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Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Entryway Through the Year (and a Holiday Update)

Before I redecorated my entryway a few years ago, I had a different chest and an arrangement of silk tulips. Despite the fact that many of the magazines and HGTV shows decry the use of silk flowers, I loved my tulip arrangement and have relocated it to my bedroom. I now try to use fresh and seasonal flowers or branches in my front hall, and I have found that this changes the look of the space and satisfies that little need to change things around every so often.

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Last week, I spotted a beautiful arrangement of holly in the entry of my architect’s office. He had cut some branches from his back yard, and the effect was really beautiful. I am not sure why I have never thought of doing this – after all, holly is my namesake and I tend to have a soft spot for anything holly themed during the holidays. When I was at Kroger this week, they had a small selection of holly branches, and I thought I would try it out. I purchased some glass ornaments from Target and put them in a crystal bowl to make the scene look a little more festive.

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A closer view. As I have mentioned, I am the world’s worst flower arranger, and I am not much better at tablescapes, but I am pleased with the festive look that the red and green bring to the entry.

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When getting this post ready, I took a little trip down memory lane; one of the nice results of having a blog is that my house has never been as well documented! Here is my entry in the spring – I had come across a large selection of flowering quince at Whole Foods, and wrote a post about it here.

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I the summer, I found lilacs in Whole Foods – lilacs are SO rare in Atlanta, and their scent reminds me of my childhood (they were my mother’s favorite flower).

fall

I took this quick iphone picture in October to document a beautiful flower arrangement sent to me as a thank you for a dinner party I hosted. The fall colors were a welcome addition to the overall neutral tones of the entryway.

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Most of the time I have an orchid on the chest. I learned that if you put three cubes of ice in the orchid’s container once a week, it is the perfect way to keep an orchid watered and alive – and it seems to work! Orchids are one of the few potted plants that I can actually keep alive for more than a month. (Ben the dog matches the decor so well!)

I will probably return an orchid to the spot in the New Year, and keep on checking Whole Foods for the flowering quince (which is my favorite look). Do you have a favorite? (Email subscribers, click here to comment)

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48 comments:

  1. Yes the "Holly" is just right, particularly with the red and green ornaments in the bowl. Merry Christmas.

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  2. Love the holly! Great tip on watering orchids. I tend to overwater mine and they don't last long!

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  3. I think your entryway is absolutely perfect! From the perfect shade of beige to the beautiful flowing lines in the furniture and accents!

    But nothing beats the cuteness of Ben the dog =)

    I always think I should spice up my entryway like that more often, and now I'm inspired to do so! Happy Holidays!!

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  4. Aboslutely Beautiful! If you like silk flowers, why not use them. But the holly is nice. I think it works very well here. It's a lovely vignette. And that chest is spectacular! :-)

    Shannon

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  5. Oh, the lilacs steal my heart every time. But really, every season of your entry table was beautiful!

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  6. Oh I love it. It's gorgeous all year long. I love your floors to. The space looks so clean and neat.

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  7. Your entry way looks beautiful all year long. How wonderful to change it through the year and still have it looking so pretty for all the seasons.

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  8. I love the holly! Your entry looks fabulous! Merry Christmas!

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  9. My family says they can tell what time of year it is by what is in the vase on my sideboard, the cookie jar in my kitchen, and the linen guest towel in my powder room :) Love the holly look--Kroger is my florist of choice!

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  10. Yes, fresh arrangements show signs of the relationship you have with your space. Fun seeing yours thru the year.

    Of course your lovely dog could be in each pic too!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  11. The holly is wonderful and festive...love it, xv.

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  12. Love the trip down memory lane and I adore your entryway!

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  13. I am a terrible flower-arranger too but am inspired by the ideas you presented in the photos posted in this entry. I have a lovely holly tree outside and am going to snip a few branches to place in a vase to set on our buffet.

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  14. Love Ben, dogs do tend to make the home look warmer. Thank you for the inspiration came upon while blog hopping :)

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  15. Perfect, Holly! I love doing simple arrangements like a few branches of leaves. Last year, I got a ton of magnolia leaves, rosemary, holly, boxwood and fir. I had a ball arranging all of it!

    PS. Ben's a cutie!

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  16. My fave is the photo with the branches, however I appreciate each and every expression, thanks for posting all the different photos! Its amazing how the vignette changes with each floral arrangement! Happy holidays!

