Monday, December 9, 2013

Nature Inspired Holiday Decorations

On Saturday, I checked out Linton's Enchanted Gardens class called Nature Inspired Christmas. I heard  NATURE, checked the calendar (and added it Inside Outside Michiana's calendar of Natural Events), and signed up! They have a whole line up of free seminars. Here is the schedule for the first several months of 2014. On December 14th, 2013, they'll talk about ways to attract birds to your yard. It sounds like many people come every week, traveling a bit of a distance to attend.

Anne and Katie, designers, showed how to use nature as a focal element in home decor for the holidays. To be honest, they started with just a few elements--some garland and stockings--and I thought it looked great! However, as they layered more elements I can see why they are the designers! The principles can be used by anyone. They added vases of birch branches cut in small sections, small plants, and an owl carving. 

They had a cart of "magic" to show how they might transform a space. It was fun to smell the rosemary bush that was added to the natural spaces. My sister used one of these for their Christmas tree last year since they wouldn't be home for the holiday.

With a very simple base of tiered tables, burlap, and a pot, the designers added plants with a bow, a bird cage with bow and greenery, and then gradually added more to the mix. 

On the other side, they started with the same principle, adding lanterns, a basket of white tipped pinecones, and some small artificial pine plants.

More elements were added, like an ivy wreath, a glass container with gold pinecones, tree branch "picks", and small fake birds.

As they finished up their mantel, they brought the crowning piece, an old repurposed Schwinn bike, ridden by one of the owners in years gone past, decorated for the holidays. 

While they had a large selection of artificial elements, they also had prewired fresh green garlands for only 89 cents a foot. On this other table, they added a Santa, personalized with a plaque, pinecones, plants, and more lanterns. 

The mantle turned out nice, too!

I loved the owl carving and natural elements here!

The details really come together for these arrangements. 

I liked a few things about this Nature Inspired Christmas workshop. First, they showed us great finished products, but also showed us HOW they went through the process. A few elements emerged, such as the law of triangles, having staggered heights, layering of items, and a variety of textures. Everyday items can be repurposed for holiday decor easily. And many things can be brought inside to make a more nature focused Christmas. I also liked that they offered options. They have many beautiful items for sale, which is great, but they also talked about mixing in what we already have, using less expensive options, and finding things outside that may work well in our decorations. It was also good to bounce ideas off of other people. The designers said to feel free to bring something in and they will help you find the right decor fit! My take aways--I want more burlap! I loved the look of the little birch branches cut up in lengths. This would work nicely with other wood, too. I loved the layering. I can pull out some of my glass vases, lanterns, and other items to make a little natural focal point in our home. Many of the same principles can be used for other holiday times, just changing the theme and focus. 

After the presentation, I walked around the store. It is beautifully decorated for the holidays, with just about everything for sale! I loved the vines, greenery, and texture throughout the store. 

While this is artificial, it has that glint of an icy winter! I liked this tiered stand with lots of visual interest!

Small, clear boxes provide endless opportunities for filling! These succulents are gorgeous. I also liked the many bird feeding options. I've "meant" to make these shaped bird seed ornaments, but haven't gotten around to it. These would be quick to pick up for a thoughtful gift. 

There are many bird feeding options!

These little owls, lights, and grapevines were gorgeous. I loved that the owls were half price, too! There were several items on sale throughout the store, making it more affordable to make purchases.  

This tree was bird themed. They also have cardinal dishes! Perfect for the bird lover. 

The fish pond and waterfall were also decked out for the holidays. 

The designers mentioned the bathrooms were also decked out, so I had to take a peek! It did not disappoint!

Linton's Enchanted Garden is a fun place to wander around and find inspiration!

Santa was even in the house! They regularly have special events and specials. We've been to the Easter activities before, visiting the petting zoo, marveling over the chicks and bunnies, and finding lots of eggs! The classes are held in this greenhouse area. I was plenty toasty. 

The outside is also decorated. I thought this was simple with the vines still up, adding more texture to the decorations. 

Thanks for an inspirational natural Christmas workshop, Linton's Enchanted Gardens