PLANNER WHITEWOOD EVENTS TEAMED UP WITH THE PITTARD FAMILY, BEFORE BRINGING US IN TO CREATE A GARDEN INSPIRED FIREPLACE MANTEL FLOWER ARRANGEMENT THAT STOLE THE SHOW AT THEIR DREAMY DINNER FETE! READ ON FOR INSIGHT INTO HOW TO MAKE THIS NATURAL FOCAL POINT WORK WITH YOUR HOME’S DÉCOR. PLUS, THE ARRANGEMENT PROCESS IS BROKEN DOWN STEP-BY-STEP.
PHOTO, SARAH INGRAM
There are so many different types of fire places and every single one presents a different decorating opportunity. When I host a party I can barely help myself from using the mantel as a focal point. On any day it is topped with an art print or television but hey, when it is party time, everything comes down to offer a blank canvas.
It's a bit overwhelming to look at at blank slate when you start from scratch, but a few tricks will help you deck your fireplace with lush, natural blooms. You can do it yourself and leave the hard decorating stuff to the pros.
Whitney of Whitewood Events envisioned this beautiful floral mantel as the focal point for a fun dinner in Athens, Georgia. I love how the flowers easily brighten a space. We picked beautifully in-season peonies the size of my face and worked them into a cascading arrangement with bridal veil, scabiosa, ranunculus, kangaroo paw protea, garden roses, clematis and jasmine fine and foraged olive branches. More of the floral recipe details is here, on Burnett's Boards.
There is something special about the feeling you get when decorating with florals. It feels like a treat, to you and your guests! It's also wonderful to know the design can be dismantled to send home with friends as parting gifts.
Some people decide to DIY to save money, others to create a personal experience; no matter why you choose to DIY I'm here to help you do it (and beautifully, of course!).
Here's Exactly How To DIY Fireplace Flowers for Your Mantel
- Flowers and greenery
- Floral wet foam brick
- Small platter or plastic wrap
To create this aesthetic, I use a floral wet foam brick as the base. I like to use chicken wire to cover the base even though it isn't necessary. The brick and wire can be purchased in the floral supply section of most stores or at your florist, or Home Depot. This approach allows you to achieve the lush, natural, organic look we are all going for by placing stems using different angles and depths. The low angle easily creates a natural cascade. I recommend spraying with water and Crowning Glory when you finish.
Once the floral foam brick is soaked put it in something like a small platter, pan or tray to keep the water from dripping and the mantel getting wet. Often while designing I cover the floor with painters cloth or plastic trash bag for protection.
For foliage, I foraged elaeagnus (also called Russian Olive), olive branches, camellia and gardenia leaves, jasmine vine and really anything that I thought needed a little pruning. Don't tell me you can't forage. EVER! Ask friends and family, post in apps like NextDoor, and scour parking lots. It is so much fun to forage plus it gives the design a sense of time and place.
When I host events at my house, I get flowers from everywhere. Sourcing is my favorite thing to do! Local flower farms, farmers' markets, plant nurseries and the grocery store are wonderful resources. A simple Internet search might reveal that you are not far from a locally run farm that sells directly to the public. That is exactly, how I found Posie Fields which is literally less than a mile from my house in Roswell, Georgia. Take a friend or your children and see the fields where the magic happens and purchase fresh flowers.
Farmers’ markets are also great. Get to know the vendors personally, they can be very helpful with requests to set aside certain flowers just for you! Nurseries are a great place to buy inexpensive potted plants that you can clip from to add to your arrangements. With the grocery stores like Trader Joe's, I call a few days before my event and ask to speak to the person who is placing floral orders for the week. They will tell you if they have a shipment coming in the day before or morning of your event and what flowers they ordered.
When choosing flowers, always stay flexible and work around what is easiest, which is what is in season. For this look, my Mayesh rep let me know the farms were full of Peonies bursting with beauty. And what better place to show them off than the mantel?! Fun flowers that you love are easy to find are great for an intimate, garden aesthetic. Cosmos, peonies, hydrangea and protea are always easy to use. I recommend using different sizes and colors of flowers to create interesting designs with delicious texture.