Caggiano photo 4_Christmas blogChristmas is fast approaching and if you are like me you are beginning to think of entertaining family, neighbors and friends. The time comes when the tree is up and the house looks great, ready for one guest or twenty, and to make it perfect fresh flowers are the finishing touch. With multiple things going on I like to make my décor a little convertible so that I don’t have to change everything for each gathering.

Picking a theme is usually a good way to start, and color is a huge part of the decision. Red and green is, of course, traditional but for the more contemporary home almost any color story can work. Adding colors that coordinate with your home’s décor can make your decorating sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing. Metallics such as gold, silver, copper or bronze should also be considered and can add a wonderful dimension to whatever your color palette.

Caggiano photo 2_Christmas blogNext, containers are an important choice. You can either use ones you already have, or this may be the year to splurge and try something new.  Collecting a few vessels that work well together usually helps make it cohesive and convertible, allowing you to use bouquets together as a grouping or individually.  Let your florist know that this is the plan so he can coordinate the designs for you. We have a tendency to create one large centerpiece for a seated dinner, yet having a collection of different sizes allows a smaller one to not only contribute to the main meal but also act as a centerpiece for breakfast, a smaller lunch or dinner, or a more casual visit.

Here are two options for the holidays that can give you an idea of what I am suggesting. Our first theme begins with silver mercury glass, which is very popular and versatile. Mercury glass can work year round so you don’t have to put it away at the end of the season. We have a hurricane shape that can be used for flowers or candles and a compote bowl perfect for a centerpiece. We have designed the centerpiece around a hurricane, which can be easily lifted on or off. One of the vase style arrangements can sit upon the centerpiece also for a great buffet design.

The three vases can be used together down the center of a long table with just votive candles and without the compote centerpiece. For a smaller lunch table one vase alone looks perfect.

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Red and purple, a very rich and elegant combination, gives these arrangements an upscale look without being overly large. The silver ornaments tie in the mercury glass and keep the color story from getting too dark.  The flower selection is simple but powerful. Red roses are the focal flower with rich purple stock joining with playful red tulips. Touches of noble fir add fragrance in addition to texture.

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Our second collection has an outdoor, woodsy feeling.  The containers are resin, which make them easy to work with, but they look exactly like real bark. We have large, medium and small vessels allowing us to create a dynamic collection, yet each design can stand on its own. Note the touch of red shiny ornaments to add another layer of festivity to the lush designs.

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Our color palette spins off of traditional red and green but the addition of a brighter green keeps it looking modern and fresh. Here we have used a wide variety of floral material to emphasize texture.

 

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Many of the elements are long lasting so as the days go on, a little rearranging here and there can keep these arrangements all through the season.

 

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For me, the fresh flowers are the very special part of my holiday entertaining and I know my guests enjoy each bouquet. Whether you choose something elaborate or simple, think about choosing a collection of floral pieces that can work together. The ability to mix and match as you go from a formal dinner to a cocktail party or dessert gathering can make it even more fun to entertain this holiday season.