Creating your own natural Christmas wreath.

IMG_6478Now Christmas might only be 13 days away, but it’s never too late to add a little more festive jazz to your front door (if you haven’t already). While there are some amazingly creative wreaths out there, think brightly coloured baubles, painted feathers & pompoms. I must admit to preferring those that are a little more rustic and show off nature’s bounty at this time of year.

I’ve wanted to create my own wreath for several years, but it’s one of those things that I’d never got around to doing or thought I’d left it too late and instead just admired friend’s and neighbour’s ones from afar. I did toy with the idea of signing up for a workshop, but decided to save myself the £30/£40 and make one myself. I may well indulge for next year, as florists are always going to have a good selection of flora & some good tips to make an interesting wreath. But if you’re prepared to dry some flowers or pick up a few extra bits, yours could be just as jazzy and if you invest in a good willow/wire ring you can reuse it year after year without needing to pay anyone else a penny.

The hunt for a wreath ring turned out to be the hardest part, I knew I didn’t want an Oasis one (that nasty green plastic foam stuff that crumbles when you look at it & makes you itchy). But that’s all the local florists seem to stock. I managed to find a wicker one online at Wilko (click picture for link), but they didn’t have it in my local store.wicker wreath

When asking around, a friend suggested a just make one with bendy twine, so that’s exactly what I did …

Luckily for you, I also remembered to take pictures, so here’s my easy step by step guide:

What you will need:

  • A pair of scissors or secateurs
  • (Optional) An accompanying friend, dog or toddler
  • A bag or a basket to carry home your flora
  • Garden gloves (to protect your hands from spiky stuff)
  • Selection of evergreen cuttings
  • A few bendy stems or twigs (or a willow/wire wreath)
  • String &/or floristry wire
  • Ribbon
  • Christmas wreath door hanger
  • Cup of tea & a mince pie, optional.

 

  1. Find a friend to go foraging with and head out into your local neighbourhood, park or garden to hunt down some green stuff. Don’t forget a bag or basket to put your natural decorations in, secateurs and garden gloves. look out for bendy branches/twine if making your own ring. Here’s some of our final haul:wreath greenery
  2.  Find some bendy branches or twine. I used these green stems cut from our winter flowering Jasmine plant in the garden. Bend to form a circle and tie with pieces of string or florist wire (I didn’t have any florist wire initially so used small pieces of string). IMG_6431
  3. Take extra stems and weave them in and out of the circle you have made. Securing in place where necessary, but once you’ve weaved a few you’ll find they’ll secure themselves. Take a sip of tea and a bite of mince pie. Trim off any ends sticking out. IMG_6438
  4. Start layering your greenery on top of the wreath to see what works together. I used conifer as a base all the way around and then layered a few different textured and coloured evergreens around the circle. If you have some spare christmas tree trimmings, you could use that to make it more ‘bushy’. At this stage I was attempting to use unfolded paper clips to attach the branches as I didn’t have any floristry wire, this worked ok, but didn’t look great. luckily a quick trip to a friend’s house solved that (thanks Chella!). I didn’t fasten the branches too tightly as I wanted a few bits trailing to give a rustic feel. Continue drinking tea & eating mince pie …IMG_6441IMG_6446
  5. Add the final flourishes, or rearrange if you’re not happy with it. For a simple, but effective wreath, try and keep the colour scheme to one or two colours, in addition to the green. IMG_6464
  6. Add a sprig or two of holly and a ribbon and hang your wreath on the front door using a wreath hanger (or you could use a long ribbon). I cut a triangle out the ends of the ribbon to add a bit more detail, but it also looks good without.IMG_6466IMG_6481IMG_6484

 

So there you have it a simple yet effective Christmas wreath for next to nothing! It could also easily be done in a couple of hours. I’m quite proud of it for a first attempt and already have some ideas for next year …

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Thrifty Challenge

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, not for lack of motivation, but time to myself has been pretty limited. Today I decided to set myself a challenge while out shopping. With a £5 budget I had to find a second-hand bargain for the house from one of the local charity shops. I love browsing charity shops, you never know what treasures you might find. Not only is it good for your wallet, it helps create funds for charities and there is the added bonus of being good for the planet, reducing demand for newly manufactured goods by reusing those already in circulation.

A few months ago I picked up a complete vintage tea set for only £3.99 and I’m pleased to say today’s challenge was equally as successful, with 2 items purchased for under £5 and the change even went in the donations pot!

I browsed a few shops before settling on my final purchases, with a lace curtain and art deco vase nearly making the cut. But in the end I settled for an Aztec style table mat and peacock decorated jewellery bowl. As you can see below the new additions are already making themselves at home.

