Thursday, January 9, 2020

Minimalist Botanical Winter Porch


As we've been putting away the holiday decor, I seemed to be craving a type of clean simplicity that still feels cozy, but at the same time, much less busy. The first place I wanted to create this aesthetic was at the front door so that we are always welcomed home with a refreshing clarity.

Decorating the entry areas to our home has always been a high priority for me. These are the spaces that really define our state of mind when we return to our sanctuary after a long day.

Have you ever noticed that when your environment feels crowded and busy, you also feel sort of scattered or anxious? That's precisely the reason I place such a high importance on these areas, and each season, it's the first place I change up our decor.

For winter, I decided to stick with a minimalist botanical design to kick off the new year--and, new decade!



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The cornerstone of my porch design was definitely the greenery. I wanted my floral to be aligned with the season, so I only used plants that you would naturally find during a Pacific Northwest winter: ferns, laurel, cedar, and pine.

We have an abundance of all of these plants around our property, so it was quite easy to go foraging and take trimmings. For larger branches, I used my loppers, but for the little snips of laurel, my pruning shears worked beautifully. I took trimmings until my garden cart was full to the brim, and you would never even know it with the amount of vegetation we have!


Floral Choices


To keep things simple, I stuck with rustic wood and galvanized metal for all of my containers. Limiting the materials helped to further evoke the minimalist vibe I desired.

Now, let me tell you, I am definitely not a skilled floral designer, but here's what I've learned about arranging natural botanicals: Just keep playing with it until it feels right!

I always start with the longest branches, first. For me, that was mostly the pine. Next, I added quite a lot of cedar to fill in the blank spaces. Lastly, I tucked sprigs of laurel all around. Because the laurel buds added a lot of visual interest, these really served as the "flower" of my design, even though there were no true flowers yet at this time of year.


The best thing about these floral choices is that they're basically maintenance free for the entire season. That's my favorite type of plant maintenance! Ha!

The ferns might need a drink every 10-14 days (Boston ferns, especially, prefer moist--not soggy--soil), but all of my trimmings will last for weeks without a care.


A Minimalist Wreath


I wanted my wreath on the door to be equally minimalist, but still have a botanical feel. Larger pine or cedar wreaths are beautiful, but definitely not what I was going for with this design. Instead, I used a simple grapevine wreath that, then tucked small trimmings of cedar in between the vines on the lower half of the wreath only.

Using a more minimalist wreath ensured that it didn't overwhelm the door. One of the keys to a minimalist design is to maintain a lot of "white space", or undecorated areas. 

I hung my wreath with a length of burlap ribbon rather than using a typical wreath hook. The ribbon doesn't interfere with our storm door latching shut, and I liked the texture it added to the wreath.

{ Related: How to DIY a Simple Burlap Bow }


Let's Get Technical


For decor, I stuck with a few of my favorite lanterns, and a vintage wooden duck. I used an old wooden crate for height on one side of the door, and a chippy wooden step ladder on the other.

The final touch was the white farmhouse chair, and it's a very important piece to the design.

The symmetry of the greenery works well flanking the door with natural color on both sides, but I intentionally kept the height of the design asymmetrical (i.e. the greenery on the ladder is taller than on the crate). This created a weight imbalance in my design. Without the chair, this asymmetry would make it feel almost as though the porch was leaning toward the right (heavier) side.


You can test this out by holding your hand over the above photo and blocking out the chair to see the difference it makes!

Adding the white chair maintained the minimalism because it blends with our white siding, and also added just enough weight to anchor and balance the opposite side of the door. Plus, it's a great spot to pull on boots!


I hope our simple botanical front porch has given you some inspiration for your own winter decorating! To help, here's a design board with sources to recreate this look in your own home. Enjoy!



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6 comments

  1. It is very warm and welcoming and totally beautiful! Thanks for sharing at my link party!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  2. Beautiful, thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Teresa! So glad you enjoyed it! xo, Kristi

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  3. Oh my goodness, I have porch envy! I love your design, and the ethos behind it as well. This is such a refreshing look for the new year. I'm pinning and featuring your post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party this week, Kristi. Thank you so much for sharing it! Hope to see you at the party!

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    1. You are just the sweetest, April! Thank you so much for featuring our porch--I'm so glad you love it! xo, Kristi

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