Create a Fantastic Foyer

By Lana Torre

The holidays are almost upon us. It just doesn’t seem possible but Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah are merely a few weeks away. Because we are all so bombarded with extreme shopping, cooking huge meals, and major to do lists, I thought, why not make this season even more enjoyable by preparing to transform the foyer now. We can begin with an autumn theme and work our way through to the winter holidays, while using green principles.

Now is the perfect time to take a stroll in your backyard, and finds lots of material to bring in to use in your holiday decorations. Let’s have our own personal scavenger hunt. Take a walk downstairs to the basement and then rummage through the garage to find old chairs, wooden boxes and picture frames.

Grab your garden clippers and gloves and let’s go for a walk. If you are fortunate to have bittersweet vine growing wildly in the back forty, clip it in long lengths. Look for wild grapevine, clip it also and make large circles of the vines, [much easier to handle when back inside]. Collect dry, fallen maple leaves. If rose gardening is your gig, clip the hips [or find wild hips on hiking paths or even roadside]. The wild hips are a beautiful deep red and resemble a small berry. Prune your evergreens now. Take small branches from the underside of the trees. When back home, put the cut part of the branch into a large bucket of water. If you have other greens like holly and cedar, you can clip and save them too.

The garage is the perfect hideout for hidden treasures. Search for old wooden chairs and large, wooden picture frames. By your husband’s work table, look for wooden boxes [he’s storing old tools in them].

Now down stairs to the basement. Search for old, glass canning jars in all sizes. Find your ribbon box and pull out any shade of green.

Let’s start by winding the grapevine in and out of the balusters of your staircase. This will create your base. Add snippets of bittersweet. Wire them on every other post. Make beautiful green bows and tie them to the newel posts. At the base of the newel, pile pumpkins, gourds and squash, or place a small pumpkin on each step. Place the old wooden chair in the foyer. Wrap bittersweet around the chair back and place your largest pumpkin on it. Scatter the maple leaves on your foyer table and add some acorns or walnuts for contrast.

Now, here is the easy part. When Thanksgiving has passed, remove the bittersweet from your vine base. Replace it with greenery and red rose hips.

Keep the wooden chair in the foyer, and add a sprig of green and a bow. Place the large wooden box on the floor next to the chair and fill it holly and cedar. Use the canning jars on your foyer table. Fill them a bit with kosher salt and add a white votive candle. Place the large, empty frame over the table and adorn with sprigs of green.

Get creative. Recycle, reuse, reinvent and relax this holiday season. Your work is done!

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