Friday, 30 January 2015

Winter Scandinavian Style - Flowers

I've always enjoyed living in an area that has four distinct seasons. Weather changes are invigorating and exciting, and for me, they actually add meaning and substance to the yearly cycle of life.  There's only one problem with the whole cycle, it's called Winter. Oh sure, we all enjoy the first snowfall and we love a 'White Christmas'. But then comes January. Real winter sets in and Canada begins to suffer through the next two to four months.

Well, this year I'm trying my best not to crawl into a cave (my bed) and hibernate. I've been inspired by the cool simplicity of Scandinavian style and design. Nordic culture embraces the austere winter landscape and reflects it back with bright minimalist style. Everything from home decor to art and design is touched with this peaceful yet modern esthetic. 

This winter I am following that example! I've let myself be inspired by the scene outside my window; the big icy blue sky, the quiet white landscape, the slender silhouettes of the city skyline. Instead of fighting against the temperature, I'm embracing it in my crafting, decorating, and even my baking. 

I find that the toughest part of winter is the dark, dull weeks that end January and begin February. And right now those days are upon us, so starting today, I have three cold weather blog posts that I hope will have you feeling a little bit more inspired by the season that makes us true Canadians.

To begin, a cold-weather floral arrangement! This is one of those easy projects that anyone can put together. All you have to do is head to your florist (or grocery store) and pick out some bunches of your favourite seasonal stems.

Even in our modern world, flowers are linked to the season in which they bloom. In Canada, our winter season stems often also include spring flowers, like pussy willows, that are imported from warmer areas. 

Our common cold-weather flowers are: Evergreen, Holly berry, Boxwood, Rose, Carnation, Amaryllis, Eucalyptus, Pussy willow, Alstromeria, Lily, Pepper berry, Tallow berry, Paper white (narcissus), Gardenia, Star of Bethlehem, Dusty Miller and Silver Brunia.

For a tabletop arrangement that would be rustic and wintery, I chose pussy willow, boxwood, baby's breath, and eucalyptus. I cut the stems down by quite a bit, maybe half, and placed them in the pot without fussing over it too much. I wanted the look to be easy and imperfect.

I took me awhile to decide on a container for the flowers. Nothing in my collection of vases had the relaxed, country look that I was going for. Finally, I had the idea to use a ceramic flower pot, instead of a dainty glass vase. This white Ikea piece does the arrangement proud. It's stout shape and simple lines lend my stems a look that is perfectly vintage-country-farm-house-Scandinavian-chic. Or something like that.

I've always loved winter flowers. They seem to me to have a certain delicacy, a serene beauty that the bright and colourful flowers of summer cannot compete with. Our December wedding included many of my seasonal favourites:
See you tomorrow! More cold weather fun to come!


  1. Inspiring! I may have to shop at a different grocery store this week so I can actually pick out some flowers :)

  2. I loved your post. The cookies this year were beautiful! Like you, I love my seasons, but winter!!! First snow, great, but then the dark grey skies, it is so depressing after all the excitement of Christmas. So I've decided to keep Christmas through the winter!!! Knitting more Christmas stockings , watching the shows I missed, drinking hot chocolate and I may leave the tree up a little longer. Thank you for sharing!! Merry Christmas!!

  3. Wow!! These winter flowers are adorable. They look so beautiful and fresh. Well, I have decided to throw a lunch party at one of Chicago event space and planning to have flowers as the centerpiece. Different colorful flowers will look beautiful there.