Behind the Scenes – Designing A Christmas Home
When you visit our garden centre and nursery it can be easy to get swept up in the vast array of plants and beautiful designs, making it hard to figure out what the perfect choice is for you. Our designers at West Coast Gardens love to work with you on this particular challenge, to fully understand what you’re looking for when placing an order for custom planters, centrepieces and other decor to bring home. Over the years we’ve learned a lot about what questions to ask, how to prepare and some tips and tricks for custom work. Take a peek behind the curtain, and find some helpful ideas for your own home decor ambitions, as we take you through our latest project with Purity Designs.
Before You Start
When does a project or design really begin? When we repot the first plant, pick out the containers, or is it way before then? For us the project begins with a conversation. Questions such as: What style are you looking for? What is the colour scheme of your home? How many pieces you’re looking for? What kind of space requirements do you have? Do you favour low maintenance designs? All of these questions are important to getting an overall idea of the project, before we even look at any plants!
TIP #1 – Tour your home and make a note of areas you’d like to add accents to, and how much space they could fill. Look at the colour and style of your home so that you can choose something that will fit in and highlight your space.
Walking through the garden centre and greenhouses is a good way to get ideas. Choose a few plants to use as the main showstoppers in your designs, then pick more low key plants that will create interest through contrasting or matching colours.
TIP #2 – Having one look that continues throughout your home, even in different rooms, can really bring your space together.
A Clean Design
Planters and centrepieces are meant to accent the space, but a coffee table should still be able to hold coffee, even if it has a gorgeous planter adorning it as well. We can do our best work when we have some measurements of the space (especially if height is a consideration) or a few snapshots will work wonders as well!
TIP #3 – Measurements are helpful to have handy when you’re at the garden centre so you can quickly find out if that tall potted orchid you love will actually fit on a shelf.
Creating a Unified Look
The beautiful home for this project with Purity Designs is full of natural textures and materials, with lots of wood and an organic style. Once we had our initial design meeting, we came up with ideas for accents that would carry this theme forward. Whites and greens became our colour palette, as well as containers that would echo the natural feeling.
White cyclamen are perfect for the Christmas season and stunning enough to stand out on their own. A pile of birch poles adds texture and warmth to this cozy reading nook. The table is large enough that neither of these additions crowd the space.
These giant moss bowls grab your attention on the all white shelving, with their dark stone looking containers and dried moss designs on top. They’re also low/no maintenance, which is perfect for this space. The green moss is used as an accent in other container designs around the home, to echo this natural look and bring it all together.
TIP #4 – Your designs will work well together if they share an element. This could be a specific colour container, accent (such as moss or rocks), or using the same foliage plant throughout.
For a Christmas home we love to add garland, as it really ties the upstairs and downstairs together, as well as being traditionally festive. To match the natural feeling of this home, we used cedar garland with bunches of silver dollar and seeded eucalyptus attached at the top of each double scallop. Its simplicity matches the home design, but still adds Christmas cheer.
We continuously carried the eucalyptus elements throughout the house (such as in the poinsettia trough design) and also generously relied on its natural beauty in this giant wooden vase. We created an unstructured design of curly willow, silver dollar eucalyptus and seeded eucalyptus that spills out and also has tremendous height.
TIP #5 – Eucalyptus comes in many varieties and textures, and is a great choice as an accent because it is so low maintenance. The leaves and seeds can be kept in water or left to dry out while still maintaining their beautiful blue-green colour.
Double doors deserve double wreaths and these give you an idea of what you’ll find inside, as we mixed eucalyptus into the evergreen base wreath. The cedar garland highlights the doors further with a double rope twisted together, to make sure it’s lush and thick.
Tall winter greens arrangements stand on either side of the stately doors, getting their height from birch poles and red dogwood branches. Birch poles always look best in threes, and cutting them on an angle adds dimension and interest. Since these containers are so tall, we half filled them with empty 4″ plastic pots before adding soil. The birch and dogwood went in the middle first, then we created the lush base layer with a mix of silver fir, white pine and cedar. The ilex berries were added last and create a beautiful pop of colour.
Large projects, like decorating a whole home at Christmas, can feel overwhelming at first. Taking the time to plan, prep and find plants you really love can break the project down into manageable pieces that will have you decking your halls in no time. You can always ask questions and get help from our in-store designers and nursery experts as well. Thanks for joining us on this behind-the-scenes tour. Share your winter creations with us using #MyWestCoastGarden. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next!