A Seasonal Decorating Masterclass From One Of Our Favourite Florists

Apassionata wreath

With the festive season just around the corner (the Christmas lights are already on people!), it’s time to start planning your Christmas throw-down.

While everyone loves a hefty chunk of holiday cheer, some parties around this time can fall into a repetitive rut when it comes to celebration ideas. In the second of a four-part series, we’ll be talking with entertainment experts on how to switch up tired Christmas trends top create a fun and festive soiree your friends will be begging you to make it an annual thing.

Ruth from Apassionata tells us how she loves to fill her home with beautiful homemade decorations and everything you need to bring your home to life this winter on a shoestring budget – and FYI, you may be required to use an actual shoestring – Ruth’s nothing if not practical but her floral creations are simply breathtaking.

ruth monahan apassionata

This Year’s Seasonal Trends

This year is all about a luxurious but natural twist on the classic Christmas look.  The Nordic style has been revised to include lots of woodland textures treated in different ways using points of colour including white and burnished metallics,  animals especially birds have taken over as a key element. Porcelain, blanched copper, natural woods and gilded glass are all key looks for anyone wishing to change up their tree decoration with a twist as the festive season approaches.

As florists, we are enjoying the fruitful berries which are hints for a cold winter and extra lushness in mixed foliages and mosses.  Early magnolia twigs bound with dried hydrangea make not only the most gorgeous display for the hall but are perfect structures for the new hanger decorations of the season.  There is nothing nicer than a mixed loose dome of scented noble pine in blue grey hues bound with berried eucalyptus & ivy with rosemary & tips of twigs placed in a favourite glass vessel placed at the centre of the table to admire.


Tips & Tricks To Adorn Your Home

Readying the home in time for Christmas Day can be such a busy time.  The most important thing is to keep your dressing in your own style.  Collect branches and foliage from your garden or surrounds and style in a large vessel on a sideboard.  Hang your favourite decorations here to show them off so they don’t get lost on the tree.  Dry the hydrangea that is around now to use on tables and for your door wreath, just hang it upside down for 2 weeks or so and it will stay perfect forever.

Buying a box of amaryllis from the market or from your local florist is worthwhile.  These dramatic blooms last for ages at home and look fantastic simply placed with twigs or berries in a vase.
If you are going to make your own table centre, do it 2 days before and leave it in a cool place.  I always plan out what I am going to make and have everything ready as if I am going to cook so the flower piece takes less time to make and less elements to have for it.  Lay a newspaper out below before you start so you can gather your mess in 1 swoop to save time at the end.

Table centre tricks, see what room you have left on the table.  A formal table setting can eat into the ‘property space’ on the table so maybe create a runner of small vessels of foliage domes, dried hydrangea, potted herbs and succulents, gold and glass small hurricanes dressed with cinnamon, ivy and berries to give candle warmth and dotted apples, cones and wooden accessories.  These can then all be used for various eating occasions after the festive day itself is over.
Ruth’s Christmas Favourites

I tend to build on what I have collected over the years as decorations and accessories, I always buy new elements to update each festive year.  I am really enjoying this years celebration of maximalism with a natural twist as I get to create the amazing foliage and twig domes I so love, fill the house with colour and berries and have the gilty gold without the glitz.  I am already planning my own Christmas wreath of various eucalyptus, lichens, magnolia and more with a sumptuous ribbon to deck our door.  And I will have my own baby Christmas tree to decorate in the style I love as the kids colourful eyes will have taken over the family tree in a full rainbow bright kind of way.

What She’ll Be Teaching At Contemporary Christmas at The Marker

This evening is simply about showing how you can create a special dinner table by putting a contemporary twist on the classical Christmas table centre.  By showing and telling the simple tricks to creating impact on your table by using different vessels and elements from the garden and season, I hope that everyone will leave with lots of knowledge gained and an ambition and plan to really enjoy designing their own special Christmas table for the troops at home

So are you officially in the festive spirit now? Join Ruth, along with Gareth Mullins, executive chef at The Marker Hotel, Sandra Murphy, drinks expert for The Marker Hotel, and Alison Banton, Fragrance Designer, Brooke and Shoals, for an evening of seasonal celebrations with cocktails, a five-course meal and the inside track on how to make Christmas extra special this year. You’ll leave with notes, know-how and a luxury gift bag worth €200!

Get your tickets now!

contemporary christmas banner (1)


Cover image: Ultimate wreath by Apassionata

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