Christmas decorating: a florist’s tips for using festive foliage

Katie Brigstock of creative studio Style Your Spaces on how to style your home for a natural, sustainable Christmas

christmas floral table decoration
Style Your Spaces

This Christmas more than any other it feels vital to bring joy to every space and surface in our homes. With that in mind, we asked Katie Brigstock of Edinburgh-based creative studio Style Your Spaces to share some creative and sustainable ways to bring a festive feel to your table (and elsewhere in your house). Need a few more ideas? Find inspiration in our edit of the best Christmas tablescapes.

christmas floral table decoration
Katie Brigstock
ELLE Decoration

Dressing a room or a table is such a great way of adding personality and energy to a space and it doesn’t have to be at all difficult or expensive. I prefer to go back to basics – what’s looking good in the garden right now? Delicate branches of birch, juniper or twigs of berried sea buckthorn all look fantastic. I particularly like stems which have a bit of wiggly movement for that soft, natural feel.

I love incorporating fruit and veg into my tablescapes too, taking figs, pomegranate and beetroot for example and mixing them in with candles and elegant glassware. I like a table to have something for all the senses, sight obviously, but also candles for warmth; flowers or foliage for scent and texture; fruits or nuts for taste; and fabrics for touch – I love that layering of effect.

christmas table floral decorations
Joanna Eliza Photography

When dressing a table, remember to leave space for the serving dishes, and make sure that people can see each other too. Tall branches in heavy-bottomed vases (so they don’t topple over) tick both boxes, but sometimes you don’t need greenery on the table at all. A thick paper table cloth that you’ve drawn on, or written your guests’ names on, can look beautiful as a backdrop to gorgeous ceramics, and people love the interactivity of it, especially if you leave some pens out.

christmas floral table decoration
ELLE Decoration

Think about which rooms you dress for Christmas. Living rooms and dining rooms tend to get the most attention when arguably we spend more time in the kitchen. Fresh flowers won’t last in the heat, but I like to mass glass baubles in a big ceramic bowl or to make fabric streamers to hang above the table.

I’m a big fan of ribbons, too, using them in table settings, in wreaths, on the tree, to tie a big bunch of foliage (a lovely and inexpensive thank you for your host) and to wrap my presents. If they’re made of natural fabrics and naturally dyed, they’re inherently sustainable and reusable – a good bit of ribbon is a gift in itself!

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