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Paper Flower Maker Makes Her Mark on the Industry

As a florist, it goes without saying that I find natural, fresh cut flowers absolutely beautiful. Nature creates the most exquisite intricacies in each flower petal, so that each bloom is stunningly unique. These are the details that we look to exploit when we put an arrangement together; we look at the minute differences and play around with the variations in colour and texture to build an arrangement that is eye catching and exquisite.

Often, our clients also have a vision when they walk through our doors. Perhaps they have a particular bloom in mind, or a specific colour. It is made all the more important when this detail is central to a theme for a party or event….so what is a florist to do if what the client wants is just not available?

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Cetti’s garden roses Picture Credit: The Green Vase

“There is a place for faux flowers today,” says Whitney Robinson, editor in chief of Elle Decor. “They are essentially copies of what you would buy fresh…not everyone has the time or budget to be able to buy fresh consistently. We are entering a new era in faux flowers as well, toward a new generation of paper flowers that takes the artistry to the next level.”

Coleus blooms and foliage are crafted from paper
Cetti creates individual Coleus pieces with gorgeous foliage Picture Credit; The Green Vase

It seems that with our busy lifestyles today, consumers are looking for a way to decorate their homes/offices or events without the maintenance that fresh flowers require. In the last few years many florists and homewares stores have begun stocking larger quantities of faux flowers to keep up with demand. With modern materials and more realistic production, these faux flowers are a very suitable alternative to the real deal. Sure, they do require some dusting and fluffing but they make sense for many spaces.

Some people will still turn their noses up….that is unavoidable, and sure, there are some blooms that look better and more realistic than others, the key is making the right choice for your space. And believe it or not, it is not only the humble working class that are embracing these no fuss, floral alternatives, faux flowers have got some real street cred.

Paper anenomes handmade by Livia Cetti
Handmade paper anenomes by Livia Cetti.
Hibiscus flowers are fragile, so these paper versions are a great alternative for arrangements
Gorgeous paper hibiscus created by Cetti. Michelle Obama used these in arrangements for a Korean State dinner at the White House. Picture Credit; The Green Vase

When Michelle Obama, the then First Lady had tables adorned with hibiscus envisioned for a Korean State dinner, artist Livia Cetti set upon designing exquisite handmade paper ones as the fresh version was far too fragile to be up for the task at the White House. In fact, paper flowers are moonlighting at some of the best addresses, and are being accepted by decorators, designers and influencers around the world. Cetti, once a stylist for Martha Stewart has now written two how-to books on paper flowers. She supplies her paper flowers to some of the high end shops in New York and sells them on her website, with prices starting from $35 per stem (some are priced at $200 a piece!) “People like the fact that paper flowers stay around for a while,” Cetti says. “My objective isn’t to be as realistic as possible; it’s to find the character and feeling of each flower and interpret that.”

Fwf x

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Eco Chic- Natural Materials Making Responsible Products

We all seem to be developing more of a social conscience, or at least that is the way it seems. Products are popping up everywhere claiming to be more environmentally friendly, using renewable resources, and providing various new business opportunities.

As the first world gets richer though, it is encouraging to see that some of the wealth and opportunities are trickling down, utilising resources that can be found in some of the poorest regions of the world.

Did you know many products that we use in a commercial florist are sourced internationally these days? In some ways this is sad as money is going off shore, however it is largely due to the cost of wages in Australia. The truth is, if we were to grow them here, the price would probably end up so high, no one would buy them. Buying from overseas is also influenced by the difference in climate; what they are able to grow, that perhaps we can’t. Most of our  orchids, anthuriums and tropical foliage (like cordyline or palm leaves) comes from South Eastern Asian countries and Mauritius.

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Image; Monkey ladder vine via Project Noah
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Image; Kiwi Vine via Dried Decor
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Image; Bamboo via Better Homes and Gardens

We use several types of vines and canes in floristry, but some of these natural materials also make fantastic decor, and due to the nature in which they grow, they make eco-friendly choices.

Rattan is closely related to the palm plants, and considered a liana (or vine) rather than a true wood. As it is a climber, it’s texture is flexible and malleable, whilst still incredibly strong, making it an ideal material to weave furniture from. It is a rapid grower, with the ability to grow up to 30 metres tall however does not have the strength to grow alone, instead using the structure of other neighbouring plants to hold onto in order to reach higher. Rattan is generally confined to South East Asia, with 70% of the world’s rattan throughout Indonesia. The rest is sprinkled throughout the Phillipines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Given that rattan is grown throughout some of the poorest regions of the world, it is able to provide a sustainable income to those who need it most.

