What your festive door wreath says about you…

Posted By: Alexandra Campbell On: December 13th, 2015 In: Decorations/parties, Garden style & living

A festive door wreath is now a major style decision.

Should you have a Christmas wreath that’s artistic, traditional, Nordic, minimalist or creative? Lights? Fruit? Chillies? Biscuits? Make or buy?

I am dithering. Friends are supporting up-and-coming floral ‘artists’ or signing up for wreath-making courses.

What does this wreath say about you?

Before choosing a festive wreath, decide what you want your front door to say about you.

Here are the results of my informal survey (if you accidentally spot your own wreath in there, then I do apologise):

1) The Craft Fair Queen

This ‘home-made’ wreath is created by the woman who knows her eBay from her Etsy, Folksy and Craftsy. She takes stands at Christmas fairs. Her style is pared-down and apparently natural.

However, looking casual – but chic – takes skill, talent and concentration. Her friends try to copy this because it’s ‘only’ a circle of ivy and a few hollies. Their wreaths don’t look as good.

And they’re not as good as she is at buying vintage tea cups at car boot fairs and turning them into scented candles for the school fair.

Crafted festive wreath

Although apparently artless, this wreath is created by someone with a discerning eye and a sure hand.

2) The professionals

This wreath is for those with an eye for detail. It’s about proportion, scale and balancing your decoration with your architecture. It’s towards the top end of wreath-ery, but it’s not ostentatious.

People with wreaths like this are professional in everything they do. They either have got to the top or are getting there.

A wreath with style and substance...

Pussy willow, ivy and berries on a traditional door – beautifully festive but also elegant. The proportions are right for this period front door.

3) The contemporary countrysider

The contemporary countrysider ‘lives’ in the country, (but may have a house or flat that they ‘use’ in town). They make a great point of buying local food and locally made wares. But they are also very aware of fashion and style.

I’ve seen alot of pheasant feathers in wreaths this year – but a wreath made purely of pheasant feathers shows an artistic confidence that comes from having attended lots of gallery openings in Shoreditch.

Classic and country wreaths...

Pheasant feathers and a bow. Beautiful, minimalist and over-the-top all at once. Other single-ingredient wreaths this year include those made from brussels sprouts or succulents.

4) The floral work-shopper

One of the few ways that busy women can get a break over the Christmas period is going on a floral workshop to learn how to make a Christmas wreath.

For four or five blissful hours, no-one can ask them to do staff evaluations, 2016 budgets, sign off on expenses requests or catch up on the invoicing. No-one will email them to ask them to make stollen for the book group. Their children cannot suddenly inform them that it’s a special assembly tomorrow and that they need to go in dressed as a bear.

Busy women at floral workshops can tune into their creative side, gently gossip and ‘live in the moment.’ They can also justify the cost because, in future, they’ll be able to make all their own wreaths from garden clippings.

It’s an investment – much cheaper and more satisfying than the rather infuriating ‘spa day’. The only problem is that these women are so busy that they will have forgotten how to make a wreath by next Christmas…

Make your own festive wreath...

A detail from a floral workshop wreath. Tasteful. Relaxing to make. Get in touch with your creative side – it’ll give you more satisfaction than any number of hot baths with scented candles.

As above, but a year or two later…time for another floral workshop. Go on – you know you want to.

Make your own festive wreath from garden clippings

The woman who went to a floral workshop in 2013 knows that the top left is a bit wrong, but she just hasn’t got time to take it out and start again. It’ll have to do…she was going to make her own turkey stuffing too, but time ran out, so it’s bought from the butcher, after all.

6) The extrovert festive door wreath

According to psychological research on colour, choosing orange instead of red for your Christmas theme says that you are confident, outgoing, warm and generous.

Orange is the colour for those who love food and drink – variations of it are commonly used in restaurants everywhere (apricot, peach etc).

As you stand outside a front door with an orange wreath, you won’t know whether you’ll be offered champagne, best claret or artesan cider when you step inside. But you can be very hopeful about the nibbles that will accompany it.

Festive Christmas wreath with fruit and pine cones

Orange is the colour of warmth, generosity and a love of food….

7) Mrs Eminently-Competent

Laura Eminently-Competent has spotted that garden centres, chain stores and supermarkets now sell stylish wreaths at affordable prices. There is enough choice, too, so you don’t risk having exactly the same wreath as everyone else.

Laura doesn’t slog around the shops. She shops online, and get her wreath delivered from Amazon. This year she’s buying the WeRChristmas Scandinavian Blue Spruce wreath above.

She adds an order of Japanese Sword-style cocktail sticks for the ‘four-for-three’ offers of supermarket canapes (making canapes, like making wreaths, is a very time-consuming activity that’s usually better if professionals do it). Twelve white canape spoons will go into ‘the basket’, too, so that it looks as if her party food has been done by smart London caterers.

Her Christmas turkey will be cooked (perfectly) by following either Delia’s Christmas or the Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook. And she’s been hoarding lovely little stocking presents since August.

If you get invited to the Eminently-Competents for Christmas lunch, go. Everything will be delicious, served on time, and no-one will burst into tears.

(Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means you can click on the highlighted text to buy. If you do, I may get a small fee but it doesn’t affect the price you pay.)

Ideas for creative Christmas wreaths for all tastes

I love the simple contrasts in this wreath, spotted on a neighbour’s door.

Tweet your pix of Christmas door wreaths to @midsizegarden, and I’ll re-tweet them. And do spread the Christmas joy or frustration by sharing this using the buttons below – thank you!

12 Comments

  • For those who loved the pheasant feather wreaths, order yours next year from http://www.pluckingfabulous.co.uk. Venetia painstakingly makes them using the feathers from pheasant, French partridge, grouse, duck, turkey and peacock.

    she also makes heart shaped wreaths which are excellent wedding, engagement and Valentine’s Day gifts and can be hung all rear round.

    http://www.pluckingfaublous.co.uk

  • Celia says:

    Love this article. I usually love making my own wreath. Utterly untrained but in my chaotic world of work, cooking, shopping and wrapping, this is the only chance I have to sit quietly and do something that I love. It’s very cathartic. Having said that it’s five days to go and I’ve not got round to purchasing/cutting any of the constituent parts yet! The lovely Fenella Kelsey of Littlebourne has been making the most beautiful wreaths this year. Can send a pic if you’d like.

  • Sue D says:

    Brilliant – & witty – blog. I too am about to attempt mine – in the spare 5mins between card writing & present wrapping ….. so no idea what bracket it will eventually fit into ….??

  • Pauline says:

    This blog post is hilarious, Alexandra. I did a wreath making workshop yesterday, together with my mother. We had so much fun. I would love to say my wreaths fall into the first category, but maybe it says floral workshop. Hopefully, I will still know how to make my own wreath next year.
    Thank goodness my husband is making the turkey stuffing.

  • Lucie says:

    Am attempting mine this week. Worried all it will say about me is I am faintly bored with Christmas and would rather be on a hot sandy desert island somewhere! Thanks for a bit of inspiration. I will tweet a picture of last year’s mad effort.

  • Kevin says:

    I personally would go usually go for the professional look (if only I could pull it off as perfectly – perhaps one day), but have to say that the extrovert has been tempting me for a good while now… There’s my vote anyway, I hope whichever you plump for gives your front door a warm Christmassy welcoming appearance!

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