When the weather turns cooler and the last leaves have fallen from the trees, our attention turns inside our homes. A desire to create a warm, welcoming environment for us and our loved ones takes over, and the familiar decorations come out of the attic to be displayed throughout the house. There is something so very comforting about this activity, and indeed, the final result—a home that is dressed for the holidays.
As important as it is to hold on to tradition, it is equally important to freshen things up from year to year—breathe new life into your living environment—and there is no better way to accomplish that than with seasonal flowers and greens. Their organic smells, colors, and textures make for a creative person’s dream. What’s even better is that the less creative folks can effectively use flowers and greens, too, in simple, small arrangements thoughtfully placed around the home.
The current trend in floral and plant design is one of less is more: simplicity rules. Three carefully chosen flower types make for interesting, modern design that is less fussy than the more traditional arrangements of generations before. Certainly, table centerpieces with a multitude of different flowers arranged on an attractive pedestal or bowl still have their place in the dining room, but as home décor changes, so does the style of flowers that looks best there.
Not to mention that buying habits are changing, too. Quality comes before quantity these days. As opposed to building a sizeable collection of Santa figurines, people are more interested in having just a few nice decorations that make a stronger statement. Nesting has become more important; spending time with family and enjoying good food and wine outweighs the importance of displaying extensive collections.
Something we are seeing more this year is a shift in the flower colors used in holiday decorations. The emphasis is on subdued, smoky shades of mauve, sage, burgundy, and rust—sometimes described as a Tuscan look—as opposed to the more traditional vibrant red and green. Attention-grabbing greens, such as seeded eucalyptus, complement these colors, and bring attractive texture into the picture. Pine, cedar, and juniper will always have their place in holiday decorations, and when used in varying combinations they make for interesting displays as well.
One easy way to create a unique centerpiece is by using multiple different vases, at varying heights and scattered among candles. Fill each vase with multiple stems of one type of flower, and let each flower form shine on its own. This doesn’t require the skill of a professional floral designer, just a good eye for the flower colors, forms, and shapes that appeal to you. For the Thanksgiving holiday consider a combination of chocolate roses, red hypericum berries, and yellow oncidium orchid. The classic shape of the rose, seasonal nature of berries, and length and grace of the orchid will make for a visually stimulating display. Or, stick with one flower type, and try three different varieties or colors. Mokara orchids come in a wide range of colors, including shades of orange, red, and pink.For your doorway, consider using combinations of organic matter, including greens, berries, and fresh flowers, with ornaments and other manmade items. Buy an inexpensive, plain wreath, and embellish it with plant material and other items that have special meaning to you. Doing so will make your holiday decorations more personal, and your house will stand out from the masses by being just a little bit different and unique. You may even want to consider changing the color of your front door from time to time.
The entryway, or foyer, is another place holiday decorations commonly fill. After all, it welcomes guests into your home. Often a side table provides the perfect place to rest an arrangement. Because you don’t need to worry about the vase’s size and shape (no one will be sitting next to it), arrange something grand. Or, create something that is more compact, but whose various flowers invite your guest in for a closer look.
There are countless options for decorating at the holidays, but the important thing to remember is that only your opinion matters when it comes to your home. Don’t be afraid to abandon your dusty fake garlands in favor of something new and fresh. You’ll be amazed at how much it adds to the holiday spirit, creating that warm, festive, home to celebrate in.