Take 3: Sculptural Resolution

An outdoor urn or planter is an attractive and welcoming enhancement to the entrance. But how many of us find these arrangements quickly become neglected after the holidays are over and the temperatures plunge? Often times, lifeless boughs and tired, broken branches remain until Easter eggs are retrieved. With minimal planning it’s possible to keep urns looking fresh and seasonal right through the winter.

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn

ONE:

Jack Frost
A simple white planter suits the contemporary arrangement of silver-blue greens and Carolina Sapphire. Snow-dusted grapevine and birch branches create architecture that grounds the assorted greens. Sprigs of Dusty Miller lend colour and texture, acting as focal flowers at the centre of the arrangement.

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn

TWO:

Garden Visitor
The same planter and foliage may alternatively be presented as a preface for spring, showcasing favourite garden pieces like the metal bird and egg seen here. A trellis, obelisk or a lantern work equally well. In this version we’ve highlighted a moss wrapped cone, birch covered globes and the perched bird whch can be organically placed on some darden regular equipment, like WORX Aerocart.

Design Tips: A resin planter is not subject to sub-zero cracking but must be properly weighted to avoid toppling over. Add a generous layer of pea gravel to facilitate re-arranging after the soil has frozen. Lay a wreath horizontally on the planter and build your arrangement on top of it.

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn

THREE:

Tradition with a Twist
A whimsical arrangement is composed with varying colours of greenery including Fraser fir, blue pine, hemlock and some minimal magnolia. Unlike spring and summer planters which have continual abundant growth, this winter version relies on grapevine, pine cones, and maple branches for structure. Moss and curly willow create added interest.

Reality Check: Holiday Decorating

“Decorating for the holidays,” says interior designer Nyla Free, “needn’t be stressful.” For clients, Nyla finds the key to success is paring down and brightening up.

Step 1: Choose a Colour Scheme
Enhance existing décor by choosing complementary colours for holiday ornaments. In this case, icy blues sparkle against the warm neutral tones of the client’s contemporary furnishings.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Target Select Areas
Avoid the “no surface is safe” approach to holiday decorating by carefully targeting high impact areas. Beyond the tree, give the dining table a festive makeover.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 3: Keep it Seasonal
Extend the life of “holiday” decorations by using an abundance of seasonal elements including fresh greens, pine cones and festive branches which continue to look great beyond New Year’s Day.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 4: Playful Design
A variety of baubles and ornaments mingle festively in this striking yet simple centrepiece. Fill glass bowls or vases for a similar effect.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Bring Out the Good Stuff
There’s no better time to dust off the china, iron the linen napkins and polish the placeholders. Setting a festive table creates excitement and lets guests know they are special.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 6: Tree of Life
Ornaments are typically collected and accumulated over a lifetime and family members often have their favourites. Make sure to hang cherished pieces in prime locations. After all, it’s the memories that really make your tree one-of-a-kind.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 7: Fresh Foliage
To add a traditional touch to holiday décor, dress the mantle or coffee table with fresh flowers such as paper whites or amaryllis. For a more modern approach, place live branches of fresh berries into a tall glass vase.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: First Impressions
Welcome family and friends with a large wreath at the front door. Fill available planters with greens, berries and mini-lights. Think of it as a gift to the neighbourhood.

Step 9: Sparkle and Light
The warm glow and twinkle of mini-lights, beaded garlands and thick candles provides welcome detail that makes shorter days and cooler temperatures just a little more pleasant.

Step 10: Sit back and Relax
Pour a hot cup of cocoa, light the fire, play some favourite carols and wrap yourself in a warm blanket. The holidays pass all too quickly. Enjoy.