Styling your home for Spring
Winter seems to be the season that everyone cocoons in, its my least social season of the year. But with longer days and the suns warmer rays I’m beginning to extend invitations to people dear to me. The hibernating is over.
By Megan Harrison-Turner
It might not be barbeque weather just yet but I’m definitely gathering friends together for a brunches, weekend late lunches or even better my favourite: a high tea.
Now that the spring flowers breaking through the bleak weather I’m gathering them inside too.
Back in the day when I studied in England where “Interior Design” was also about doing things the right way – which meant the traditional way for the upstairs in the large English homes of yesteryear – think Downton Abbey and Gosford Park.
We were taught with imperious authority that one should have flowers displayed in three areas of the house. The first area for flowers is at the homes entrance, a welcome to you and any visitors. And that these flowers should be from the front part of the garden. Part of the progression and transition from the outside of the property to the house. In spring an example might be the Camellias that line the pathway to the front door, the freesias that have grown along the fence line over the years or a branch of the oak at the start of the drive.
The second place where flowers should always be found is in the bathroom. Preferably something fragrant, so easy to do in Spring with hyacinth and the masses of Jonquils, Early Cheer and Freesias.
The third place was in the bedroom. For years I adhered to this – until the little ones broke one too many vases beside the bed and the reality of bi-weekly cleaning up of water, petals and glass outweighed the joy of fresh blooms.
The idea of the progression and flowers greeting everyone is for me still an appealing notion today as it was back before the internet and DVDs, so to have flowers at the front of the house to introduce to my guests the occasion of the invitation makes sense. Although I can’t quite get my head around just buying a bouquet from the local florist, it seems such a cop-out equally sometimes I’m a bit underwhelmed with my floral efforts of just plonking garden blooms in a vase.
So my instant impact flower solution is to cut blooms from the garden off at their heads and with just the tiniest bit of water place them on shallow bowls. Large magnolia blooms make great place settings a camellias and rhododendrons could be equally as pretty. The impact is shorter lived, the blooms don’t last nearly as long but ever the stylist I’m happy to sacrifice the life of the flowers for the impact of the setting.
The arrangement can be made up the day before and as long as there is just enough water for the stems and not so much that the petals get soggy it lasts the arrangement can be put together the day before.
To go with the garden flower inspiration for the High Tea try decorating the cupcakes with edible flowers such as Violas in many colours or Violets which are plentiful and pretty. Displayed on a tiered stand of course! Then scatter pretty borage flowers in white or blue as decoration amongst the delicate hues of macaroons.
A display for the hallway side table to welcome guests to High Tea.
Stylists Secret: Anchor the cups with clear earthquake putty- sometimes called “museum tack”.