Add New Life to Your Home With This New Year's Resolution!
Today I'm sharing with you the one, rather simple, thing I did last year that completely changed how I decorate! It all started with a New Year's resolution...
Last year I took down all of my Christmas decor on New Year's Day, which is pretty typical for me. I had been thinking more and more about how my home needed some life. Finally, I vowed to start using real greenery in my home decor!
Something I know many of us struggle with is the urge to go out and buy something new when we tire of what we have in our homes, or when we want to create a new vibe for our spaces. Going out and getting some greenery is free and also kind of therapeutic. It's been referred to as my "Florest"...get it? The branches and even some fronds come right out of the forest around our house so I never have to pay a florist. :)
Now that I've explained why I started keeping fresh foliage in my house year round, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how greenery of all sorts has added to my evolving style over the past twelve months! Here's a little sampling from each month of 2017:
My very first trimmed frond! :D Placed in a simple vase, it still makes a big impact in our guest room.
I started out with snipping fronds on New Year's Day, but these magnolia trimmings felt a bit more "wintry" to me as we had a cold spell in January last year. Something about all white with a pop of green just feels so fresh and cozy at the same time.
Perhaps I was feeling ready for beach weather when I took a few fronds from the Giant Bird of Paradise outside of our entry. This space in our guest room can be seen from the living room, so I like to keep something green on this little accent table I found at IKEA.
These flowers didn't come from my yard, but my husband did bring them home to me one day. They really brought a cheerful feeling to this neutral room.
I was absolutely in love with the way just a few fronds added to our bedroom dresser made me feel! Almost like we were on vacation. ;) It's hard to believe I wasn't taking full advantage of the tropical goodness that was just outside my own house! That's why I'm calling this the best New Year's resolution ever! It has been a total mood-lifter for me!
I bought these hydrangeas at The Home Depot only because the cashier told me they have a one year guarantee. I was quite sure I'd kill them, so that was a deal-maker for me. They did end up dying a few months later, but for $10 they sure made for a lovely view last spring. ;)
I know I'm not the only one who enjoys multiple styles in home decor and this was just one way to transform our house into my version of a tropical paradise. Don't ask me how I got the water in or out of my floor vase that I painted white a few years ago. It was not easy! By shopping my home for a few different accents on the console and adding a few fronds, the foyer was completely transformed into my little tropical escape. ;)
A large Oleander shrub grows outside of our pool enclosure and it was there when we purchased our home. Since it was flowering, I thought it would be nice to bring in for Easter. Little did I know, (until posting it to Instagram - thanks, Kelly!) that this was an Oleander and also quite toxic to both humans and animals. Luckily, Summer, our Great Dane x English Mastiff, has never taken an interest in it. She also doesn't tear up our plants indoors, so I wasn't too concerned about allowing this plant to reside in our yard. So, this is just a reminder to research any greenery you decide to bring indoors if you have children and/or pets! In the future, it will probably just stay up on the mantel if I use it in my decor.
This plant will only last a couple of days before noticeably wilting. It's great for a dinner party centerpiece or to decorate the guest room for an overnight guest - just ask them not to eat it. ;)
Having greenery in the house is a great way to bring the outdoors in and keep things feeling fresh.
I absolutely love picking fresh grapefruit from the tree outside and decided to bring a few little branches as a centerpiece. I've found that they don't last nearly as long as magnolia branches or palm fronds, but they're good for about 24 hours. When they come in abundance, it's no problem to just replace them when they wilt.
Saw Palmetto fronds have become one of my absolute favorite additions to pretty much any space! Just look at them!! They're fabulous, aren't they?
Here are my beloved Saw Palmettos again being arranged on the dining room table.
I love that these trimmings come from a large plant just outside our entry. I can change the look of an arrangement by simply placing a single frond in a small vase, or gathering a handful of fronds and putting them all together, like I did here in our breakfast nook.
More Saw Palmettos on this table and a Majesty Palm in the corner give our dining room a relaxed summery feeling.
My favorite place to put Giant Bird of Paradise leaves is in this floor vase in our entry. ! These lovely leaves will usually last a couple of weeks. Sometimes when I find what works, I stick with it...
...until I get an itch to move things around and try something new. ;) I have zero idea what the plant is called that these enormous fronds come from. They line the side of our pool enclosure and I had been ogling them for quite some time. They look awesome, but to my disappointment, they only lasted a couple of days before turning brown on the ends. I'm not sure what makes these so different from the other fronds that I bring in that last weeks.
My go-to console styling involves a pretty vase with some fronds in it and switching up the scented candles inside these matching lanterns that I originally purchased to use at our wedding reception. The glow at night makes it really inviting!
In the Fall, our magnolia trees begin to produce cone-shaped "follicles" with little red seeds. Their trimmings made a great arrangement for this side table in our living room.
As you can see in this photo, these cones hadn't opened yet to expose the red seeds. They start off a light creamy white and greenish color and have a soft, fuzzy texture. Can you tell I wasn't born in the South? :P
I added some fall florals and a fresh frond to a small vase on my husband's nightstand. In October, we still have lots of 80+ degree days, so I think fronds are fitting.
When I brought in some ends of the white Pampas Grass from my backyard, they became affectionately known as the "fluffies". I'm pretty sure that's self explanatory. I did eventually learn their real name, but I think fluffies is just a lot catchier. ;)
I was shocked to find out that, as they dried, they got even prettier, and, well...fluffier!
P.S. You can definitely see my Christmas tree glowing in the background. Yes, this was the end of October. :)
This year was the first year I had actually taken advantage of all of the tall pines lining our roads and back yard. I snagged a few of the small branches that had fallen onto the ground and created this centerpiece.
Greenery can also be added in subtle ways, like in the small clear vase above. I took some very small trimmings from some sort of evergreen shrub in our front yard and stuck them anywhere that needed a little color. I did not put the ends in water because they would end up growing mold - another strange result that I just don't have the answer to! These stayed green for about 3 weeks in no water!
For Christmastime, I hung some sparkly ornaments on pine branch ends layered with a string of battery-operated lights. I think this project was cute, but in the words of Clark Griswold, "Looks great! Little full, lotta sap!". Seriously. I got sap all over my hands after snapping these branches to just the right lengths for the vase. But it was worth it! Free and fabulous, another win for my "Florest"! :D
If you haven't been one to add greenery to your home, I hope this post has inspired you to do so! To sum it up, last year's resolution has been fun, easy and free! I'm definitely not quitting this habit any time soon. ;)
Sending you sunshine,