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
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.
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).