Brooklyn Florist Gets White House Ready for Christmas

Brooklyn residents should take pride, once again, in one of our own.   Brooklyn florist Emily Thompson has been asked to bring her talents to The White House and to transform the East Room for the holidays.

Getting the Call

Receiving a call from on-staff florist Laura Dowling quite awhile ago, Thompson replied,

“My answer was an unqualified ‘Yes!’”

Thompson is a UCLA fine arts grad who trained as a sculptor and has a skill for bringing the look of the outdoors inside.   As she explained about this project, “I wanted it to feel as if it is an incredible extension of the place.”

Working on the East Room

Thompson was given the East Room as her main project, but was also allowed to add touches to other areas of The White House.   She used the East Room to create a 5-foot garden. She used the fireplaces to create miniature mountain ranges with rocks that her father foraged for her in Vermont.

Piling the rocks in her car in Brooklyn, Thompson and her husband, writer Austin Kelley, then drove the truck to Washington after Thanksgiving to begin the project.

Thompson has helped to bring Christmas cheer to The White House and to decorate the East Room with a stunning display.

Picture by Miller Elisa/Elisa Miller for The New York Daily News.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)