Christmas is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our calendar at McQueens, so we stealthily begin preparations around early autumn. Over at McQueens HQ, there are rooms (yes, plural!) dedicated to housing a spectrum of delicate baubles, pine cones and all kinds of yuletide decor in general. Our floristry elves are super busy at this time as we are responsible for dressing some of the capital’s most prestigious venues. Meanwhile in Cambridge Heath Road, McQueens Flower School gets festive with a programme of Christmas classes guaranteed to get everyone in the spirit of the season. Like many, decorating our own homes is an annual joy – we revisit treasured trinkets and love introducing the latest ideas. Using fresh materials synonymous with the season is a particular passion of ours, and we were only too happy to share some of our top festive tips with our friends at Miller Harris.
1. We believe scent really is the key to creating the perfect atmosphere with floral design, and never more so than at Christmas, where fragrance should be central to your festive decor. Warm cinnamon, fresh hyacinth bulbs and woody pine are some of our favourites aromas at this time of year, as well as a combination of herbs and spices such as bay leaves and cloves.
2. The festive season is an opportunity to express yourself creatively and colour is one way to experiment. However, if nostalgia kicks in or you’re reluctant to give up well-loved traditions, subtle changes to a classic colour scheme such as red and gold could be just the refresh you’re after. This year, we particularly love plum, burgundy and chocolate tones offset by pink copper or ‘old’ gold – it’s all very 2018!
3. If the thought of decking the halls sends you into a spin, don’t panic – less is often more! Sometimes the simplest statement can make a big impact; for a table setting, for example, opt for all one type of flower such as a mass of hellebores, the exquisite ‘winter rose’. Other firm favourites include a mass of affordable white tulips, or the naturally festive amaryllis.
4. Do not underestimate the power of candlelight – it’s a simple hack to create a truly magical evening setting, perfect for dark winter nights. Whether you opt for an elegant candelabra filled with handmade candles, or a more rustic set of church candles in natural beeswax, they will elevate the most modest of floral arrangements.
5. Foraging is bang on trend and it is surprising what you can find in your own back garden! Simple branches and willowy boughs make a great base for an centrepiece – combine with a few special stems and tonal foliage from your local florist for a natural take on yuletide displays that won’t blow your Christmas shopping budget.
Immerse yourself in the festive season with one of our Christmas classes - find out more here.
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