Rattan grows in between other trees in forests, and as a result, those forests have since been protected from logging to allow the rattan to be grown. It also grows in floodplains which were otherwise unused, which in turn encourages animals to create habitats, and increase animal populations.

Rattan is solid, and therefore incredibly strong, in fact it is almost impossible to break. Bamboo on the other hand, is hollow, but it is still incredibly strong. Ever been to a third world country and witnessed the construction of a new building? Bamboo scaffolding is still used today.

Bamboo is hard and straight making it harder to manipulate. Generally pieces are placed parallel to each other, and the design of the furniture usually tend to be more simplistic.

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Image; Cane furniture is durable and stylish via Naturally cane
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Image via Grand in Road
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Image; Vintage Rattan Furniture via TEDXUMKC

Bamboo is another rapidly growing material that is being utilised in furniture design and other decorator items. Both rattan and bamboo are fast growing tropical plants, making them an ideal income source for those populating the developing countries in which they grow. Often bamboo and rattan are used together in furniture; making the framework from bamboo and utilising the flexible rattan pieces around the joins of the hard straight bamboo pieces.

Many of the furniture styles that were favoured in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s are making a comeback. This is largely because the furniture is durable, eco-friendly, light weight and attractive.Despite being able to create plastic furniture, the trend to make more eco-friendly choices is catching as we strive to reduce the amount of landfill and live more sustainably.

 Fwf x

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Vegetation Levitation

Everyone these days is on the look for something new, something fresh, something different. We want everyone to want what we want- almost as if their reassurance will tell us we are on the right track. Everything about today is geared towards standing out, and gaining approval- that is the way social media appears to be working right?

So in a world that is forever trying to come up with the next big idea, design concepts like this one, are sure to impress.

A simple vase of fresh cut flowers certainly is beautiful and an attractive pot with a lush green plant will definitely help bring the outdoors inside but we have all seen that before.

Have you seen this innovative design that I stumbled upon? We all know how magnets work; opposites are attracted to one another, and therefore pull most strongly together. And poles of the same origin will repel. Magnets and magnetic force is almost like some special type of magic- stuck together like glue, or repelled. Well, this concept has been utilised to create a unique plant concept, whereby the planter hovers over the decorative base via magnetic levitation. The plant is gently rotated to expose the plant to sunlight, which is essential for the plants survival.

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Image; Spoon Tamago
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Image; Kickstarter
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Image; Spoon Tamago
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Image; Kickstarter

There are a few companies offering variations of the concept which begun crowd funding a few years ago via kickstarter. Bases are available in modern chrome finishes as well as lovely rich oak, or bases covered in pieces of wood that have a more rustic finish. Air plants such as the Tillandsia do particularly well as they are able to absorb the nutrients from the atmosphere. The rotating action allows the plant to be evenly exposed to sunlight.

Bonsai plants are another option on offer, as are some palm varieties. Initially, D.I.Y kits were also available so essentially you could plant whatever you like. The ‘little star’ plant base as it is called, is made of a unique super absorbent sponge like material which holds water so the plant does not dry out. With time the plants roots will fully anchor themselves to this base, making it stable and secure. The decorative base that sits on your table/counter etc does require power.

It’s a pretty futuristic concept, and certainly something that would look out of place in my home- but how cool is it!? It’s a gorgeous idea for minimalist homes, a fantastic house warming gift, or a gift for someone who has just about everything.

But if it’s not for you, you can still stick to a gorgeous fresh flower arrangement presented in any vessel you choose, and guess what, it won’t require power either.

Fwf x

Feature image via Wallhaven

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Quick Stick Decorating

Winter is a time to spend a little more time cosied up on the couch, or near the fire, so it makes great sense that we create an internal space that makes our hearts and soul sing.  The cooler temperatures mean that we are less social spending more time in our own homes, so it is nice to spend some of our energy doing some simple decorating. It is easy to stick your tried and tested methods of decorating, adding an indoor plant or a vase of cut fresh flowers, but winter offers up some interesting and long lasting alternatives to your regular fresh cut flowers or indoor plants.