    Best,
    Jaime

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  17. It is just wonderful! You have a very good taste!

    Greet

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  18. So-SO pretty! Simple,unique and fresh. That chest is awesome! What is the wall color? It's perfect.

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  19. Every one of these images are delightful...the drawers are to die for! Tracey xx

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  20. I love the holiday look, but the lilacs are another favorite. Entry ways are a nice spot to make periodic changes.

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  21. I'll try that orchid tip! I have some trying to re-bloom. My Mom was a fair hand at growing them but I kill 1 in 3 I get.

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  22. Always soooo elegant and stylish, your entry way. Isn't it lovely to revisit old blog photos. I revisit from time to time to remind myself that progress IS happening on my project. I have aquired an orchid for my hallstand. I just don't know how I am going to go with it... it is so terribly hot at present... hot days and air conditioned nights... poor thing. I will be surprised if it survives! A-M xx

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  23. Hi everyone - thank you for the comments!

    The mirror is the Beaton mirror by Niermann Weeks; the chest is the Murano chest by Hickory Chair in the parchment finish; the lamp is murano glass, Barbara Barry for Baker, I think it is called the pleated lamp; the wall color is pale almond by Benjamin Moore.

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  24. Inspirational. My foyer table is way overdue for a change. Love the tip about ice cubes and orchids!

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  25. Amazing how the different flowers change it up so much. They are all beautiful. I, too, have holly in my yard and I use big bunches of it at Christmas time..I love it!!

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  26. I do adore the holly for Christmas time but the branches are my favorite for everyday because they add nice height. Have you thought of putting the pretty bowl on a plate stand angled a bit with the books in front of it? (always the display artist and 'doing flowers' is my thing!)
    Blessings...
    xx

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  27. The holly is a great touch in your lovely entry.

    xo,
    cristin

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  28. Gorgeous pics and love the holly. It doesn't grow here but I have always admired it as a symbol of CHristmas. I remember being in Vancouver years ago and looking up and seeing a giant holly tree. I don't know where I thought it came from, but I was shocked to see it on a tree! And such a giant one too! We cannot get it here and most florists don't carry it either. We can never get quince, which I adore.

    Oh, and I am so envious of your Whole Foods. We discovered one in Charlottesville on our trip and were smitten. In Canada we have great grocers and great gourmet stores and great organic markets, but not all in one. David and I joked that we should take a vacation some year and just go to all the Whole Foods in different states. haha. You can see we love to eat.

    Hope all is well. Love your "namesake" (and you!). xo Terri

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  29. Love it! I used branches in a bathroom that needed something taller than what I had on hand.

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  30. Wonderful post! A neutral entryway with a differrent "lipsticks" for every season. I also love to use branches (cf. my post Pedestals) and your choise of lamps and accessories is very "reussi"! thank you.

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  31. Holly, I don't know why this post didn't make it to my in-box! I just found it this morning in today's (14th's) post.
    I love these photos. I enjoyed them very much, it is truly the simple things that make life grand, like changing up entry flowers. or changing out a lamp (love yours.)
    Like you I love orchids, and I don't kill them! I have one from a Mother's Day gift from years ago. They really just like being left alone, but when they bloom, it is like a most wonderful present.
    Your dog Ben does match the decor. I tell our Sophie all the time what a great friend she is to us, and also what a great accessory (kidding of course) she is to our home. (wink)

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  32. sophie dahy designsDecember 14, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    Holly, Silk flowers are made so well now that it is very difficult to tell that they are not real. I change the arrangement frequently on the chest in my entry hall according to the season. I think if you have one fresh bouquet in your home, everyone assumes they all are. Check with us in the spring when we will have lilacs. In fact last year I had a bouquet in a french wire basket that I kept on my entry table.

