Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter Decor - the front porch


unity

I love having a big floor arrangement at my front door greeting me every time I come home.  I also think that what greets my family, friends, and visitors at my front door will affect their mood before they enter our home.  It's also nice to give my friends and visitors something to look at (instead of a bare door panel or a blank wall) while waiting for me to get to the door.  
Winter greenery is fabulous to work with because most types are tough, yet beautiful, and they often also smell refreshing. Because this arrangement is outside, I wanted to give it an outdoor look.  Here, in addition to the greenery (Cryptomeria Japonica, American Boxwood, and Ilex berries), I added a butterfly house and a piece of driftwood.  The warmth embodied in the butterfly house contrasts nicely with the wintery feel of the greenery, and the driftwood brings the ocean to the alpine.  I think contrasts, when applied properly, create harmony.  There is a sense of completeness when the various aspects of nature come together.


Cryptomeria Japonica, American Boxwood, Ilex berries
butterfly house and driftwood

When making a large floor arrangement, it's important to create depth, height and space; otherwise, it will look bulky and awkward.  To add texture and depth to the arrangement, I layered the Cryptomeria and the Boxwood interchangeably at different heights.  I then inserted the Ilex berries to add my burst of color.  I perched the butterfly house atop the driftwood and nestled it under the draping Cryptomeria and Boxwood branches.  The butterfly house is the central interest that ties the two extreme landscaping elements (ocean and alpine) together.



With this arrangement, I hope to bring everyone, including myself, to a slightly happier state of being before the front door opens.  I hope you take away that feeling, too ... even if only remotely... 


This is the season of joy.  Sit back, relax, and 

BE MERRY,

Christa




BTW

I alternate the red/green color scheme and the blue/green color scheme every year.  They create a very different feel and mood; green/red - playful, green/blue - calming. 

Andy Kilbury, an interior designer in Albuquerque, NM, explains the reasons why colors can affect our mood: "Research has shown that part of the reason the red/green color scheme is more energetic and the blue/green color combination is calmer has to do with the color interactions.  Red and green are complementary colors, meaning they are on opposite sides of the color wheel - when you put them right next to each other, they create a 'tension' between them that increases the energy, almost like the colors vibrate against each other.  Green and blue, on the other hand, are analogous colors, right next to each other on the color wheel.  They blend and flow into each other, so there's almost no tension, and therefore project calmness.  Whenever you want to increase the energy of an arrangement, or an interior space, you can use this principle.  Simply choose complementary colors to increase the feeling of energy, or conversely, stick to analogous colors if you want to calm things down.  Also, incidentally, with regard to Christa's arrangement and its contrasts, red is a 'hot' color, with a stimulating effect, while blue is 'cool,' and has a soothing effect.  So choosing analogous colors on the green/blue side of the color wheel will be the most calming, with neutrals (no 'color') the least energetic."


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