Disiduous branches and sticks are a fantastic way of filling a vase for weeks at a time. Depending on what you choose you may or may not need to add water to the vase- and for someone like me who hates cleaning dirty vases of stinky water, this spells H-E-A-V-E-N! Some sticks, such as magnolia branches or cherry blossom for example will flower and bloom and will require a vaseful of fresh water, but believe me, the floral display is certainly worth the effort! Other branches are sold more for their architectural qualities and are striking in a vase en masse. In this case, you can choose to display them in a vessel without water. Any sticks that are displayed this way will become more brittle with time but in general, their appearance changes very little. As the branches become more brittle, it is advisable that they are not moved often, as you will see the branches breaking and becoming damaged.

So what can you get your hands on in the coming months? Well, consider these;

Budded magnolia branches are divine! The naked branches are shapely and interesting alone, but for a matter of weeks you can enjoy the pretty blooms in soft cream, mauve and pink tones. When the blooms are spent, simply pinch them off the stem, and enjoy the naked branches.

 

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Image via Pinterest

Lichen covered sticks are super interesting to look at;they look a bit moody and mysterious. The leafless branches are covered in silvery green flakes that resemble peeling paint. The branches bring a certain woodland vibe,  and the natural beauty of the forest.

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Image: Etsy

Dogwood is stunning throughout winter, with its reddish, golden glow. It is so different to the other sticks available with its vibrant colour, and adds visual warmth to a room or an arrangement.

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Pussy willow have furry buds called catkins along the length of their stems. Before they come into full flower, they are covered in a fine, grey fur, which leads to the comparison to ‘pussies’ or small cats.

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Image: The Spruce

 

Tortured Willow is a unique tree that is also known as curly willow, twisted willow or corkscrew willows due to its wiggly stems. It is a plant native to Korea and North Eastern China that was introduced to Australia for ornamental purposes, but when left, it invades riverbanks and creeks. All species of willow are considered weeds due to their invasive nature, as they have aggressive root systems that cause damage to footpaths and drains.  However as a cut material, it looks beautiful in its simplicity. Tortured willow does not require water, however if left dry, it will also become brittle, and break easily. If it is placed in water, the tortured willow will remain malleable, easily manipulated into different shapes- making it ideal for creating sculptures and wreaths. It will also quickly develop roots in water, so can be planted again.

An abstract composition of a twisted willow tree
Image; Texas Tree Trimmers

 

Fruit tree Blossom are always popular, particularly cherry blossom, but there are many more fruit tree blossoms available such as peach blossom and apple blossom.

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Image; Apple Blossom by Pixabay

So, instead of sticking to what you know, give something different a go.

Fwf x

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The Long Weekend DIY List

There is nothing like a long weekend to inspire a long list of DIY projects, am I right? I personally decided to take on a cosmetic lift on our ensuite. Full of enthusiasm, I removed plastic accessories that were the height of fashion back in the late 90s when they were originally installed, gave it a lick of paint, and replaced the handles on the vanity to bring it into today.

With 4 full days off, many people seem to have the same idea, and get inspired to tackle projects around the home that they just can’t seem to find time for ordinarily. Maybe it is getting into the garden, or spring (autumn) cleaning, maybe you decide to reorganise the furniture. Whatever the case, a long weekend, gives you an opportunity to concentrate on the task at hand with less distraction.

Here are 5 DIY projects you could set your mind to this weekend that will add atmosphere, relaxation and entertainment to your home.

1. Vegie Garden

If you want to get a head start on your garden this weekend, this is certainly the way to go. Did you know that some vegetables can regrow from a small scrap? YEP! OMG, talk about a game changer. Not only will this give you a head start, it is cheap too. Buy your vegies once, and regrow them for a lifetime.  The best method is to place the scrap in a small amount of water for the growth to begin, but once it gets going, it should be transplanted into the earth for full growth. This can be done with many of the common vegetables and herbs you will have in  your home such as celery, lettuce varieties, cabbage, lemon grass, green spring onions, leeks, garlic chives, buk choy and fennel. For me, this makes incredible sense particularly for celery and lettuce. I find that I tend to cook more casserole/stew style meals for the family in the cooler months, and often the base of the sauce starts with celery. But I honestly find it hard to warrant buying a bunch of celery, when all I really need is one stalk.

