Aude Giraud (pronounced Ode) is the creative force behind Ask A French. She has a certain je ne sais quoi about her — and not because she's half-French! This bohemian spirit loves life and doesn't take things for granted. In between running workshops, designing custom bouquets, playing the guitar, travelling, and just living, Aude kindly welcomed us into her beautiful home studio for a chat.
Being a storyteller seems to be a big part of your life — you were a broadcast journalist and now you’re a writer, photographer, and professional florist. Do you see yourself as a storyteller?
I think we all are storytellers, in a way. We create the stories of our own lives. When I was a journalist, I used to write stories. Now as a florist, I convey messages through flowers. I like to ask my clients about the recipients’ personality — I create custom flower bouquets — and their answers inspire me to create something unique and personal. Each bouquet is made with the freshest available flowers of the day and they are all different. You typically get flowers on special days or from someone special and I want to be able to convey the sender’s feelings too. That’s why I personally write the notes for my clients… I’m a messenger! And because flowers don't last, I like to photograph them to immortalise the moment.
In your past interviews, you mentioned you have always been drawn to flowers. Why do you love working with flowers?
My interest for all things floral and green was stimulated in Singapore. It's a modern city but nature wins over concrete. You don't need to look closely to see that [nature] is everywhere — we basically live in a contemporary jungle. I love working with flowers because beautiful things make life better. And it might sound cheesy, but [flowers] make people happy! They also remind us in a humble way that nothing lasts and that we should enjoy every little moment.
What's the most memorable project you worked on?
I think it's the flowers I did for my friend, Anna Chittenden, from Lost Guides. They were actually for her wedding. She got married in Nikoi Island, Indonesia... It would have been a bit complicated if I were to travel and do the floral arrangement on the island. So I designed the flower arrangement here, including the arch, and her friends basically picked up the pieces in boxes I had organised them in and brought them all the way to the island... by boat! Well, except for the arch. I had to brief the team beforehand so they could install the arch and put it together onsite. (laughs)
It was really special and it's amazing to think that the arrangement I did in my home studio made it all the way to the island.
You’re an avid traveller and your love for travel is well-documented. What’s the most unexpected thing that ever happened to you during your travels?
Well... I got married! My husband organised a surprise wedding with our friends and family in Jaipur during the Holi festival.
Wow… that’s huge!
Yeah. We were married before that, but we never had any big party. We just went to the registrar and signed our papers. When we arrived in Jaipur, I was so surprised because we met so many people. My family and friends were there. It all happened so fast and before I knew it, they had put me in a dress. We had a really beautiful party. I loved it.
Do you ever collect any travel mementos?
I do, all the time. They are little treasures that I often use to style pictures as well. Postcards, pictures, notes… I place them by my work desk so I can be reminded of them.
Your beautiful home is also your home studio. Do you find it hard to create boundaries between work and home life?
The flowers and what I do... they're a part of my life. When I'm in Singapore, I basically work every day. Since I live in my office, there's no limit to work. If I have some flowers at home, I'll just get to [working]. Sometimes, I'll have like two free hours in my day and I will just do yoga, boxing, or go to my guitar class. But I might also be answering emails and making flowers for someone at 10pm. It's really flexible.
What are some of your favourite things in your home?
The rattan room divider, custom-made in Singapore. My Eames RAR rocking chair, my flower lamp shade from Stylodeco, and all my candles!
Are you a morning person or a night owl? What’s your ideal morning or evening like?
Night owl. A perfect evening would be drinking tea or wine and playing guitar. Preferably by the fireplace, but it's too hot in Singapore!
What do you usually do on your day off?
On Sundays, my husband and I usually go to Tiong Bahru market to have brunch and then we'll box. We love boxing together. After that we'll just come back and chill at home. We'll put on some music, read a book, and just spend time together. Usually on Sundays, I have one or two orders to complete, so I still need to work a little though. I only get a full day off when I don’t have any orders.
Aude has kindly shared her wind down playlist with the #sundaysleepclub. (Thank you, Aude!) Have a listen and let us know if you enjoy her playlist!
Pillow Talk is an interview series done in collaboration with Public Culture, an editorial experience studio that believes in connection over communication. This feature was photographed by Christopher Wong for Sunday Bedding and Public Culture.