Mon 5th Dec, 2011
As some of you might already know, I love an inspiration shoot. Especially ones that are full of creativity and imagination.
I received an email from Gemma at Planet Flowers, asking whether I would like to feature a shoot where she'd recently collaborated with Blue Sky Photography. Now Gemma is one very talented florist and has created some of the most unique and inspiring floristry I've seen, and together with the brilliant photogaphy of Blue Sky, I literally didn't hesitate to say yes.... even though it's not a bridal shoot, there is more than enough inspiration for any a winter wedding.
"Do you ever have ideas in your head? Things you’d love to try or just play around with if only you had that little bit of extra time?
Sometimes you just have to make the time to dream a little; and play a little... And last winter in the middle of all the breathtaking (and persistent) white stuff that fell around us we created that space.
In the week we scheduled the shoot, the blanket of snow had pretty much coated the whole country in a blanket of soft, fluffy loveliness. The scene was perfectly set for a cosy outdoor hideaway. And so we set about converting the Planet cutting garden shed in to a little Christmas grotto.
The vision was to create something warm and inviting, oozing with layers of texture, rich colours and the welcoming aroma of all things winter-wonderful.
We conjured up an intimate outside dining space for four, imagining guests huddling closely under twinkling fairy lights, drinking mugs of mulled wine or steaming hot cocoa (marsh-mallows a must) accompanied by spicy ginger bread… with the soft sounds of a Christmas carol or two…
Getting the look…
Leading up to the shed we hung an ilex berry wreath against the distressed stable door. Above the potting shed hung a deconstructed wreath of white hyacinth bulbs and pine cones, while inside, old wine bottles with ilex berries were filled with candles to light the way to the shed and provide unctuous flickering candlelight…
An old kitchen table was up-cycled by layering with a cinnamon stick table-top. Tactile texture combined with alluring aromas to fill the potting shed to the brim with the smells of Christmas.
A red rose and moss chandelier was hung above the table to add further height and carry the warmth of the red towards the roofline of the potting shed…
A dark red amaryllis and berry floral runner lay down the centre of the table. Moss place mats and ceramic table-ware with real linen napkins added height, contrasting colour and alternative textures to the eclectic wood colourings.
A home-made gingerbread snow-flake and a little hand-tie of winter foliage bunch on each napkin embellished the place setting. (Just the kind of simple and effective touches you may like to use on your Christmas table settings this year – we promise not to squeal you found the inspiration here).
Preserve jars filled with frosted bonbons and baby apples added a burst of festive red to the table. Pine cones were studded with berries and moss making mini-trees which we scattered round the floor of the shed – these would look equally lovely on a mantelpiece or festive tablescape.
Petite Christmas wreaths adorned the back of each chair tied on using red silk ribbon. We imagined having friends round and adding a hand-written place tag onto the ribbon so that they knew where to sit, feeling totally welcome and utterly spoilt.
The great thing about playing is that you can just use things which you have lying around… we used Niels’ mum’s cute German lantern which sat sweetly beside an old picnic chair and one of our winter foliage pomanders. The kitchen table was lying under some pots, the ceramic plates were picked up in an outlet store – mix and match, make the style your own.
Winter is a time for savouring; it’s about a collection of textures; putting your own stamp on your home and trying a contemporary twist on traditional elements."
Thank you so much to Gemma, Niels and Alie for sharing this shoot with me. I love it!
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