Christ­mas morn­ing with flo­ral queen Kelly Karam,

The Christ­mas tree needn’t al­ways be dressed in baubles and tin­sel. Find out how to recre­ate this abun­dantly flo­ral cen­tre­piece at your place

Your Home and Garden - - Front Page - Text by Sally Conor. Styling by Cather­ine Wilkin­son. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Me­lanie Jenk­ins.

Our glo­ri­ous flo­ral Christ­mas pho­to­shoot was orig­i­nally in­spired by the luxe brass coun­ter­top in Blush, Kelly Karam’s Auck­land floristry shop, but on the day, some very spe­cial blooms mus­cled their way into the spot­light.

“There was some wis­te­ria avail­able on the morn­ing of the shoot so I felt we had to add it in!” says Kelly. “I love colour and am in­spired by un­ex­pected com­bi­na­tions. The dark berry, lilac, blush and white we used here is a dream.”

With the ad­di­tion of pale mar­ble, warm, lux­u­ri­ous brass and, you guessed it, blush pink into the pal­ette, our bold yet fem­i­nine Christ­mas set­ting was ready for its close-up.

Although it may seem com­pli­cated, this look is ac­tu­ally easy to achieve at your place. It’s all about hav­ing fun with colour, plan­ning your ar­range­ment, buy­ing flow­ers that are in sea­son and mak­ing it work for you on the day.

Tie the knot

Knot­ted-fabric wrap­ping is an at­trac­tive and eco-friendly way to present your gifts. This method works best with boxed items and you won’t need any sticky tape or rib­bons.

STEP ONE Place a large piece of fabric pat­tern­side down on a flat sur­face. Make sure you have enough fabric to go around the gift and leave long enough ends to tie to­gether. Place your boxed gift in the cen­tre of the fabric on the di­ag­o­nal.

STEP TWO Fold the fabric over the sides of the box just as you would with gift pa­per, and fold or roll the corner pieces over a few times in the mid­dle. Flip over the box so the folded fabric is now on the bot­tom.

STEP THREE Neatly bring the two re­main­ing cor­ners up to meet each other, tuck­ing in the rough sides to cre­ate a neat fold.

STEP FOUR Tie the fabric ends in a knot and tuck the rough edges un­der the knot to hide them.

Get the look

> Fresh or fake? Start by de­cid­ing if you want to use fresh blooms or faux flow­ers. To en­joy a flo­ral tree for the whole of De­cem­ber, we rec­om­mend us­ing a base of faux flow­ers and adding in a few state­ment blooms from the gar­den – or the florist – on Christ­mas morn­ing.

> Draw up a plan Make a rough sketch of your tree from its main van­tage point. Plan how your dec­o­ra­tions will be placed and use flow­ers to lead the eye around your ar­range­ment.

> Get cre­ative with colour It’s fun to de­vi­ate from the tra­di­tional pal­ette so have a play with some bold hues. Choose your hero colours then use neu­tral tones to cre­ate bal­ance – on our tree, white orchids break up the crim­son, pink and lilac blooms.

> Fake it to make it If us­ing faux flow­ers, head to your near­est craft store to see what colours are on of­fer be­fore you de­cide on a pal­ette. Most faux flow­ers have wire stems that can eas­ily be wrapped around the Christ­mas tree fronds.

> Keep it fresh Our ar­range­ment was put to­gether by florist Kelly, so each stem has a small green­ery tube at­tached to make it last. If us­ing fresh flow­ers, ask your lo­cal florist for some tips if you need your flo­ral tree to look fresh be­yond the big day.

> Wrap presents in the same colour pal­ette you’ve used on the tree, but don’t try to com­pete with your flow­ers if you’ve gone bold. We used gold pa­per for glam, then soft­ened the glitz with blush linen and rib­bon.

Christ­mas Q&A

Blush owner and florist Kelly lives in Ōrākei, Auck­land, with hus­band Richard and 9-year-old son Hugo. After our pho­to­shoot we sat down for a lit­tle chat about what she’s look­ing for­ward to this Christ­mas.

What flo­ral trends are you see­ing for Christ­mas? Colour! I love mix­ing colours at Christ­mas. This year, I will be us­ing blush and red. Me­tallics are also big, so I may in­clude a lit­tle brass in the way of vases or a beau­ti­ful piece from Tom Dixon.

How do you dec­o­rate for Christ­mas? We love the smell of a fresh pine tree so al­ways have a cou­ple in the house. I like to nes­tle lights into the tree so you don’t see the cords dur­ing the day. I’ve or­dered lots of blush and red wooden balls to hang over the tree and will wrap all the gifts in com­ple­men­tary colours – I love Kikki.K for gift wrap.

What does Christ­mas morn­ing look like at your house? Lots of presents, ham-and-cheese crois­sants, choco­late, cof­fee and a lit­tle bub­bles. I think this may be the last time Santa vis­its our house since Hugo is now 9!

What do you love about own­ing your own floristry busi­ness? I love be­ing sur­rounded by nat­u­ral beauty. We mostly pro­vide flow­ers for happy oc­ca­sions so it’s al­ways re­ally pos­i­tive. Flow­ers make peo­ple happy – they just do!

What are you work­ing on at the mo­ment? Many, many wed­dings! Wed­ding sea­son has kicked off and we are crazy with wed­dings un­til April 2019. We are also branch­ing out into a full styling and event de­sign ser­vice in the new year. •

CRED­ITS Side ta­ble and base rug from Free­dom. Pink rug from Nodi. Cof­fee ta­ble and brass can­dle­holder from Si­mon James. Pink vel­vet chair, gold baubles on tree, round blush cush­ion all from Citta. Sheep­skin from Ba­be­l­ogue. Pink vase and other ceram­ics from a range of Blush home­ware cre­ated by Kelly in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Rachel Carter Ceram­ics. Kelly wears Mag­gie Mar­i­lyn.Hair and makeup by Hay­ley Amund­sen Beauty (Kelly’s sis­ter).

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