With its swags of pine branches laden with cones, trailing ivy, candles rather than fairy lights, urns and wreath, this mantel-top arrangement is the most traditional of our three. What lends it its slightly more up-to-date edge though, is the asymmetry.
“The key to making an asymmetrical arrangement work,” explains Meaghan, “is keeping it balanced. You don’t want one side to feel ‘heavier’ than the other. So here, because the urns on the right side are taller, we’ve hung the garland lower under the wreath on the left. It just tips the scales back in that direction.”
We’ve also stuck to a very edited palette – the deep green of the pine, the russet brown from the pinecones and antique urns, brass on the candlesticks, and the white potted cyclamen and taper candles. The ivy, with its variegated edges, then creates a link between the green and white. With such an edited look, it means that all the attention is on the display’s form and shape, and it keeps things in the realm of timeless and classic.
Finally, by using just a handful of candles (as opposed to fairy lights), you’ll creates a more restrained feel to suits the palette. “Just be careful,” Meaghan says, “that the tapers don’t burn down too close to the foliage, especially in the pots where we’ve used the Coatbridge candle stakes to hold the tapers. If you’re worried, you could always replace one or both of the urns with tall hurricane lanterns like Newington, placing pillar candles inside. That way, you won’t lose the height.”