By Jill Brooke
With the necessity of hunkering down for the next few months, homebound people are increasing their budgets and efforts to create holiday magic and good cheer.
“I’ve never seen anything like this year,” says Samantha Miller of Michael’s Garden Gate Nursery in Mount Kisco, New York. “We are selling planters, wreaths, berry branches and ornaments.”
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, the majority of consumers say they’re more interested in holiday decorations and seasonal items than usual. In fact, 87 percent of consumers plan to celebrate the winter holidays which include Hannukkah, Christmas and Kwanza.
Including in the increased decor requests are bigger and better wreaths and doorway arches.
For some creative fun ideas, we checked out Fleurs De Villes’ current pop-up floral installation show featuring 30 floral artists in Vancouver.
“Dried flowers including pampas are very much on-trend right now,” says Tina Barkley, co-founder of Fleurs de Villes, which connects sponsors with florists for the outdoor shows in London, New York, Chicago, Vancouver and Seattle.“The whole boho chic trend is huge.”
Here are some examples from the holiday-themed installations and what we can all learn.
This upside-down tree created by Gilligan Girls Flowers on Main.
“The tree is symbolic of the upside-down year of 2020,” adds Barkley. “Some people we have chatted to have said they are doing a crazy tree this year, representative of the insane year we’ve had.”
In this second series of images, florist Brenna Quan added an owl to the top of the arch, along with the traditional greens, balls, pinecones, beads and bronze-colored chrysanthemums. I loved that touch because owls symbolize wisdom and endurance. We need to endure the winter! She also added stuffed squirrels too with scarves which were so adorable. It’s also a conversation piece and a subtle statement that is both personal and special. Though this was created as a swing, the design would be also ideal for a doorway arch.
Here Lotus Flower Boutique created a celebratory arch in traditional red and white flowers. However, the addition of that white sparkly top hat made it more celebratory and fun. Shows how one detail can elevate artistry from ordinary to extraordinary.
It’s a topsy turvy year. Embrace the colors of your mood. Instead of red and white, try other colors as the artists from V&J Plant Show created in this installation.
In fact, Barkley points out that peach and corals are considered “the softer red” of the season and being used more frequently. Also like how this team bookended the archway with pretty coral colored trees.
If you live in a warm climate, perhaps utilize pastel colors. Or try pillowy pinks as Niche Boutique Florals did here for this archway. In fact, styrofoam balls are a great design buy to use for creativity and family fun. Here the floral artists used an array of roses to great effect and just simple greenery. Less can be more.
As we’ve moved indoors, casual attire and decor seem to be trending. Dried flowers such as pampas are good ideas since they last a long time and don’t need to be refurbished. And white branches are always great as a contrast color. Here is an example used by The Flower Factory.
Lotus Flower Boutique went all pastels with this design which would suit a very warm climate where red and green may seem less harmonious to the decor. Notice how the artists spray-painted greenery that lovely lavender shade and also used succulents as well in grey-green tones. And don’t you just love the hot pink baby’s breath? So talented.
Oasis is always a good place to buy anything for floral fun when you need supplies and don’t forget to get extra floral wire. You will always use it for arrangements as well as hanging wreaths, doorway arches and even stockings.
We also appreciated the gold-painted leaves on this design by Fleurs de Villes Fleuristes. Fan leaves give great impact easily and drape effortlessly. Using bigger flowers like proteas is also a good idea and these blooms – along with the orchids – last a long time. However, colorful faux flowers and greenery are always a good investment and you can use it for every holiday season. The more the merrier I always say.
Aside from the doorway arches, accessorize the overall design with holiday flourishes ranging from a reindeer – like the one here designed by Karen Wazny Designs- or even a fabulous wreath that was created by Botany and Bloom. These artists didn’t want the wreath to be conventional so created a rainbow of colors. Just love their use of flowers ranging from carnations, roses, berries and draping bleeding amaranthus.
Since roses come in such a variety of colors, utilize them in your decor. In the brisk chilly cold, the flowers almost become dried in the design. For your holiday dinner, you can refurbish the design with added flowers to give a fresh warm feeling.
Roa Flower and Event Design successfully mixed a variety of colored roses with anthuriums. The roses exude bright merry cheer. And why not be over the top with ribbon? Swirl it around for a festive happy feeling.
Last but not least, as we know, decor can be an elixir just like an anti-depressant – without any side effects. It just cheers up everyone. It’s not a surprise really since holiday decor makes people feel festive as a can-do solution in contrast to the relentless news reports anticipating bleak winter months. So get your creative juices flowing or call one of your local florists to make your home have a grand entrance and holiday spirit. Promise it will lift your spirits for months to come.
Photo Credit: Quinn Saunders for Fleurs de Villes
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.