Celery stalks should be trimmed them placed in a shallow bowl or saucer of water. And miraculously, new growth will begin to sprout from the centre. A similar technique can be used with lettuce; Cos Lettuce works particularly well with this technique. After the plants begin sprouting you can plant them in your garden and be well on your way to harvest!

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Image; Google

2. Create your own Budget Firepit

Firepits seem to be the latest rage- and they are not cheap to buy. But creating your own budget version can be fun and rewarding. When the lights are low, and the fires burning, it ain’t really going to matter if you took out a small loan for your firepit, or made it with your own two hands. For the full tutorial head to A Beautiful Mess.

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Image; A Beautiful Mess

3. Bird Feeder

Attracting bird life requires very little effort but can be interesting and rewarding.  Each and every home potentially will attract its own unique birdlife. This cute teacup bird feeder is utterly charming and can be customised by choosing a colour concept that will suit your home, or better yet, put those odds and sods to better use!

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Image via Bite Sized Biggie

4. Create a Succulent Ball

Drought resistant plants are generally easier to care for, so this succulent ball makes a great project for just about anyone. They can spruce up an indoor or outdoor empty space, suspended from the ceiling. Try pairing 2 together at different heights for some added interest, or if space allows it try a cluster of three in different sizes.

By choosing a variety of succulents you till be able to create interest with colour and texture. If you feel creative, you could spray paint the wire cage before you begin to match an existing colour scheme. I think a bronze/copper or deep aubergine/chocolate frame would look amazing teamed with similarly coloured succulents 😍

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Image; Drought Smart

5. Garden Bench

There is nothing better than having a quiet space somewhere at home where you can sit, have a cuppa, contemplate and reflect. The garden is an ideal place and this garden bench will provide the perfect spot to sit. Made from Cement blocks and wood, this easily constructed piece of garden furniture will be the perfect project to undertake this weekend.

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Image; Bees and Roses

Whether you have a luxurious escape somewhere planned this weekend,  or are going to get busy around your home, we wish you all a very Happy Easter break.

And, if you are getting on to the crazy roads throughout Sydney or the rest of the country, be safe.

Fwf x

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Creating Kitchen Garden Markers

Many people find gardening relaxing, something that is good for their soul. Countless hours may be spent, digging and planting, turning the soil and weeding. But it seems to be a special talent to get things to grow, and much more to have them thrive. Recently, the trend seemed to be bigger houses with less lawn and less garden, and certainly for many that is still true. But for many others, there is a change happening- turning our backs on mass production, and fresh fruit and vegetables being bought at big retailers. Instead we see the popularity of farmers markets increase, and the concept of ‘farm fresh’ and ‘paddock to plate’ becoming more important to a large percentage of the community.

There is a lot to be said for understanding where food comes from. As old fashioned as it sounds, I believe it is of vital importance to bring your children up in the garden and in the kitchen too. That is where they will begin to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food and understand that the food they choose sustains them and helps them thrive also.

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Image; Via Instagram

As a family, we longed for a patch of land where we could begin growing our own food,  as well as give the kids an everyday experience where they are encouraged to touch, feel and get dirty without concern. Oh, and what fun we have had since moving! 😄 So far our kitchen garden has provided literally kilos and kilos of zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, snow peas, corn cobs, cherry tomatoes, celery, chilies, rocket, and different lettuce varieties. We are also waiting on our crop of broccoli and silverbeet.

My husband certainly takes the reigns in the garden (as our resident horticulturist, I wouldn’t expect any less), but the vegie patch and the herb garden have somehow remained mine. Our herb garden has been thriving and we have had more than our fair share of mint, basil and parsley. We also have dill, lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, chives, purple basil.

Some may say it is because I am a control freak that I feel the need to label everything. My response is usually something to do with attempting to make things easier for others, you know so things can be put back in the correct spot or so that you know what is what. So after I had happily planted my seedlings I set about looking for some garden markers. Who knew anything nice was so expensive!!?? I really could not resolve the idea of just leaving the labels on or using those plastic white labels you can get from the hardware store so here are some of the ideas I found;

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Image; 5 Dollar Dinners
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Image; Pin and Paper
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Image; Best Friends for Frosting
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Image; Shrimps Salad Circus
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Image; Simple Details
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Image; Hardly Housewives
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Image; My Garden Your Garden

I found some raw wood spoons in a dollar store and took to them with my sharpies based on the above idea. I started just by roughly positioning the letters on the spoon in lead pencil. Then when I was happy, I penned them in and then added a greenery based design to each, unless it particularly called for colour.

