Designing the Holidays

Linda O’Connor, a floral designer working with James Harasimowicz on the Barton House, runs a cut flowerfarm in Ransomville called Summertime Blooms. She hopes that when visitors walk into the Barton House they see a “peaceful elegance.”

Her holiday decorating recommendation is to keep holiday decor simple.

She recalled how, this past summer when she marketed her cut flowers at area farmers markets, she would take a single flower, like a sunflower or dinner plate dahlia, and place it in an empty wine bottle. “People would say, ‘oh my gosh, I never thought to do that.”

O’Connor suggests doing the same for the holidays. Take a few empty wine bottles, add a single fresh flower in each and some assorted small candles to illuminate the bottles from the base.

“For the winter I would probably use a hydrangea and some grasses,” she said, adding she is currently working with white flowers for the Barton House but that holiday decorators could use any color flower that goes with their decor.

“I like to use blue wine bottle because they really set off the flowers but you could use green bottles for the holidays or clear bottles and put red water in them,” she said.

When asked whether to strip the labels first, she noted: “If it happens to be your favorite wine, you can leave the labels on. I have one from a brewery in Ellicottville called Snowfox. I leave the label on because it has snow flakes and a little white fox on it so it works for the holidays.”

“And it was a good wine, too,” she said with a laugh.

Her biggest recommendation for the holidays is to enjoy them. “I m just thinking people need to sit down and enjoy their family and friends for this holiday instead of trying to do all this stuff.”

Exert from: Designing the Holidays.

Post an example of how you decorate your table for the holiday and help share creativity with our community.

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