Times Colonist

How to bring the plea­sure of flow­ers into your decor

- DEB­BIE TRAVIS House to Home house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com Lifestyle · Tuscany · Italy · William Morris

It is a univer­sal truth that flow­ers make us happy. The buds, the blooms, the colour splash, the fra­grance en­rich our senses, lift our spir­its and al­le­vi­ate stress. That is pow­er­ful.

When I long for a bit of peace and time to re­flect, I of­ten walk through the gar­dens and fields at my home, Villa Re­niella, where I hold re­treats in the heart of Tus­cany, Italy.

There are fields of laven­der, an­cient olive groves, vines drip­ping with fat grapes, herb gar­dens and pots of gera­ni­ums.

It is na­ture that keeps our spir­its up, how­ever tough times are. Tree hug­ging has be­come pop­u­lar. Whether it is a large oak in the woods or a sapling in the lo­cal park, we can feel its good en­ergy.

While we can’t al­ways be walk­ing in a gar­den sur­rounded by fresh flow­ers and green­ery, the plea­sure we de­rive from na­ture’s abun­dance can be ex­pe­ri­enced in dif­fer­ent ways through our choice of home dé­cor.

We de­rive sim­i­lar plea­sure wit­ness­ing flo­rals trans­lated into a work of art or re­pro­duced on a length of fab­ric.

Ev­ery cul­ture shows its own tal­ent and style in de­sign ren­der­ings on ta­pes­tries, wall­pa­pers and drap­ery fab­rics. Pro­lific de­signer Wil­liam Mor­ris, founder of the Bri­tish Arts and Crafts move­ment, brought sim­ple but el­e­gant flow­ers into the lime­light.

His sun­flow­ers, acan­thus and daisies are a few ex­am­ples of images he fea­tured on wall­pa­pers, tiles and fab­rics.

When I was de­sign­ing the guest rooms at Villa Re­niella, my fer­vent wish was that as my guests opened the door to their own pri­vate space, they would be thrilled by the vi­sion of where they would be liv­ing for a week.

I thought about a great big bunch of pe­ony blooms that a friend had brought to me and knew that was the an­swer. I made up a large head­board and wrapped it in an over­sized print of fluffy pe­onies sketched out in the most tran­quil shade of blue. I’ve cho­sen dif­fer­ent flo­rals for each room. I wit­ness the de­light on each guest’s face as they open the door and know that it was the per­fect choice. Flow­ers make us happy.

Dear Deb­bie: I was pulling out the boxes of hol­i­day dé­cor last week and I could not get en­thused about set­ting up the same dis­plays we have re­cy­cled year after year. Fond mem­o­ries and tra­di­tion are all fine, but please of­fer some fresh ideas to make the hol­i­days bright.

Beatrice There’s no rea­son why you can’t com­bine some of your trusted mem­ory-mak­ers with a whole new mood.

In­tro­duce an al­ter­nate colour theme and make it promi­nent. There are lots of fab­u­lous choices for the Christ­mas tree. A white tree looks win­try and re­ally daz­zles with twin­kle lights. Hang blue ici­cles and crys­tal balls and top with an over­sized sil­ver metal­lic star.

An­other op­tion is to go with the el­e­gance of sil­ver and gold. Cre­ate vi­gnettes along the man­tel and a few side ta­bles with can­dle­sticks, serv­ing plat­ters and bowls that you most likely in­her­ited from your grannie and have never used.

Gild pinecones and or­na­ments with spray paint and spin metal­lic rib­bon around the tree.

A woodsy am­bi­ence is cosy and wel­com­ing. Think of flan­nels and plaids for cush­ions and throws, uti­lize drift­wood, logs and old planks as a foun­da­tion for a vi­gnette. Then se­lect some of your favourite or­na­ments and keep­sakes and in­ter­sperse them through­out your new look. I prom­ise you will be en­chanted.

Writ­ten by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email dec­o­rat­ing ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com.

Fol­low Deb­bie at in­sta­gram.com/ deb­bie_­travis, face­book.com/ thedeb­bi­etravis, deb­bi­etravis

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 ??  ?? A large head­board is wrapped in an over­sized print of fluffy pe­onies sketched out in a tran­quil shade of blue.
A large head­board is wrapped in an over­sized print of fluffy pe­onies sketched out in a tran­quil shade of blue.

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