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Whether you are happy to buy some of what you need, or you want to make do with what you have around the house, any of these options make great additions to your garden. And it goes without saying that the kids love getting in and getting their hands dirty.

Fwf x

 

 

 

 

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Style Revival- Retro

‘Sooner or later, everything old is new again.’ – Stephen King

You only have to look around to see influences of days gone by and there are many terms that are used for describing design styles from our past; ‘Vintage’, ‘Retro’, ‘Antique’, ‘Mid- Century Modern’, and ‘Art Deco’. As a quick overview; When something is referred to as Antique, this generally means it is more than 100 years old. Vintage pieces are from the 20th century, however are not 100 years old, yet. Mid Century modern is a term than was coined in the 1950’s but covers furniture that was designed in period between 1930’s- 1960’s with functionality key. Art Deco generally refers to 1920-1930’s ornate styling. For many, the terms are confusing, but for the purpose of this piece, whilst much of the furniture that features tends to be mid century modern, we are looking at retro styling broadly. How can we incorporate design ideas anywhere from 1930’s onwards into our modern homes and really harness that decor with the help of fresh flowers and plants.

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Image via Instagram, Joybird Furniture

‘Retro’ is a pretty generalised term anyhow. It can pretty much cover any outdated furniture/pieces that have come back into favour for a multitude of reasons. Retro can be as personal as you wish it to be, and as kitsch! The term alone often conjours up images of psychedelic wallpaper and drapery for me, velour furniture, and just a bold use of colour.

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Image; Nous Decor

After WW1 and WW2, people wanted ‘modern’ furniture and homes that lacked the ostentatious finishes that up until then had been standard. The style instead focused on functionality with clean lines, soft curves and the use of a variety of materials (often within one piece to create contrast). You will see a lot of wood teamed with vinyl or leather, or plastic or metal features. Many replica pieces that are found currently feature the turned wood legs that were popular within this style, although it must be noted that the style utilised any and every other material they could, unapologetically and often uncovered (i.e plastic) which had not been done up until that time.

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Image; West Elm

What I love most about this broad theme is the fearlessness when it comes to colour.  Strong, bright and earthy tones featured, and while neutral colour palettes do exist within this style, and black and white is often used in geometric contrast, typical colours used in this decorating style are; Mustard, Blue, Olive, Burnt Orange, Teal, Red and Chocolate.

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Mid Century Sofa in Orange http://uoeur.pe/uohomewares #Home #UrbanOutfittersEurope:
Image: Urban Outfitters

The easiest way to use fresh flowers and living plants in this style is by incorporating some sort of plant stand. Turned wood plant stands are incredibly popular and easily sourced at the moment, as are macrame plant hangers. Both perfect examples of retro styling.

Ferns are ideal for hanging baskets if your preference is for something pendulous. Mother in laws tongue, a popular and easy to care fleshy plant often fits well in this style. They require little water and look ‘modern’. Some ceramic vessels or glass vases will sit well in these plant stands and provide an interesting way to display cut fresh flowers too. Try Philodendron or Monsteria Leaves in a vase for simplicity OR, try using vibrant coloured macrame teamed with a vase of contrasting coloured fresh flowers- think Orange, Blue, or Mustard.

 

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Image; This Little Street featuring a Case Study pot and plant stand via Modernica
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Image: The Jungalow

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Have fun!

Fwf x

 

 

 

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Style Revival- Coastal

The Coastal look has always been a popular choice for holiday homes but the style has recently seen a rise in its popularity, making it’s way into firmly mainstream decorating as well. It is perhaps not so much a revival (as my title suggests) as a re-appropriation.

In general, Coastal decorating sets to highlight the lifestyle and luxury of beach side living.  Think soft linen furnishings, lime washed or chalk painted furniture pieces, hessian, sisal and jute, recycled glassware, driftwood, shells, candles and ALOT of distressed wood!

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Image; Sand and Sisal

 

Get the look;

If you want to add touches of this theme to your current decor, it is usually pretty simple, provided you have a fairly neutral base. By choosing your key furniture pieces in neutral tones, you can quickly and easily alter you theme to breathe fresh air into your living spaces. What do they say…. a change is as good as a holiday-  it’s never truer than with this theme; by adding some coastal elements to your home, you might just feel like you have had a short sojourn somewhere exotic.

