Design & Decor - Flower Arranging

Get creative with your festive floral arrangements

Natalie Bahadur

Incorporate traditional flowers and greens with unexpected blooms in your tabletop displays

During the holidays, flowers are an important element of any decor scheme. And while we typically think of decorating with fresh flowers during the spring months, the winter brings with it an interesting variety of ways to use seasonal flowers to great effect around the house, on the mantlepiece and as a centrepiece for your holiday table.

Traditional festive flowers
Poinsettias and paperwhites are common holiday choices but Bruno Duarte, creative director of Toronto-based Fresh Floral Creations, says that amaryllis are his favourite festive flower. These flowers tend to be quite traditional but giving them a modern spin is easy. “You can do poinsettias in cylinder vases to give them a contemporary feel and you can do the same with paperwhites,” says Duarte. “Some other ways of using these plants in your decor is to dress them up with cedar and other holiday greens. This will give them more fullness.”

Try unexpected choices
When creating holiday flower displays, you needn’t be restricted by choices that are most common. “During the holidays, we use lots of long-needle pine, festive greens, ilex berries and amaryllis,” says Duarte. “And we use lots of orchid blooms,” he adds. The key to creating a gorgeous holiday flower display is to use not only what’s available, but also what you love. Orchids may not be considered a typical Christmas flower, but they can look stunning when used in unexpected ways.

And speaking of unexpected: Red, white and green aren’t the only holiday colours you need to work with. Taking a cue from fashion and home decor trends (remember when Pantone declared Tangerine Tango the Colour of the Year for 2012?), Duarte says that orange is the hot colour to use in flower arrangements this year. “It looks great with the traditional red and green and is very warm,” he says.

Dress up your arrangements
The great thing about holiday flower arrangements is that there are myriad ways to get creative with them. First things first, Duarte recommends that when you’re incorporating fresh flowers into your home, to always use long-lasting greens that are interesting and will give you a nice base for your flowers. And consider long-lasting flowers like orchids or protea. Then, get creative with how you display them. “Use other things besides flowers to fill up your arrangements like Christmas balls, pine cones and other interesting ornaments,” he says.

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