The Best DIY Holiday Wreath Surprisingly Doesn’t Involve Evergreens
And it lasts forever, too.
Published Dec 2, 2022 1:34 AM
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It’s that time of year again, when we’re pulling out our same-old Christmas decorations and putting them in the same-old spots they were last year…and the year before that and the year before that. It’s a little bit ritual—but also a little bit rut. So how do you enliven the process, imbuing your space with a new kind of holiday cheer?
We reached out to consummate host Suzie de Rohan Willner, CEO of British fashion and home goods wonderland Toast, because nobody does effortless holiday-ing better. As soon as the Christmas season hits, she breathes new life into the decorations at her 1834 Georgian farmhouse by mixing her brand’s garlands and baubles with found foliage and branches, with the help of Paula Ellis, the company’s visual merchandising manager.
“My mother, Joy, is an artist when it comes to arranging,” says Willner. “Together we enjoy creating simple yet striking structures.” The outcome is a welcoming, relaxed feel, setting a natural scene for a holiday season of hosting “unfussy, family-style dinners” punctuated by “quiet time to reset and read a new book or two and spend quality time with my family,” she adds.
Here are three ways Willner creates her holiday tableaux all around the house sans traditional evergreens. Pro tip: Many of her arrangements incorporate dried flowers such as lunaria and wild asparagus ferns, which means she can reuse them year after year but always in a new way.
Stairway to Heaven
“My natural surroundings and the ritual of venturing outside to gather materials is the starting point for me,” says Willner. To create the garland adorning her banister, she starts with wild asparagus ferns from the local flower market. “It’s dried and forms beautiful wispy shapes that feel wild and natural, but as a base you could also use pine, eucalyptus, conifer, olive, or magnolia branches,” she notes.
Using string that’s the length of the banister (allow extra if you would like it to drape), she attaches the foliage and stems in bunches. To create a bunch, take a few branches of the base foliage, add some detailed stems on top, and secure with florist binding wire.
Use more wire to attach the bunches to the string, pulling tightly as you bind so the stems stay in place. Continue this process until you reach the end of the string.
Once she ties it to the staircase, she then adds in extra-small stems and flowers by wiring them individually to the garland. “I would recommend using rose hips, lunaria, bracken, and wild clematis,” she says. Lastly, she adorns with her tried-and-true baubles from Toast.
A Bold First Impression
Working with a mix of the same foliage from the hallway garland, Willner crafted a simple but eye-catching entryway arrangement. “The organic, natural forms, together with the red accents in the rose hips and holiday baubles, really ties these arrangements together,” she explains. A paper chain from Toast completes the look.
Front Door Finery
Dried wreaths are great fodder for an annual refresh. If you pack them away carefully, you can get years of use from them. Here, Willner spruced up her wreath with elements from the garland inside, notably with pops of white from lumaria and red from rose hips and paper rosettes.