Decorating with Magnolia

Magnolias are a favorite flower in the South, and the glossy green leaves with brown undersides are perfect for holiday garlands. You can make your own, or you can visit Janet Brown Interiors for lengths of faux magnolia that are easy to drape in your home this season. Here are some photos for inspiration . . .

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“Pears, lemons, limes and magnolia branches enliven a garland on the mantel. Antique French rock-crystal sconces.” Interior design by Lisa Luby Ryan. Photo: Erica Georges Dines. Text by Linda E. Copton. “Season’s Greenery,” Veranda (November – December 2010).

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“In the entry hall, a magnolia garland winding up the balustrade is adorned with lemons and coral ribbon.” Jon and Jennifer Abramczyk’s 1928 Wilmington, Delaware Colonial home. Interior design: Courtney Coleman and Bill Brockschmidt, Brockschmidt and Coleman LLC, Decorating and Design. Architect for addition: John Milner. Photo: Gordon Beall. Text: Krissa Rossbund. “Homemade Holidays” produced by Eileen A. Deymier. Traditional Home.

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“The shearling stockings on the mantel are embroidered with the family’s names and blend with the neutral color palette of the family room. Pinecones and pearlescent balls are tucked into the green-and-brown garland, continuing the natural color scheme.” Design by Gerald Pomeroy. Photo: Eric Roth. “Decorating: Holiday Mantels,” Traditional Home.

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“Denim-wrapped pinecones: Thanks to a renewed interest in hardworking, Southern-milled denim over the last few years, the material is enjoying a renaissance. So much so that it’s even being produced as decorative ribbon, available via sites such as Etsy. We wrapped Slash pinecones (abundant all over the deep South) with the ribbon and wove it into the greenery, leaving the ends loose.” Garland from North Carolina’s Weston Farms. “Southern Magnolia Garland: 3 Easy Ways” by Haskell Harris, Garden and Gun (December 1, 2014).

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How To Decorate a Holiday Mantel” -“Step One: Mix your greens. ‘It’s nice to use three different types of greenery—one for a wreath and two others for garlands,’ says designer Phoebe Howard. Her favorites are fresh magnolia, Fraser fir, and boxwood. Step Two: Layer for lushness. Across the top of the mantel, arrange a thick length of garland. Wire a green bow to the middle, and then artfully weave the ribbon tails throughout. Work in pinecones, berry branches, and various greenery sprigs for color and texture. Step Three: Balance the swoop. To hang the lower garland, start by securing the middle of it to the mantel with a removable adhesive hook and wire. Evenly swag one length to the right and the other to the left, securing at the corners. ‘Make sure you have at least 3 feet dropping down on each side,’ says Phoebe. Step Four: Crown with a wreath. Use monofilament fastened to the back of a mirror to hang the wreath; then wire a bow to the top. ‘But never hang anything over a piece of art,’ says Phoebe. ‘If necessary, remove the artwork and hang the wreath directly on the wall.’ ” Photo: Laurey W. Glenn. Article: Zoe Gowen. Southern Living.

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“I love mimicking nature in my designs, and what’s natural is often unruly. So remember that a garland doesn’t always have to be structured; it can be loose and free flowing too. You really can’t mess it up!”—JESSICA SLOANE. Garland by Nashville event designer Jessica Sloane. Photo by Caroline Allison. “Deck the Halls” produced by Alexandra Schmitt. Flower Magazine.

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“Magnolia garland is beautiful all by itself, whether you hang it around a front door or drape it across a mantle. But adding a little embellishment – such as Moravian Star Ornaments – sets off all that shiny, lush greenery even more. Handmade from paper in the eighteenth-century village of Old Salem, North Carolina, the 26-point shape represents the star of Bethlehem, and was introduced to America by German settlers. The delicate works of art come in three sizes.” Garland from North Carolina’s Weston Farms. “Southern Magnolia Garland: 3 Easy Ways” by Haskell Harris, Garden and Gun (December 1, 2014).

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“The classic library, complete with built-in bookcases, exhibits a striking, dark-hued holiday garland on the mantel.” Catherine and Peter Malone’s 1910 Colonial Revival house in Milton, Massachusetts. Floral design: Daniel Lopez-Ospina and Jeb Taylor, New Leaf Flores. Interior design: Gerald Pomeroy. Photo: Bruce Buck. Text by Krissa Rossbund. “Colorful Christmas in a Colonial” produced by Estelle Bond Guralnick. Traditional Home.