The easiest way to change a room is by changing your soft furnishings; cushions and lamp shades for a living room for example, or Manchester for your bedroom.

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Image; Design Seeds

Colours;

Undoubtedly this style features a variety of blues tones paired with white, sometimes with greys, beige or aqua/turqoise highlights.  The result is light and airy, fresh and calm.

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Image; Better Homes and Gardens
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Image; Alexandra Rae Design via Homebunch
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Image; Better Homes and Gardens

How to Use flowers or plants;

Plants are generally pretty undervalued, but they are a favourite in my house, because there is nothing I hate more than cleaning vase water….even after 15 years of floristry (or perhaps especially so). I love this simple idea of planting succulents in a shell home. Succulents do require good drainage so consider a charcoal based potting mix.

To continue with the coastal theme it makes sense to feature tropical foliage such as Ferns, Monsteria, or Anthurium leaves alone in a vase, or with simple white or soft blue flowers; the leafy greens will make the room feel fresh and bright and will not detract from the other elements within. You could use scented Oriental lilies, Hydrangea, Gardenias, Peonies or Roses to add a softness to the room. Despite the theme being coastal, interestingly, it rarely utilises tropical flowers such as Anthuriums or Heliconias, largely because of the basic colour palette, but also as tropical flowers tend to have a more plastic-like texture, and lack the softness and luxury of the more feminine blooms that are favoured.

You could also consider simple decorating ideas such as floating flower heads in a bowl, which is easy for even the least creative person. Lilies are a great choice for this, or Frangipanis are also perfect (but are only available through the warmer months)

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Image; Indulgy
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Image: Hello Gem via Yellow 108

Accessories;

Many plain items can be upcycled to easily match this theme- think about adding rope to a basic glass vase, white washing tired wooden furniture, adding sand, shells and starfish to transparent vessels, add a piece of driftwood to your sideboard (and if you are game, create your own air plant and succulent garden in it)

As with any style, Coastal isn’t going to be for everyone, and some homes will not be easily transformed into an Oceanic Oasis. BUT if light and bright, soft and airy is for you- Coastal Chic may be just what you are looking for….

Fwf x

 

 

 

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Happy Home Spaces

Home decorating is something we all take on to varying degrees. Women are more inclined to ‘nest’- something men probably define as adding WAY TOO MANY cushions to the bed, the couch and anywhere else! But creating a home space that feels comfortable, relaxed and happy is important for your mental health. Chaotic and messy spaces breed feelings of unrest. Neat and organised, clean spaces encourage calm and order.

Now I am not suggesting that everyone can (or would want to) decorate their home in a style that would attract the likes of Home Beautiful, everyone has their own style. Your home is your sanctuary; a place where you can retreat, rest and refresh. Here are some simple tricks to create a harmonious home space.

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Florist with Flowers loves to display plants in different containers and vessels to make unique gifts via Instagram

1. Add indoor plants

Sounds fairly obvious coming from a florist but indoor plants are not only good for your health as they increase oxygen levels. but they make you happier! Plants make people happier in general. Flowering houseplants decrease our stress levels, increase creativity and increase concentration levels. Add to that, research shows that people who spend time with plants show more empathy and are kinder to others. No wonder everyone thinks florists must be nice people! 😜 We always have a great range of house plants in-store for you to check out.

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We stock a range of Ecoya products in store in a variety of intoxicating fragrances for you to choose from via Instagram

2. Add fragrance to your home

Whether you favour hippie patchouli, citrus or floral fragrances, or sweet vanilla, adding a pleasant aroma to your home makes it more inviting. It goes without saying (surely) that smelly garbage is not what we are going for, so do you best to remove unpleasant odours before adding your chosen fragrance. In some regions, it may be necessary to absorb excess moisture, as damp areas can have a distinct smell, and be aware of the smell your furry friends are adding to your space. Neutralisers, or deodourisers should be used first.

We stock a beautiful range of Ecoya products; you can speak to one of our staff on 02 9871 1666 to find out what we currently have in-store.

Oriental lilies have a fairly pungent fragrance, easily wafting through even larger spaces. Other fresh flowers with strong fragrances include; Tuberose, Gardenia, Lavender, Hyacinth, Garden roses, Freesias, Bouvardia, Daphne, Lily of the Valley and Peonies. Keeping your flowers fresher for longer means regularly changing the water, re-cutting the stems and keeping the vase out of direct sunlight or draughts.

