Tips on how to add some festive foliage into your home this Christmas

Caroline Daines set up her floral business Nordic Twigs in 2014.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 2:23 pm

Originally from Sweden she came to the UK in 1998 to work as an au pair.

She said: “I set up Nordic Twigs after a short course in floristry which introduced me to the basics of flowers and the basics of setting up a business.

“I love bringing the outside in and I would describe my style as natural and abundant with elegance and texture. Timeless too.

Pictures: www.helencawtephotography.com

“I work with the seasons and I take inspiration from the Nordic simplicity in interior design and the rich heritage of British architecture, gardens and nature. In other words; Nordic simplicity entwined with British heritage.”

Caroline specialises in weddings and events, but has created displays for smaller dinner parties and bespoke floral installations.

With the festive season upon us Caroline offers some tips to add some Christmas cheer to your home.

Caroline said: “Christmas for me is all about the flowers, foliage and candles. Bringing the outside in creates a cosy and lush feel and it is the one part of the year when it is completely acceptable to go all out.”

Caroline - Pictures: www.helencawtephotography.com

Caroline explains that a simple place to start is with a Christmas door wreath as she feels this ‘is where the magic starts and it gives people a taster of what they might find inside’.

Key floral and fauna to incorporate into your home include eucalyptus and Nordic pine.

“The scent is beautiful and it looks fantastic throughout the house,” she explained.

“Foliage takes centre stage at this time of year but nearer Christmas I also decorate my home with cut Amaryllis and hyacinths.

“Once New Year has been and I clear out Christmas, I celebrate new beginnings with one of my favourites, The tulip. There is nothing more beautiful and simple than a vase full of tulips, all on their own.”

A simple but effective way to bring greenery into your home without spending a fortune is to have a big bunch of eucalyptus in a vase. She adds that floral displays don’t have to be complicated or intricate to look amazing.

“This is where that Nordic simplicity comes in and although I want abundance at Christmas,” Caroline said.

“Raid your garden or forage for seasonal foliages and arrange them in beautiful urns and vases throughout your house. Nearer Christmas you can add flowers to the foliage arrangements, adding a new look, perfect for Christmas day. Foliage accompanied by candlelight is sure to create a beautiful setting.

“I also try and make the Christmas dinner table the focal point in the room and it always features a combination of flowers and foliage, satsumas, chocolate coins and of course candles.”

Caroline is a self-taught florist, and the wonderful thing she says about not being formally trained is that she follows no rules when it comes to creating displays.

“And you can do the same,” she said. “I go on feeling and I use my eyes with every flower I place. I try not to overthink it. Whenever I run workshops I am always so surprised about the pressure my participants put on themselves to create something extraordinary and my advice is always the same: the flowers will speak for themselves, just relax and have fun with it. If you place a flower and you change your mind, take it out and find another spot for it.”

For those that want to be more creative with bouquets they have bought from a florist, Caroline said: “If you buy flowers and you want to arrange them at home, add some foliage from the garden.

“Try using different vessels and see how this changes the arrangement. The end result will be very dependant on what vessel you use - if you place the same floral design in a jam jar and then in a small urn, you will have two very different looks.

“A jam jar for a more rustic look and a small urn for a more sophisticated, elegant finish.”

Caroline lives in Barnham with her husband, two daughters and Staffie Mango.

She said: “After being at home with my two girls for a few years I wanted a challenge.

“I knew I wanted to work with something creative and I knew I wanted to work for myself, giving me the opportunity to work around my children until they got older.

“I am mainly self taught and have developed my style over the past few years and 2020 would have been my sixth year as a florist.”

This year Caroline has seen many people opting for dried flowers and foliage.

Adding that ‘it is an every changing landscape of trends and colour palettes’, with white and green being the combination she gets asked about the most.

She explained: “It is timeless and looks gorgeous in all the wedding photos in years to come. Trends can age and for some of my couples, keeping the elegance and that timeless feel is really important to them.”

At home Caroline’s floral style is much more scaled back and simple.

She said: “Flowers are an integral part of my life and although I work with flowers on a daily basis throughout the busy wedding season my approach to displaying flowers in my home is very different from when I am designing flowers for my couples.

“I am lucky to have so many beautiful flowers at my disposal and you will often find leftovers dotted throughout the house, but large, intricate floral designs, rarely make it through my front door.”

To see more of Caroline's work, visit www.nordictwigs.co.uk

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