Nothing says Christmas more than a beautiful wreath proudly adorning the front door or placed above a fire place. I always make everything fresh. I also like to make a stunning green installation above the fireplace, that is both strikingly beautiful to the eye and perfumes the entire home with that delicious pine scent.
HOW TO : CREATE A CHRISTMAS WREATH
Step 1: gather
As you can see pictured here, I love really oversized wreaths. As long as you have a mass of pines, spruce, or fir tree foliage you will be able to achieve a European and American wintry mood. They do it so well, but we can also get that similar look even in our modern Australian landscape.
An alternative is to use native plants like gum or olive branches, as long as you give it that feeling of abundance. You could collect most of the elements for the wreath from the back garden or a nearby park — I think it’s fine at Christmas time to mix all the different shades of green.
Step 2: create the base
You will need florist wire (available from florists and craft or sewing stores) — the most import step is to create a really solid base. To do this, I soak sticks and twigs in water so they become malleable.
To make the base you create little bundles of twigs bound together with wire. Lay them down on a table and place in a wreath circle, then bind each bundle together. Build up the shape and strengthen with more sticks and more wire. I like a heavier shape at the bottom and for it to be slightly off centre – not too perfect or groomed.
Step 3: add greenery
Then it's time to get really creative by adding foliage, weaving pieces through the twigs and then securing with wire. For our one pictured here we used spruce and fir, it will last if you place it up soon but will slowly drop over the coming weeks. Every now and then you could add some fresh sprigs in to freshen and brighten it up.
Step 4: decorate
Keep it simple with metallic decorations, I like just a few simple gold accents. And again, place these off centre or at different heights hanging from the wreath. Simplicity is everything when it comes to Christmas, you don’t need to go over the top. Pull everything back and keep it minimal so it feels really modern.
With the leftover pieces you could make mini wreaths for your children’s bedrooms, to place by their bed or to hang on their door. Then every room has something Christmasy in it, so that the whole house will smell incredible.
Another idea is to build a really striking statement of foliage around the mantelpiece. It can be really simple but when en masse and with an abundance of greenery it will be a real showstopper.
You need to anchor the branches to the base of the mantelpiece using strong twine. We used the sculptural branches of Norfolk Island pine along with some spruce – the mix of varieties works well and gives a variety of textures. The Norfolk pine with those really fascinating spikey pine cones has a weight to it that makes a statement. And it’s more Australian as it’s closer to native pine.
This look is so modern against that strong black fireplace. A palette of green, black and gold is incredibly stylish this year. It would also work so well on a stone, wood or grey concrete mantelpiece with that stunning mass of green – it brings the living room to life. It’s a chic alternative to having a really traditional Christmas tree.