Dress Your Porch for the Holidays
Story by Ann Butenas
Your porch is the welcome mat to your home, greeting visitors and setting the stage for what might be inside. Planters are an essential piece that can say so much. From ornamental evergreens to stems and stalks, all it takes is a bit of creativity and create a cheery holiday welcome. We visited with Linda Forsythe, floral designer at Picture Perfect Interiors, on creating a planter that makes a statement.
KCH&S: With such a variety of items that can be used for a vessel, how do you determine what shape and size one should use?
PICTURE PERFECT: When creating a design for an urn, the size and the height of the container sets the flow of the arrangement. The inspiration and design come from the architectural design of the home and its setting. The planter and its fill should complement the home, creating a flow of continuity. As a designer, our true role is to interpret the clients wants, needs, and desires. The products, textures, and colors are then chosen and the creative process begins.
KCH&S: Where do you start when designing a planter?
PICTURE PERFECT: Our three magic words we use when starting out are Height, Fill and Spill. When looking at the area the planter will be in, the height of the planter and the height and width of its contents are determined. Will a tall piece work or does it need to be shorter? Fill refers to what product will be put in the container. And Spill refers to how the fill pieces will flow out and over the container.
KCH&S: What are items you are seeing this year that really set off the arrangement?
PICTURE PERFECT: Curly Willow, River Birch, Architectural Pieces, Spheres, and Topiary Forms are always great trend setters. The classic traditional look is popular this year with our clients –– long needle pine, flat cedar, red or white berries, large sugar pinecones, holly, magnolia, eucalyptus, birch poles with red velvet, and black and white checked ribbon.
KCH&S: What are some of the most unusual items you have used when creating a planter?
PICTURE PERFECT: With so many different home styles and client personalities I’ve had a myriad of requests. Deer antlers, vintage bird house, vintage architectural pieces, small vintage wagon wheels, and small concrete statues are a few of the items I have used in designs that either complement the home or the homeowners’ personal taste.
KCH&S: While porches seem to be the traditional spot to place planters, what other outdoor areas might homeowners not think of?
PICTURE PERFECT: There are so many areas outside the home that can use a holiday touch. Placing them next to garage doors can spread out the holiday theme across the home rather than limiting it to the porch. A breezeway, flower gardens, around the pool area, antique bird baths in yard or around landscaping, a vintage wheel barrow in a garden are also areas to look at to spread some holiday cheer.