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Image via Judy Douglass

3. Open the windows

Natural light brings a room to life. Closed spaces tend to feel claustrophobic and stuffy, dreary and depressing, so bring some of the outside in by opening window coverings and opening up the window! Bright airy places are inviting. Fresh air uplifts your mood, cleans the lungs and brings greater clarity to the brain.

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Image via Architecture Art Designs

4. Use soft lighting

Apart from being generally more energy efficient, lamps are easily able to create softer mood lighting. Using lamps can make a space feel more cosy, inviting and intimate. You can also use candlelight for a similar effect.

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The Grey Butcher bird sings a beautiful song. Image via Australian Bush Birds

5. Use sound subtlely

In our busy, modern world, it sometimes feels like we are constantly surrounded by white noise. We have learnt how to turn off our senses as a measure of self preservation, but with that, have also switched ourselves off to the pleasures that surround us. I am lucky enough to live on a property that backs on to a small rainforest, so I am blessed with the sounds of the birds, and wind blowing through the trees. Funnily enough though, when family or friends have arrived for a stay, they have asked me whether the birds annoy me? Hearing the world around me, brings me back to earth and keeps me grounded. Hearing the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore has a similar effect on me, or the rain falling on the roof. What sounds bring a feeling of calm and contentment for you? Surround yourself with these sounds or when impractical reminders of these sounds; a large seashell, or bamboo wind chimes that softly echo in the breeze.

Fwf x

Feature image via Vourtimeri

 

 

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Caring For Your Plants Over The Holidays

For anyone who is in the midst of busy school holidays or perhaps is considering a summer getaway, sometimes your indoor and outdoor plants can get overlooked.

Australian summers hit hard, so a few hot days can turn your beloved garden into a graveyard if you are ill-prepared. Many people do not know their neighbours well because we so often live busy lives so we often have to think of alternatives when we are planning a sojourn.

For anyone with a fairly established garden, it stands to reason that they will also have an existing irrigation system of some description. Irrigation systems are an effective watering method as they are often set up with a sensor, and/or timer so that the watering can be achieved without your input. This obviously takes some level of stress away when taking a lengthy break.

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Image: Irrigation Systems FL
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Image: Easy Garden Irrigation

But for those with collections of pot plants, whether indoor or outdoor, an irrigation system just wont work. First and foremost, be sure to fill any saucers, but if you are still left short, check out some of our other ideas below.

If you have the option to, call a friend. Someone dropping in every few days, or twice a week keeping an eye on your plants is probably the best way to get them through the holidays. Pot plants have a limited surface area and soil volume, so cannot retain a large quantity of water. Throw in a few hot days and the water will quickly evaporate leaving the plant dry and desperate. Some plant varieties do not respond well to being dried out, so even when you water them a few days later, they will not revive.

If you have a bath, I would suggest moving your pot plants into the bathroom which is considerably cooler, and filling the bath tub up approximately 2-4cm. The bathtub will act as a humongous saucer, and the plants will drink as they like/need. The same can be done in any large sinks throughout the house/kitchen/laundry.

Alternatively, if you do not have a bathtub or large sink available to you, you should create a water reservoir. There are numerous products on the market for you to buy, but you can easily create one for yourself from a recycled bottle.

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Image: The Gadget Flow via Pinterest

 

The basic premise of any of the ‘ready-to-use’ products on the market is that when the soil dries out around the spike it will slowly allow water to trickle down to hydrate the plant. They are generally made from a porous material such a terracotta. Some people may remember their parents burying unglazed terracotta pots in their garden and filling them with water as a rather archaic irrigation system based on the same concept.

These days concepts such as ‘The Plant Nanny’ exist; terracotta spikes that can be used with any of your recycled bottles. Simply attach either a wine or plastic bottle to the top of the spike and inset into your pot. Sure, this kind of concept won’t keep your pot plant going for weeks on end, but if you are only enjoying a week away, or can manage to wrangle friends or family to check in and refill on the weekend, you should be right.

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Image: Plant Nanny
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Image: Tree Hugger
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Image; Plant Nanny

Hope everyone had a gorgeous Christmas and is enjoying the start to 2017. For anyone venturing far from home, drive carefully; make sure you get to enjoy that holiday you so deserve.

Fwf x

Featured Image by Thomas J. Story via Sunset

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