This year we got to have some fun decorating for the season with one of our favourite local inspirational bloggers, Monika Hibbs, in her gorgeous Langley, BC home. Her personalized take on Hampton's style and crisp white palette of colours gave us the perfect backdrop for our natural winter greenery and fresh seasonal decor.
Like with most big projects, the key to success is good planning. So we began with an initial 'powwow' at Branches Coffee House, enjoying some festive lattes and gingersnap cookies. Then we did a walk through the nursery to give Monika a chance to zero in on the greenery and accents that really caught her eye.
After discussing the look, feel and textures she hoped to achieve in her home, we felt ready to load up the trucks and head over for some serious decorating!
[PS. All the photos you're about to enjoy are taken by Monika Hibbs.]
When decorating indoors with live branches and greenery it tends to get a bit messy. Which is why we brought plenty of drop cloths to use in the areas we'd be working, and brooms to tidy up any pine needles that escaped.
Our tool kits included floral wire, florist tape, scissors, pliers, wire cutters, a skill saw, collapsable tables, latex gloves and heavy duty gloves. It never hurts to be prepared for any situation!
Festive Right From the Start
Arriving at Monika's beautiful home we had another quick chat to decide which areas we wanted to tackle first. Our strategy was to begin with the key focal pieces in the decor and then work our way into everything else. This meant starting with the front doorway, as an entranceway always creates the mood and look you want to achieve, even before guests walk into your home.
For Monika that meant a giant wreath, a touch of cedar garland to frame the doorway, and two large planters full of birch poles and winter greenery to flank the front door.
To embellish the wreath on the front door we used a mix of cedar, silver fir, white pine, magnolia leaves, seeded eucalyptus and pinecones. A final touch is the the long hanging ribbon, which Monika sourced from Etsy.
A Warm Welcome
To create that symmetrical warm welcome, each large square pot on either side of the door was filled with soil, then Jason created a bushy winter arrangement using birch poles, cedar, silver fir, white pine, magnolia leaves, seeded eucalyptus and oversized pinecones. To make your own entrance way planter for the season, watch our quick DIY video on creating a similar look.
Any greenery that is undercover or on a covered patio, will need to be watched and watered to prevent it from drying out. The soil in the planters can be watered to keep the greens healthy all winter long.
Not wanting to miss any detail, we attached swags of natural greenery on the lampposts. A few more decorative spots on the outside of the house include lining the front entrance gates with a double layer of mixed cedar garland, and filling the large container dishes on the entrance posts with an assortment of winter greens.
Jason continued to busy himself outside by winterizing the flower boxes outside the kitchen windows using winter greens and accents, and filling the container gardens on the undercover back patio. Creating a perfect, festive feel for extending your holiday entertaining outside!
Christmas in the Home
Heading inside we spread out the drop sheets and began to tackle the hearth of the home, her fireplace mantel. Not only is this the place where stockings will be hung with care, but it's also the focal point for the room. We debated how long to make the garland, whether it should touch the floor or not, and how much it should drape in the middle. So many questions to get it just right!
The garland for the mantel was hung without embellishments using faux crystal 3M Command Removable Strips. What an amazing trick - and no damage to the mantel! After we had the position and length perfect we started to add in the accents.
Bundles of silver dollar eucalyptus, juniper berries, Carolina sapphire cypress and white pine were created and added into the garland rope to build a full and natural design. These were bundled with florist tape and then attached to the cedar with florist wire.
The same treatment was used to create the much longer garland for the banister on the staircase, with long trailing ribbons added on by Monika for a final touch of elegance. The garland is attached below the railing, so that it won't get in the way of hands or poke any unsuspecting person descending the stairs.
The Always Classic Poinsettia
Whose house is complete without poinsettias for the season? Monika loved the blush pink coloured poinsettias for her powder room. As well as, a set of large white poinsettias placed in gorgeous rustic urns for a simple but dramatic design for the season.
Something for Everyone this Season
We loved the idea of bringing a festive feel to the children's playhouse in the backyard, so we spruced it up for the season. We used a smaller wreath to adorn the door, matching the one on the front of the main house. Monika had chosen some lovely black and white striped ribbon to hang it. Adorable!
From the wreath to the mantel and everything in between, we left Monika's home full of seasonal inspiration and holiday spirit, not to mention a few pine needles in our socks and hair.
To read more about this decorating extravaganza, head over to Monika Hibb's blog, Decking the Halls with West Coast Gardens!