Planning a wow-factor festive feast? Then make sure the festive dining table decorations match. Here Laura Lee, Kenneth Turner London floral designer, shares her tips, tricks and ideas for scenting and styling homes and festive tables to perfection. One of Britain’s most established florists and event specialists, Laura worked with influential florist Kenneth Turner for over 25 years, travelling the world to create high profile events and private parties.
Marrying seasonal flowers and foliage with candles, holders and accessories to suit three key looks – traditional, modern and decadent – her easy-to-achieve tips will create a warm welcome and instant festive cheer. Each look reflects a scent in the 2015 Kenneth Turner London Christmas Candle Collection that Laura has helped to develop and that are inspired by actual events she and Kenneth created.
TRADITIONAL Ideal scent: Plenty of cinnamon, sweet red berries and orange or Satsuma
Ideal table decorations: Choose long-lasting flowers such as Red Admiral ‘Amaryllis’. Cut stems short and mix with red ilex berries and viburnum greenery. Add fruit (figs and plums are ideal) and walnuts to create an even more lavish display and ivory pillar candles to create a warm glow.
Place richly scented Kenneth Turner Winter Berriescandles along the centre of the dining table along with birch logs, ivy trails, pine branches, figs and shiny red apples (look for blue pine branches as they don’t drop needles). Lots of fresh, green holly, red berries and winter jasmine will also work well.
Around the home
· For mantels and hallway tables, place pillar candles on shiny magnolia leaves and add small vases of Hellebores (Christmas roses)
· Fresh red ilex berries displayed in various jugs and vases give an eclectic look with Kenneth Turner scented or pillar candles mingled between
· Pile cinnamon sticks and satsumas into bowls – the scent and colours combined will add to the festive atmosphere and this type of decoration is simple and cost-effective to create
· A large ball of mistletoe hanging by velvet crimson ribbon near the front door is a festive must-have and will create a warm welcome
Ideal table decorations: Crystal and glass married with beautiful fresh blooms make a simple but stunning table centrepiece that work well in a contemporary setting. Arrange Hellebores (Christmas roses) in cut crystal/glass vases or hurricane lamps with matching tealight holders dotted around. Add crystal candelabra to complete the look. With ivy wound around and lit chapel candles they give a beautiful sparkle to minimal table settings.
Around the home
· Neutral twigs, branches and vines such as Birch, Larch, Mistletoe and Eucalyptus are ideal for draping along mantels and mirrors and for making festive wreaths, as they don’t need to be kept in water. Add pinecones, nuts and wonderful gnarled gourds for a touch of colour.
· Large bunches of fresh lime-coloured mistletoe tied with natural sisal hanging in an entrance room or hallway gives a natural, welcoming feel.
· Place white Phalaenopsis orchids planted in square glass cubes on hallway or coffee tables. Line the cube with fresh moss then place the orchid (still in its original plastic pot) inside. Cut larch twigs (or red dogwood) approx. 2ft tall and push them gently into the soil. Tie the stem of the orchid to the twig with natural string to both decorate and support the flower stem. Finish by topping the cube with hazelnuts.
· Kenneth Turner Midwinter scented candles, with base notes of mint, mistletoe, rosemary and thyme, complement this fresh, uncomplicated and informal decorating style.
DECADENT Ideal scent: Heady and fragrant – think patchouli, black rose, ginger and myrrh.
Ideal table decorations: Keep the flowers and foliage dark and mysterious. Choose rich, jewel colours – deep blood red, dark emerald green or purple/petrol blue.
Use dark purple velvet ribbon, dark ivy or a mixture of both to tie napkins, and tuck in a sprig of rosemary for a burst of fragrance as guests untie them.
Create a striking table centrepiece by dotting a selection of small vases down the centre of the table with ivy and anemones mingled with plum-coloured figs and halved pomegranates. Birch twigs sprayed in deep plum colours and sprinkled with glitter will sparkle in candlelight.
Around the home
· Small black, glass containers that can hold black magic roses or velvety purple anemones along with figs placed between Kenneth Turner’s peppery, cassis Masquerade scented candles make an intoxicating and richly fragranced display for dining tables and mantelpieces.
· Place vases filled with berried ivy on windowsills. The petrol blue berries can be sprayed with a touch of varnish for extra shine.