I was finally ready this morning to install holiday decor for a client both inside and out; the wreath for the front door was the last thing to be loaded in the trucks. My clients have spent years restoring a beautiful late nineteenth century house; they moved in just weeks ago. Though the landscape renovation just got underway before we ran out of good weather, we managed to get the granite driveway installed. The new front portico and brick walks are still under construction. But being in the late stages of a construction project does not mean they have to forego the holidays.
A formal tree in the foyer is decorated all in red. Glass ball ornaments in clusters and berry picks suffuse the interior of the tree with a red glow. Sparkly red ornaments of all shapes and sizes hang from the tips of the branches.
The space at the bottom of the stairs is a small one. Some of the lower branches of the tree spill into the stairwell going downstairs. A cloud of red sinamay shot through with metallic red threads finishes the tree at the floor. The garland on the stair railings is plain-but for bouquets of berry picks, ornaments and satin ribbons on the newel posts.
My client requested that the ceiling of her dining room be dripping with holiday. I am sure she did not think I would take her request literally-but it seemed just the thing to do. The glass drops pick up the light from the windows, and the chandelier; the whole room sparkles. I can imagine it will look beautiful with candlelight.
We pinned copper and pewter colored oak leaf garland at the top of each beam. Coppery brown manzanita branches were zip tied together in a configuration that would allow for hanging the drops at different levels, and in different planes. Natural reindeer moss is glued over the zip ties. The contrast of the old and somber hand hewn beams with the delicate glass drops-lovely.
The old fashioned cooking fireplace is draped in magnolia garlands which are fastenened at the corners with pewter colored leaf and pod picks. Small custers of brown berries add a subtle shine to the garland. I always hang magnolia garland with the leaf tips up. As the leaves dry, they open, and fan out, giving the garland greater volume. Garland hung with the leaf tips down will dry down, and be smooth and uniform in width. This is gravity at work.
The new portico outdoors still lacks lighting and finishing, but Christmas is next week. The steel topiary towers were custom made for these large pots; they are wound with brown corded lights. As the bed of greens is so massive, we did a mix for textural interest. Large branches of magnolia grandiflora were zip tied together to make a shrubby form akin to the steel topiary form.
These three English made concrete planters are stuffed with mixed greens; their centerpieces are cardinal red twig, red glitter branches and red glitter leaf picks. They make a big splash. The planters are positioned to screen the side door from immediate view, and direct visual attention to the front door.
In the spring, the antique brick walkway porch, and new landscape will dress this area up considerably. But for now, being ready for the holidays is a gesture in a good direction.