It was just over a year ago that we cut down this large branch at the back of the garden, I remember it being all wet and very large, so it needed a good dry off inside the dining room before we could hang it. The plan was that it would replace a Christmas tree in this room, as lasts years had died immediately due to the underfloor heating. I wanted to elevate it above our dining table in the conservatory, which has a lot of empty ceiling space and two very handy metal beams that make it easy to hang decor. It was a bit of a gamble on how this was going to look, as the branch looked quite unruly and rough around the edges... So I was pleasantly surprised when it fitted the space beautifully. We only needed some strong string to hang it from the beams either side et voila! If you don't have the beams, you can create the same look through using screw hooks in the ceiling.
December 2017: And here it is last Christmas fully decorated, I went for a very soft pink and white theme with the decor using paper snow flakes and transparent glass baubles from Cox & Cox, mixed with a few gold stars. The plan was to take the whole thing down in January, but along with a lot of protests about this on Instagram, I couldn't bring myself to do it either! So off came the decor and we were left with a bare branch, that I decided to decorate throughout the year for seasonal occasions and Birthdays.
First up Valentines day! A mix of heart garlands, honey comb balls added to the pink baubles that I popped back on the branch from Christmas. I also entwined some faux ivy on and preserved rose heads, which have become a permanent fixture.
Followed by a Peter Rabbit theme on my sons Birthday in March, it was a lot of fun putting this all together and finally having something back on the branch, which had been completely stripped after Valentines!
The carrots were taken out, but other than that I kept a lot of the decor used for my sons Birthday at Easter, just adding some pretty gold and light green/teal speckled eggs made it perfect for the occasion.
It was a bit bare for a couple of months while the conservatory had a little paint over. We changed the colour of the windows to a more dramatic dark grey/blue tone to get more of an industrial look. Then fully decorated it for my husbands 40th Birthday, with fun gold fans from Ginger Ray, I also added round glass tea light holders, which along with the ivy have also stayed as they look so pretty lit up at night, especially for dinner parties.
All the fun and colour was added for my daughter 5th Birthday party and what an amazing hot summers day it was too!
Things got a bit more dramatic for Halloween with spiders and webs that I found in Tiger, mixed with fun black honeycomb ball garlands. The kids loved it.
Ready for this years Christmas decor... and this is what the branch looks like on a regular day now, the ivy has stayed as have the round glass tea light holders.
One year later and the branch is still here and boy did we make use of it! This Christmas it has more of a dramatic look through using larger baubles and darker colours. I felt this would work well with the newly painted windows. I have also hung all the decor at different levels which looks great over the table especially when the tea lights are all lit up along with the little LED battery fairy lights I also added. It looks so pretty and sparkly at night.
The question is do I keep it up another year... Well I think I will, as I couldn't imagine the space without it now. It would have to take a pretty special light feature to take on the branch! Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year, Happy 2019!
Where to get the looks:
Its the busiest time of year and I have been decorating other peoples homes for Christmas this year too, a first for me and a lot of fun, but I have had to make a conscious effort to put some time aside to also decorate our own home, which I love doing. Over the years my style has changed from colourful to monochrome, bold to delicate and now I would say that the decor around our house is mix of all these things. I thought I would share a few of my favourite pics mostly from this year, but a few have crept in from the last 2 years too.
I made this garland a couple of years ago, using fresh pine and flowers mixed with baubles and pine cones. Every one loved it, the only problem, was that there wasn't space for food on the table, so we had to dish up everyones plate first. Its actually really easy to make a garland, all you need to do is create a nice full bunch of pine/foliage then another and wire them all together going forward in the same direction while you keep adding. I then place the flowers, baubles etc on top. Giving it a good mist of water everyday makes it last a while too, this one made all the way to NYE!
I am so pleased with our Christmas tree this year, its definitely up there as a favourite, we went for a large 9ft Nordmann pine, which has barely dropped a needle! I was however slightly concerned I didn't have enough decor for it, but some trusty small honeycomb balls came to the rescue and filled the void, I also love the texture and colour they bring to a tree I discovered this last year when in a similar situation. This years colour scheme is gold, copper and green, I found some beautiful copper sparkly baubles at Amara Living and somehow thats how the theme evolved.
I made this wreath on a willow base for the front door, using fresh foliage and flowers, this base doesn't retain the water as much as a moss one, but knowing how much hydrangeas love water, I thought this style would look good dried too. 3 weeks on it has dried up quite a bit now, but still looks beautiful. And the peacock feathers still give a fresh colourful feel.
Inspired by last years branch that kept on giving... (It will be getting its very own blog post) A few more branches have popped up around the house. The kids love the advent calendar that I have hung on a branch from the garden in their playroom. I just added little numbered box houses that we used last year from Not on the High and put treats for both the kids inside, its a fun way to make sure they are getting something nice each day. The hallway is looking pretty with its very own branch display too.
And here it is, the branch we have had in our house for one whole year now. Its been so much fun decorating it differently throughout the seasons and family events. This year it has a bit more of a dramatic look in comparison to how it was decorated last year (below). I have hung very large drop baubles in various lengths above the table giving it a wave effect. It looks so pretty at night when the tree lights are lit up and the little fairy lights are on.
Last years branch had a much softer feel, with glass baubles soft pinks golds and pretty paper snowflakes that gave it a very delicate feel.
The garland around the banisters was a lot more structured last year, I went for some bold green honeycomb balls in mixed sizes to break it up a bit. This year I have created more of a sweeping look using faux eucalyptus, little LED fairy lights and paper snowflakes that I have re-used from the branch.
This little garland is a fab way to add some colour to a dresser or door, I made it using preserved eucalyptus and hydrangeas, it so easy to do, all you need is a wooden hoop, which you then simply wire you foliage and flowers onto. Don't you find you lose bits every year, I like to think that I have been organised in my packing up, but there's always something missing such as these fun LED lights, I had them spread all around the house last year and they would be out again if I could find them.
We had friends over for lunch at weekend, so I gave the Christmas table set up a little test... A lot of brass and green on this table, I might just add a table cloth but other than that I'm ready to go on the decor front, just a whole load of presents and food to still sort out...
MERRY CHRISTMAS! xxx
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Interiors By Leoma Harper
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