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Published: Thursday, 12/1/2005

Fashionable Floral Trends in Holiday Decorating

(ARA) - Do you like the straight clean lines that define contemporary minimalist taste? Or are you into flash and glamour? Or maybe you favor rich, sumptuous, luxurious textures and colors?

Whatever style defines your personality and manifests your character, the holiday season with its open houses, dinner parties and gifting traditions presents the perfect time to express yourself as an innovator, trendsetter and fashion-forward visionary through creative home decor. FTD Master Floral Designer Keith White, AIFD, defines the latest in-vogue color palettes and provides the following suggestions for incorporating them into holiday decorating that celebrates the season with style and grace.

So, out with Santa red. Goodbye to Kelly green. And welcome to modern elegance!

Rosehip Holiday Creation: Floral Wreath

This palette is rich in patinas with an analogous color harmony of earth tones in deep mahogany, terra-cotta, clay, carnelian red, rose shades and copper accents. These colors, along with the textures of the suggested flowers, are perfect for a stylish holiday wreath.

Create or purchase a wreath made from willows, vines, birch and natural twigs, and be sure it is loosely woven with natural openings to allow for insertion of fresh floral materials and accent pieces.

Next, visit your local florist to purchase your fresh floral materials, which include rosehips (available now through December), Hypericum in red, brown or peach (a great substitute for the short-lived, prickly and poisonous Holly Berry) and other long-lasting proteaceous materials like Leucadendron and Leucospermum (pin cushion). Jester, a burgundy Leucodendron with pink shading, or the bright orange Sun Burst Leucospermum, would be perfect choices for this wreath. Accents can be copper-colored ribbon or strips of leather. For even more of a seasonal twist, add pine cones or use the copper ribbon to tie on several small and decorative ornaments.

Hydroponics Holiday Creation: Floral Hostess Gifts / Parting Favors

The cool, clean shades of green, lilac ash and illusion blue that dominate this palette best complement a sleek, elegant hostess gift. Easy-to-assemble handmade cones filled with fragrant blossoms and spa items emphasize health and well-being during the holidays.

At your local craft store, purchase stiff, handmade papers by the sheet and silver wire wrap. Then visit your local florist to select baby s breath and evergreen branches. Your next stop is a local dried goods store for dried lavender and rosemary. Also buy small packets of bath salts.

Once you are back at home and ready to assemble, lay the paper on a flat surface and place the packets of bath salts upon the paper. Carefully roll the paper into a cone shape, with the bath salts in the lower part of the cone.

Now, take the baby s breath and group it together very tightly into an ice cream cone shape, and insert it into the top of the cone. Wrap the silver wire around the entire cone to hold the structure together. Finish it off by attaching a Christmas ornament with more of the silver wire, and you have an original, elegant holiday creation.

For the sachet cone, repeat the steps above but use the dried lavender in place of the bath salts, and the rosemary and evergreen in place of the baby s breath.

This palette works brilliantly for antique aficionados and collectors possessing a variety of precious heirlooms combined with eclectic flea market finds and travel souvenirs. Its midrange medley of earth tones like soft pink, rustic brown and artichoke green exude a vintage feel.

For table decor in your entryway, dining table or side tables gather a combination of collectables like vintage ornaments and small pottery vases and juxtapose them with pieces in Asian motifs, delicate china patterns and assorted candle sticks with beeswax candles. Artfully arrange the collection upon the table for a great conversation of life s experiences.

Next, visit your local florist and choose from the perfect flowers to accent this vintage collection: roses, hydrangeas and ranunculus, to name a few. More specifically, opt for the Sahara Rose, a bi-color with its antique linen and pink appearance, or the Super Green Rose, which opens to resemble a tiny cabbage or Brussells sprout. And any of the antique blues and pinks available in wintertime Hydrangea selections would also be appropriate.

When choosing the Ranunculus, stick to the pink and peach tones. And if you really want to make a statement, the King Protea works brilliantly with this palette as well. Fill some of the collectables with water and use as containers for your fresh flowers; some of the floral materials can also be arranged around your precious pieces to accent your personal treasures. Courtesy of ARA Content.



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