Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Fireplace Decor

Happy Monday!  How was your Remembrance Day?  Chris and I had a relaxing Sunday started with our favourite spinning class at the gym, a quick brunch in the village, followed by a walk in High Park, and lots of cooking in the evening.  Jen of Rambling Renovators wrote this amazing post about Remembrance Day and shared with us a super adorable video of her daughter Chloe.  You have got to check it out.

For this week's 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, I want to talk about fireplace decoration.  To me, artwork + fresh flowers have always been the winning combination that graces my fireplace mantel.  Here is my fireplace from Christmas 2011:    


For 2012, I would like to take it up a notch and put together a stunning floral arrangement for my fireplace.  To accomplish this mission, I visited the talented Bruno Duarte, the creative mind behind Toronto's Fresh Floral Creations.  Bruno's one-of-a-kind floral arrangements are sculptural, dynamic, and clearly standout in any spaces.  I was stunned and inspired by Bruno's spectacular creations the moment I stepped into his shop.  It truly was an amazing experience, and I highly recommend you a visit to Fresh Floral Creations and be inspired.  


Lucky me, Bruno gave me a quick crash course on how to create a simple yet elegant, festive floral arrangement for this holiday season.


Step 1: get your tools ready (vase, oasis, stapler, floral water tubes, and floral pruner)

Step 2: roll up your greens and get the blooms ready

Step 3: let the fun begin!  But remember, make a hole in the oasis with the pruner before inserting flowers with softer steams (i.e. amarilis).

Ever wonder what floral materials work better together, how to pick the freshest flowers, and ways to keep them alive for longer?  Here are some tips from Bruno: 



Be sure to follow Fresh Floral Creations on Facebook for the latest news and inspirations.

Now that we have a beautiful floral arrangement, it is time to turn our attention to another traditional Christmas element that goes hand-in-hand with fireplace: Christmas Stockings.  Shocking as this may sound, I actually never had a Christmas stocking before.  Growing up in Hong Kong (a.k.a condo living with no fireplace) means I only got a small little plastic Santa boot filled with candies next to my bed on Christmas Day.  Since I am actually planning to stay in town this holiday season, I feel like hanging my very first Christmas stocking on my fireplace for a special festive touch.

Fellow blogger and expert in "furniture revitalization", Staci Edwards of Switch Studio, has teamed up with Janine of Tonic Living to come up with these chic and stylish Christmas Stocking for your urban, contemporary spaces.  As for my personal favourites, here are four patterns I just couldn't get enough of.

image credit: Juice Market Group & Tonic Living
From flowers to stockings, here are two perfect combos in shades of coral and tangerine that I would have in my own home in a heart beat!  What is your favourite color for this holiday season? 

image credit: Fresh Floral Creations & Switch Studio
Now don't I have something fantastic for you! Staci has graciously offered a Christmas stocking from her etsy store to one lucky Design Maze reader.  All you need to do is to follow Switch Studio on facebook, visit Staci's etsy store, and come back to tell me which stocking is your favourite.  

Happy shopping and don't forget to drop me a comment for the Christmas stocking giveaway!  Winner will be announced November 19th. 

19 comments:

  1. Aw, thanks for the shout out Tim. Love your gift guide (and the graphics)! Great tips from Bruno. I was so caught up in the "doing" that I didn't get many photos of the step by step from our class. Switch Studio & Tonic Living is a brilliant collaboration. Can't wait to see what stocking you choose as your own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jen! I am having so much fun with the graphics ... and yes I was totally holding up the class with me trying to multi-task floral arrangement + taking photos for post. Glad it all turned out great! I am so going to try another one this week.

      As for my own stocking choice ... you will find out soon enough!

      Delete
  2. Great post Tim, and Stacey did a great job putting these fresh stockings together. I have some guesses about which one you'll choose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love them Janine! I may surprise you with what I have in mind :)

      Delete
  3. Great giveaway! I already follow Switch Studio on Facebook (that's how I heard about the contest!) All the stockings are great, if I had to pick one I'd probably go with Grey & White Dwell Studio Gate. I'm also a fan of your blog! Could you make any suggestions on how to decorate a mantle when your unfortunate to have a TV above it? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. add some greens and candles + mini lights and mini ornaments .... they always make a fab looking mantel decor. Stocking would add that special touch of course! Good Luck!

      Delete
  4. Love this Tim! I'm in love with the greek key in Espresso for sure. What a great collaboration!

    Nancy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. one of my favs too! Good luck Nancy!

      Delete
  5. Love this post, Tim! Florals bring so much character to a home and attending a class with Bruno must have been so interesting - love the result of your class! Have a top week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. love Bruno! his work is visionary!

      Delete
  6. Great post Tim! So many great patterns but I thi k I would choose the orange Greek key!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is great! I love the grey & white Dwell Studio stocking

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow Tim, your post makes me want to re-decorate my mantle with colors. I did just almost finish it. :) I like your floral arrangements! Your floral to stocking color match is awesome. Love your pick of pink and orange shades...they look so happy together! I've followed the Switch Studio's Facebook page, and I also like the Orange Greek Key one the most.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello - black and white chevron for me!!!! Awesome post Tim!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gorgeous post Tim, lucky you to get some hands on tips from Bruno. Love the greek key in orange and the white polka on grey too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I FOLLOW her on fb (Summer Plewes)

    and i visited her shop and like the Grey & White Modern Fretwork Christmas Stocking

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gorgeous!

    I am crazy about the fire engine red orbs hanging from silky ribbons...seriously...why did I use dollar store plastic ribbon to hang ornaments...shame!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am crazy about those too!! was totally amazed by it the moment I walked into the store. Check it out Shannon!

      Delete
  13. I love this post and the way you paired the stockings with the flowers is tres fabulous.

    Those gorgeous stockings are really making me want to trade it my whimsical kids' ones. My favourite is the grey greek key. Love it!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete