Holiday Decor Inspiration: Tips from Four Renowned Floral Designers

Local floral designers: Sybil Sylvester, Charlotte Wessel, Buffy Hargett, and Lisa Bailey share their tips for decorating during the holidays

Holiday decor in Birmingham, Alabama home
Photo by Hector Sanchez

Lisa Bailey

Help greenery last longer by keeping temperatures in the house a little cooler—heat dries them out more quickly. If possible, use a mister to lightly spray them daily.

Instead of stapling or pinning ribbon, hold it in place with florist wire. The wire prevents holes and allows you to reuse your ribbon each year.  

When hanging fresh garland it’s ok to cut it. Don’t feel like you must use one long piece. In fact, when draping garland around a door, Lisa actually prefers to cut it to ensure that it hangs correctly. “And if you cut it too short, don’t panic,” she adds. “Simply use florist wire to put it back together.”

Contact: Email: [email protected] IG: @lisabaileydesigns Phone: 205.821.4128

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See other articles featuring Lisa Bailey: Lisa Bailey decked the halls of this Mountain Brook abode

Decorate floral touches from Buffy Hargett
Photo by Jean Allsopp

Buffy Hargett

Fakes aren’t a faux pas.
When hung up high, I prefer to use fake greenery. It’s so far away that no one will be able to tell it’s not real. Plus, watering something that high can just be a pain.

Make the everyday feel festive.
There’s no reason to move a perfectly good orchid out of the way during the holidays. Instead, add holiday elements such as pine cones and curly sticks to the arrangement to make it more festive.

Topiaries are timeless.
I just cannot get enough of the myrtle topiaries from Shoppe. They are great for year-round decorating, but for the holidays, I like to tie white bows around their stems and fill their bases with lemons and limes. 

Ring the wreath.
There are many ways to use a wreath besides the obvious one. Of course, I hang them outside and inside, but I also like to use them as festive ‘collars’ like under a fruit bowl in the kitchen. It’s such an easy thing to do.

Poinsettias are always on point.
They are the Christmas flower for a reason, says Buffy. They last forever, but you don’t have to buy just red. I prefer white varieties, and I like to repot them in nice containers throughout the house for a subtler take on the traditional holiday flower.

Contact: IG: @buffyhargettflowers Phone: 205.533.3328 

See other articles featuring Buffy Hargett: Buffy Hargett Miller’s Guide to Creative Living, Buffy Hargett Flowers to lend her finishing touch.

Beautiful floral arrangements from Buffy Hargett
Photo by Laurey Glenn

Charlotte Wessel

Take a Second Look at Overlooked Nooks
I always love flowers in the powder room or if you don’t have a lot of counter space, a wreath works perfectly.

Showstopping Entry
If you are short on time but still want to make an impact, dress up a purchased swag by using flower picks to wire berries onto it, Insert the picks at random intervals until you get the look you want

Think Outside the (Color) Box
Charlotte strongly believes that holiday florals don’t have to only be red and green. “If you have a hot pink tablecloth you love to use, then by all means do so!” she says. “Likewise, don’t be afraid to use peach or other rosy shades indoors in the winter.”

Double Up
If your holiday plans include hosting multiple parties, you may want to put up two trees—one for guests and one for family. For example, adorned a simple tree with pink berries and a giant coral-hued live amaryllis garland. The fresh flowers may be short-lived, but guests will be oohing and aahing long after they’ve left the party. Save your heirlooms and sentimental keepsakes for the family tree.

Contact: Website: IG: @bucketsandblooms Email: [email protected]

See other articles featuring Charlotte Wessel: Charlotte Wessel Transforms Spaces with Flowers All Year Round

Christmas decorations
Photo by Laurey Glenn

Sybil Sylvester

Sybil usually decorates her home around December 15th to ensure everything is still fresh on Christmas morning. “When it comes to hanging fresh greenery, later is always better.”

Say “Yes.”
When it comes to choosing what to decorate with use the things you love and that are meaningful to you. Period.

The Bare Minimum.
If nothing else, be sure to dress your front door, the mantel, and your dining table. These three places will always make your home feel festive.

Think of pairing your holiday décor with your home’s year-round look, just like choosing the right pair of earrings for a dress. You want everything to work together.

Fresh Ideas.
Seek creative ways to use smaller wreaths inside your home. In her kitchen, Sybil hangs boxwood wreaths from tartan ribbons on white cabinet doors. 

Contact: Website: IG: @wildflowersybil Phone: 205.229.2416

See other articles featuring Sybil Sylvester: Holiday Wonderland with Birmingham Floral Designer Sybil Sylvester, Jewel Box Christmas, How Sybil Sylvester transformed her master bedroom into a colorful retreat

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