A stylish flair like no where else, whether it’s Christmas dinner or a simple take out night with friends. My grandmother in Tennessee took pride in being a great hostess too, so I always think about making her proud when I’m working on something I think she would like.