An easy DIY spring wreath, and we have a winner!

First off, please congratulate Kelly McFarlan, who won the e-design giveaway!

I am hosting Easter brunch this Sunday, and I am still in the midst of unpacking from Switzerland, but I felt like I had to start making our condo feel springy.

I made these for my friend Kim’s wedding in September 2012.

A country club wedding and reception

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Fourth of July party decorating ideas

I spent this past week in Germany and Austria, traveling with my good friend, Naomi (the one I designed the nursery for). We stayed in charming Bad Aibling, about an hour outside of Munich. The little town was peppered with tiny artisan shops–felt goods (where I bought something for Naomi’s nursery; there will be a post about that project when it’s complete), handmade housewares and Vergissmein Nicht, a fantastic flower shop.

Vergissmein Nicht

Wandering through this place, I could not help but envision the July Fourth party I would design. Here are a few ideas I would steal–and tweak.

Red wrapped bottles

Dig through the recycle bin and save all empty bottles–hot sauce, wine and beer. Wrap them with shades of red and blue yarn and secure (in a discreet spot) with hot glue. Play with texture and thickness here. I love the nubby blue one.

Blue wrapped bottles

Fill the vessels with small bunches of wild flowers.

All-white table

This is brilliant. I always run out of room on my table between the food and decor. Why not bring in a smaller console, coffee table, even a dresser to nest under the dining table and give yourself more surface area. Don’t have white furniture? Dress surfaces in casual white linens, like burlap. Then use all white and silver serving pieces and candle holders. Think outside the box when it comes to serving pieces. A galvanized bucket sitting in a closet makes a great chip container or utensil and napkin keeper.

Succulent ideas

Decorate with inexpensive varieties of succulents. Don’t plant them in squat tiny pots. Elevate the pretty plants on your table by planting them in tall silver or white vases.

Shim idea

These plant markers are actually just pieces of wood veneer, but it gave me the idea to do something similar with wood shims. I would tell guests what they’re eating by writing appetizer and dessert names on these wooden sticks (use a thicker paint pen) and placing them in small terracotta pots filled with dry rice (so they stand straight).

Arranging flowers with what you’ve got

Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. They bloom big, come in stunning shades of pink, white and purple and look stunning in a bud vase alone or grouped en masse.

Here in Lausanne, the sun refuses to shine with any regularity, but summer’s showing signs of her arrival with peony blooms all over the city–in parks, gardens and at outdoor markets. I couldn’t resist buying a bunch today even though I lack a single vase at home. Luckily, my kitchen’s equipped with the basics, so I disected my bouquet and decorated my kitchen, my bedroom and my bathroom with the huge, wonderfully fragrant flowers.

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I peeled the top foil off a pretty wine bottle, snipped the end of two stems on an angle and slid them inside the bottle. I cut a third stem really short and stuck it in a white teacup, but the scale was way off when I put the two vessels side by side on my kitchen table. To add a bit of height to this centerpiece, I put the mug on a makeshift pedestal–a wine glass turned upside down.

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I chopped two stems and tucked them into a pretty cross-cut juice glass on my nightstand.

Bathroom peonies

I sliced all but a very small portion of this final stem off, floated the oversize perennial in a dessert dish and placed it on a shelf in the loo.

What creative vessels have you arranged flowers in?

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