Every holiday season I look forward to creating and buying fragrant seasonal florals and plants for myself and my clients. Whether it’s a simple hydrangea in a glass vase with a sprig of cedar or an over-the-top, nature-inspired arrangement composed of fresh cut evergreens and roses, I love to have fragrant florals and greenery throughout the house over the Christmas holidays.

This season, I decided to experiment a little and incorporate fabulous faux florals into my holiday décor. Today’s faux florals are truly beautiful and so realistic that they’ve earned a place in home décor. In fact, I’m finding that I’m quite happy to accent with faux plants in areas of the house that aren’t used on a regular basis – guest rooms, basements, out of reach spaces such as the tops of cabinets and bookshelves and spaces that don’t get a lot of light. It’s one less thing I have to worry about! I typically stick with using fresh in the living room, entrance hall and master bedroom where I can enjoy them most.

When Cityline asked to shoot my dining room for their upcoming Christmas decorating shows I wanted to create something special. I contacted floral artist Catherine Oxley, owner of Bouq Paper Flowers to create a paper flower holiday-inspired installation for my modern dining room chandelier. The results were stunning as you can see! Because my bulbs are LED they don’t emit a lot of heat, the blush paper roses and gray/green seeded eucalyptus stems made of European crepe paper, were safe to use. Fresh flowers and greenery would have left sap on the intersecting arms of the light fixture making the paper option a practical choice. Crafted in individual pieces, the arrangement can be dismantled and reused for other special occasions throughout the year. A matching place setting gift is a wonderful way to say, “Thank you for coming!” to my dinner guests.

When I built my house, I designed my foyer to accommodate multiple guests when I entertain. During holiday season, I greet my guests with a welcome glass of bubbly or a signature cocktail and invite them to carry on through to join the party in the living room. It’s a lovely way to get the party started while I greet my guests at the door. This year, I simply set up my foyer table as a mini bar complete with a fresh cut fragrant rose and evergreen arrangement by Andrea Ireland of True Flowers to set the festive tone for the evening and a bucket of chilled rosé bubbly from one of my favourite local wineries, Trius Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s always a big hit with guests and helps break the ice among partiers until everyone has arrived.

Here are three quick tips to keep in mind when creating your own floral arrangements this holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.

  1. Create natural movement.Sprawling arrangements that are styled organically in a vase – on a chandelier – create texture and visual interest. For dining tables, use low arrangements to keep sightlines clear during dinner.
  2. Include contrasting elements.Mix light and dark florals in soft tones and pair intricate flowers such as roses with simple stems like eucalyptus or hypericum berries. This balance will give your arrangement an effortless, natural look.
  3. Add unexpected details.It’s always fun to add an unexpected touch to your arrangements. This year I mixed blush pink roses in with my seeded eucalyptus and evergreens in both my fresh and faux designs. Sculptural branches will instantly elevate any classic holiday arrangement.

Merry Christmas! xoJ

Photos by Karen Kirk