Deck the halls with garlands & foliage (A cheats guide)
Updated: Nov 21
One of my favourite areas to decorate for Christmas has to be the bannister and mantle piece, they are such prominent features within our home and neglected the rest of the year, so when it comes to December these two spaces are the very first to get a festive makeover.
Over the years I have discovered the quickest and easiest way to decorate the bannisters, is combining faux and real foliage, so here is a little cheats guide on how I get the look. I originally only used real foliage, however this proved to be a nightmare, with needles falling all across the stairs, it meant constant hoovering with bits falling out as my little people brushed past. So a few years ago I decided to go down the faux route and found some gorgeous realistic plain eucalyptus garlands from The Floristry Warehouse I went about dropping these loosely across the spindles. When using faux you want a loose garland to get a more realistic effect.
Starting at the bottom, I drape it in waves tying the top wave with floristry wire, to secure, this is then topped with a pretty ribbon. Once all in place I then add in some extra real foliage to it, popping it into gaps and securing with floristry wire where needed, the faux garland acts as a great solid base to secure items to. I love adding some pretty battery operated LED lights for that extra sparkle and sometimes I also hang tree decorations from it, mixing these up a bit with a variety of sizes and heights to create a cascading feel, and that's it, the result is a pretty quick and easy staircase garland!
We have two fireplaces downstairs, so I like to go to town on one and the other one gets a bit more of the faux treatment. Using faux here is pretty similar to the bannister. Once the garland is in place I pop in some sprigs of fresh foliage to make it all look a lot more full, eucalyptus and firs are great for this as they last. I also love to add an element of surprise/interest using an assortment of extra decor such as, sparkly baubles, pine cones and dried hydrangeas within the foliage, this gives it instant depth and detail all topped with the sparkle of some battery LED lights woven through.
Keen to create height and volume on the second fireplace last year, I went big as I wanted the green to pop against the F&B Stiffkey blue walls. I set about doing this using tall fresh eucalyptus and fir stems from the Covent Garden Flower market alongside large peacock feathers that I had found on Amazon.
I started with two soaked Eco Oasis faux block trays on each side of the mantle piece. Stripped the leaves off the bottom of the stems and then set about placing them with a slight downwards angle at the base, gradually as I went up I tilted the angle to more of an upright position working this angle all the way to the top to create a fan like effect. This was then topped with the peacock feathers, which again were fanned across the top, filling any gaps.
Whether faux, real or combining the two, its pretty easy to create a beautiful look, however the combination of faux and real is definitely the easiest way to get a quick effective result!
A few suggested items to get the look (Affiliate links):