Key Interior Design Trends for 2016

  • Mixing old and new: I’ve always been a fan of mixing old and new – because you get the best of both worlds! Classic, timeless pieces can blend effortlessly amongst modern styles and technology. With the recent minimalist trend, certain interiors can risk becoming bland and sterile, but with the addition of vintage or retro pieces, you can inject character into a room. I for one am very happy to see this trend gaining popularity.

oldandnew

Source: Bloglovin

  • Adding the personal touch: Demand for bespoke and artisan interiors products has soared in recent years. Everyone wants something that sets their home apart. Handmade items are often perceived to hold greater value than the mass produced. They also provide a connection to the maker, add a storytelling aspect to the design process and give more value for money. The increased interaction between consumers and designers enables more customisation of products, creating unique pieces. This is an exciting trend that many retailers could use to their advantage. Daniel Hopwood, president of British Institute of Interior Design (biid.org.uk), says: ‘The recent up-cycling craze, is about to become more sophisticated. ‘This year is about taking the shop bought product and customising it to add character and personality or finding the craftsmen or artist to create the bespoke.’

artisan products

Source: Decorator’s notebook

  • High Contrast: This trend draws parallels with the mix of old and new. Creating a contrast of styles or textures creates interest and adds depth to a room scheme. I think this trend will most prominently be seen in kitchen design with a move away from plain white and cream gloss units and shift towards a mix of monochrome cupboards as well as contrasting the plain gloss units with more interesting and warming wooden cupboards.

high contrast

Source: Hitta hem

  • Graphic Tiles: Geometric prints have been making a statement in kitchens and bathrooms throughout 2015 and this trend looks set to continue. These bold prints and patterns can be used to jazz up walls and floors, while giving a modern edge.

geometric tile

Source: Mckimm

  • Brightly patterned fabrics: Vibrant fabrics with an Asian and South American influence are likely to be big this year. With the Olympics in Rio this year, Brazilian colour influences and exotic motifs are likely to be seen across fabrics and textiles.

    Philippa Prinsloo, design manager for John Lewis Home, says Brazilian themes will be big. ‘Brazilian brings out vibrant greens that celebrates the more exotic flora and fauna of jungle and the Forest,’ she said. ‘The bright colours help to accessorise a space and do so with a bit of wild abandon.’ Brightly coloured patterned fabrics can add warmth to a room and are a great way of adding style that can be easily changed.

brazilian prints

Source: Elledecoration

  • Statement lighting: Lighting is a big trend at the moment and an excellent way to creature a feature in a room without too much disruption. We’ve seen the growth of pendant lights, especially in kitchens and above breakfast bars, as seen here. This is likely to continue with more statement lighting making it’s way into other rooms.

statementlighting1

Source: West elm

  • Metallics: Metallics have been on trend for a while, with copper taking centre stage. With more 70’s influences appearing, a shift towards brass and gold accents looks likely. From appliances, to hardware to light fixtures, warmer metals will be adding interest, style and glamour to interiors in 2016.

gold accents

Source: decorpad

  • Calm, soft tone colours: This year’s Panetone colours (Rose Quartz & Serenity) provide a calming colour palette; with some predicting the soft dusky pink will become a staple neutral. These colours, reminiscent of the 1950’s work well with retro and mid century looks.

 panetonecolours

Source: Bloglovin

  • More eclectic kitchens: Kitchens are likely to lean towards a more lived in look in 2016. This makes sense with kitchens being the heart of the home. The move away from stark, single colour units and the introduction of contrasting units as well as natural elements, continues this trend. Open wooden shelving can help to achieve this vibe, with mismatched ceramics and crockery on display and easy to access.

eclectic kitchen3

Source: gofeminin

  • Statement bathroom mirrors: 2016 will see the introduction of luxe, high impact bathroom mirrors in place of medicinal mirrored cabinets. This is a fantastic opportunity to add glamour to your bathroom. It can also help maximise space in what can often be a small room by reflecting light at the same time as creating a focal point.

statement bathroom 2

Source: Apartmenttherapy

I’ve just picked a few of the key trends likely to be gracing interiors over the next 12 months, there are many more which may or may not take off.

It will be interesting to check back in later in the year to see which trends have made most impact and if any unpredicted trends surface. While it is important to be aware of the changing trends, it doesn’t mean you should be remodelling your entire house based on them. You may like to pick and choose according to your preferred style or you may not follow trends at all, but prefer more timeless decor.

Either way I’d love to know if you have incorporated any of these key trends in your interiors, whether it was deliberate or pure coincidence …

A Welcome Note

Hello and welcome to my blog, an outlet to share my ‘awe’ of all things Interior Design.

From a young age I’ve always been passionate about interiors. As a child I was always rearranging my bedroom furniture, scouring interiors magazines and spending all my money on accessories for my bedroom. Whether visiting friends, babysitting or trawling round English country houses I’ve always been fascinated to see what people have ‘done with the place’ and how it compared to my own vision.

Back in November 2011, my husband and I were lucky enough to buy our first house together. I envisaged with excitement how we would transform the place. However, most ideas never saw fruition due to financial constraints and our impending emigration to Australia. So neutral colours won out over more creative colour schemes in order to appeal to renters. Still, the process of mentally planning colour schemes and designs has taught me a lot and given me ideas for future reference.

Having recently arrived on Australian shores, I am now embarking on a new adventure in the city of Melbourne. I have already been seduced by the city’s multicutural atmosphere and laid back bohemian vibe and look forward to exploring what design inspiration Melbourne has to offer. Through this blog I will test out some of my ideas, explore different styles and generally inspire awe through beautiful Interiors.

I hope you find something that inspires you …