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  33. You asked for comments, so here goes. Please don't take this the wrong way. This is my opinion, that's all. I'm not being intentionally nasty, but someone should offer you an opinion that may not sit all that well. What I see going on in your hallway is window decoration. It looks stilted in the way that room sets do in furniture stores. That bedroom bureau is beautiful, but it sends the wrong signals about storage in a front hall. Keep it simple: you want such simple practicality as a tabletop to put down car & house keys, mail, packages, the kids' homework... temporarily. Nothing should live on that surface except a contributing decorating element (you got the changing plants/vases very correct, consider going larger on the greenery/branches! Scale, scale, scale.) The mirror is attractive and practical. The wall sconces, ditto. Now why another source of light from the table lamp? Too much, too cluttered, too retail. Put it where it can do some good, and put the wall sconces on a dimmer, if they're not already. The books piled up on each other with yet something else piled on top isn't anything but a way to take up space, which you need to keep clear. If you must have reference books there, run them across the back with a set of incredible bookends (overscale anything...rusty gears, rocks, your second-grader's pottery project). The basket in the corner looks like you're trying to stash something unattractive away; get rid of it. The wall color is great, the ceiling gorgeous, the dog, floor, and rug are perfect. This is your home, make it personal; it's about you, your taste, not the anomynity of an urban waiting room! Go ahead, I know you can do this! We've seen the before, show us the after! I wouldn't spend the time on this if I didn't care.

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  34. what a wonderful entry! i love the trip through the seasons, and the facility for change afforded by the neutral elements. all lovely!
    also love ben. the perfect accessory! merry merry christmas to you. jkj

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  35. Thank you for the comments and holiday wishes, everyone!

    Peter - I know exactly what you mean, I have struggled with this entry for years. In truth, I love having storage in the entry - the top drawer is the mail processing station, the middle drawer is the kids paperwork processing station, and the bottom drawer has the nice linens for the dining room, which is adjacent (when I inherited a buffet with little storage, I had to find a home for these things). We use the back entrance off the garage for the everyday coming and going - so this is where the keys and the bookbags go.

    I do appreciate your tips and recommendations - the entry in my new house will be just an entry, with a center table, and the back entry will take a new form. I know the tablescape is wrong in many ways, and things will change when I move, I am sure. You would like what I have done in my dining room - I found a great Japanese glass float in the most beautiful shade of blue/green, and that is anchoring a small collection of books. I like how it looks, and was pleased to read that you like this look too.

    Yes - the basket in the corner - this is where the kids shoes go (I have three young children) - we don't wear shoes upstairs (this vignette is very close to the base of the stairs)- and it has solved our lost shoe problem in the mornings! For everyday life, it is fine, and when we have guests I stash it in the coat closet. Sometimes when you have kids and dog running around, the practical needs to take precedence over the beautiful!

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  36. I'm okay with very good silks, but in the Foyer I'd keep it alive...an authentic first impression is the best! Love the idea of bringing holly inside, magnolia works well and keeps for a while in my experience.

    More imporatantly, and I think I've commented this before, I love that chest from Hickory Chair. One of my favorite pieces!

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  37. Thank you Holly for the lovely photos and your blog in general. I think your mention of the charity is honorable. It will sadden you to know that on a recent nationwide exam, 67% of US school kids were able to subtract 75 from 301. In Detroit, 33% of kids were able to. Our own schools are in desperate shape. I am looking into putting my math tutor hat back on, and helping my own community (where a local school just went from an F to a D and that fact was joyously celebrated on the news).

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  38. I like the holly; its festive and simple and all that is good.
    and I like Ben!

    Also, my mom loves orchids and my grandfather grew them. I have never heard the ice trick and am anxious to share.

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  39. I love the holly arrangement -- it's almost sculptural looking and it's festive without being cheesy (which can be tough to achieve!).

    Oh and thanks for the ice cube tip for orchids. I have a terrible habit of either overwatering for forgetting about it altogether....

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  40. Gorgeous!! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely home! I love the red & green ornaments & the "holly" - it's just beautiful, beautiful!

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  41. Too much going on - finally got to your post! So very lovely in absolutely every season!! You have a such a great eye.
    xx-Gina

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  42. You are really good with seasonal looks! I'm going to refer to this post in upcoming seasons.

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  43. It is amazing what a difference flowers can make and how it completely changes the look of your entrance. Lovely pictures and nice documenting!
    Thanks for sharing.

    xCharlotta

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  44. Each arrangement made just the right statement for the table venue - simple, but elegant. The holly looks great. I grow holly bushes and green giants just so I have cuttings for Christmas.

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  45. Love your blogs! Thank you so much.
    Consider giving the books a vacation, that orchid deserves center
    stage looking at itself in the mirror...

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  46. I LOVE that chest! Where did you get it??

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Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!

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