I am very inspired by nature and the change in the seasons. By updating our home with the different flowers, leaves, seeds and berries available it keeps the budget down as it saves buying cut flowers. I use my garden and walks outside to find inspiration and to collect items to decorate my home. Here are a few tips that I use to style Ivy Cottage throughout the year.
Choose natural flowers and foliage
This blossom was picked from a large tree that grows at work ( I did ask permission). Shop bought flowers have a large carbon footprint because of the distance they travel, the plastic wrapping used and the chemicals used to grow them. Picking plants and flowers from your garden is much more environmentally friendly. I also prefer the way that they look in the home. They have a more natural feel because of their soft and curvy lines.
I planted a hydrangea bush in the garden two years ago and this year I have been rewarded with huge, beautiful flower heads. I am hoping to dry some of these to last through the winter months. When planting in your garden think about what flowers you can grow for your home. It will save you money and is better for the environment.
Don’t think it is just large plants and flowers that you have to use to decorate your home. Small flowers such as these daisies look very pretty dotted around your home.
You don’t have to only use cut flowers to add colours to your home. Bulbs also look great, especially in Spring. Plant them in different pots or glass jars. It looks really good when you can see the roots in a glass container. Once you’ve finished with them they can then be planted in the garden ready for next year.
At Christmas time our house is filled with greenery. I usually cut the bottom branches off the Christmas tree ( it HAS to be a real one, I couldn’t buy plastic) and also ask at the florist for any spare foliage. I use this to decorate around the home and either on shelves or in vases. Eucalyptus is always in a vase at this time. The room smells amazing when you walk in.
Have a range of vessels
These flowers were cut from my garden. By cutting them yourself you can control the length of them and cut them to fit the vases you have. Be creative with the vessels you use. I have a collection of glass bottles, old jam jars and jugs that I keep in the cupboard and constantly change which ones I use around the home.
Jars, vases, jugs and mugs all used to hold flowers and bulbs.
I love using hanging vases. This test tube style one gets moved around the house depending on what I have to fill it. The picture below shows two other vases that I have for the wall. When I decorate a room I like to have items hanging and up high. It makes the room feel more homely and gives a cosy feel.
This selection of vintage vases and bottle were bought for £1 each from a vintage market in Hay-on-Wye. Buying small means they are cheap, easy to store and gives you a range of vessels to display different sized and shaped flowers.
Use natural findings
This driftwood was found in amongst the sand dunes of Ynyslas. I did worry about taking it from the beach but it was in a spot with lots of other driftwood and other bits washed up from the sea. It took us a while to decide where to hang it and decided above our bed so we could hang this gorgeous light from Industriville. My husband used industrial bolts to make sure it doesn’t drop on our heads in our sleep. I love it in this space and enjoy hanging different items from it depending on the season.
Wreaths are great way to update your home. They can be started from scratch or just updated by adding a bit of new foliage. I find it very relaxing to make them too. It’s so easy to achieve great results. Just be confident in what you are doing and if you aren’t happy with the results you can always pull it apart and start again. I got this wicker wreath from Amazon and the brass hoop is from Lisa Valentine Home. If you are using the wicker wreath you can just cut your foliage and push it into it. You may need some fine wire for the brass hoop to attach your leaves. I love the use eucalyptus, grasses and dried flowers. Eucalyptus is good to use when it is fresh and it will bend around your wreath. It then dries in place.
The shell on this wreath has a natural hole worn in it so I just wrapped wire through it to attach it to the hoop. I was inspired to make this wreath after our holiday to France last year.
Berries are good in wreaths. Put them in fresh and watch them dry. They can look good when they dry but if you don’t like them just pull them out and replace with more fresh ones.
Pussy willow is perfect for wreaths. It can be used all year round but is especially perfect at Christmas. Throughout the year you can add other leaves and flowers to update it.
Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you use any tips that I have shared or if you have any other ways that you use nature in your home. I love to hear from you.