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“Magnolia leaves, pears, and copper-colored glass balls create the masculine library garland.” Catherine and Peter Malone’s 1910 Colonial Revival house in Milton, Massachusetts. Floral design: Daniel Lopez-Ospina and Jeb Taylor, New Leaf Flores. Interior design: Gerald Pomeroy. Photo: Bruce Buck. Text by Krissa Rossbund. “Colorful Christmas in a Colonial” produced by Estelle Bond Guralnick. Traditional Home.

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“In the entrance gallery of a Manhattan family’s duplex apartment stands a Mongolian-sheepskin-skirted Christmas tree, part of a decor created for the home by the event-planning firm Van Wyck and Van Wyck; a gilded magnolia garland traces the staircase’s balustrade.” Photography by Joshua McHugh. Text by Christopher Mason. “Bronson van Wyck Brings the Holiday Spirit to a Manhattan Apartment” produced by Anita Sarsidi. Architectural Digest (December 2014).

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“Magnolia leaves—some painted gold—distinguish the entrance gallery’s lush wreaths and garlands. White flowers, including narcissus and amaryllis, add fragrance, while mistletoe dangles from the lanterns.” Event planner: Bronson van Wyck. Photography by Joshua McHugh. Text by Christopher Mason. “Bronson van Wyck Brings the Holiday Spirit to a Manhattan Apartment” produced by Anita Sarsidi. Architectural Digest (December 2014).

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This magnolia leaf garland “uses the broad leaves of a magnolia, which are ideal for making a natural garland to spruce up a fireplace. Plus, the neutral hue saves this show-stopper from being strictly seasonal. ” “6 DIY Garlands to Make this Fall” by Michelle Profis. Country Living.

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“To get this look, start with a store-bought garland. Space five pieces of water-soaked florist foam, secured inside cages, along the mantel. (Cover your mantel in plastic to protect it.) Cover the foam with pieces of store-bought garland. Next, insert clipped magnolia, holly, pine, and cedar into the foam. Make loops from aspidistra leaves by poking the stems through the tips of the leaves. Insert the stems into the foam. Complete the look by layering in milo, millet, and rose hips. On the sides of the garland, wire in items that don’t require water. Fill in holes with more magnolia. Keep it looking fresh by misting with a preservative called Floralife Crowning Glory Solution.” Photo: Emily J. Followill. “Dressed-Up Christmas Mantels,” Southern Living.

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“A row of tea light candles nestled among greenery provides a twinkling glow, perfect for subtle mantel décor. Embellished votives and silver accent pieces lend some extra sparkle.” “Decorating Holiday Mantels,” Traditional Home.

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“Holiday display goes natural with magnolia leaves, spruce, and pinecones accented with silver.” “Decorating: Holiday Mantels,” Traditional Home.

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“Table settings were inspired by the Blair House Chinese export porcelain and blue-and-white needlepoint chair seats. A garland of cedar and juniper adorned with eucalyptus pods, magnolia leaves, nut clusters, and Hypericum berries framed the carved mantel, highlighting the nontraditional holiday palette.” Dining room of Blair House, the president’s official guest house for foreign heads of state visiting Washington, D.C. Holiday decor by interior decorator Barry Dixon and floral designer Barbara Hamilton. Photo: Gordon Beall. “Decorating: A Capital Christmas” written by Jenny Bradley. Traditional Home.

Magnolia leaves do not have to be fashioned into garlands. They are beautiful arranged in urns:

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The Lee Entrance Hall at Blair House, the president’s official guest house for foreign heads of state visiting Washington, D.C. Holiday decor by interior decorator Barry Dixon and floral designer Barbara Hamilton. Photo: Gordon Beall. “Decorating: A Capital Christmas” written by Jenny Bradley. Traditional Home.

For a simple, yet elegant presentation, arrange magnolia leaves in a bowl with ornaments, glass orbs or mercury balls. Janet Brown Interiors has a wide selection of glass balls from which to choose:

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“Instead of a floral centerpiece, Dixon filled a large bowl with art glass ornaments nestled in magnolia leaves.” Dining room at Blair House, the president’s official guest house for foreign heads of state visiting Washington, D.C. Holiday decor by interior decorator Barry Dixon and floral designer Barbara Hamilton. Photo: Gordon Beall. “Decorating: A Capital Christmas” written by Jenny Bradley. Traditional Home.

Happy decorating from Janet Brown Interiors! We have 12-foot faux magnolia garlands, glass balls, stockings, Santas, holiday accessories galore, and a helpful staff ready to assist you.

Post by Kathleen Sams Flippen for Janet Brown Interiors

 

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2 comments on “Decorating with Magnolia
  1. Shelley says:

    What about holiday garlands, with the flowers of the magnolia, plus the leaves? Can you show examples of that done well?

    • Thank you for writing. Since magnolias bloom in the spring, white or ivory roses in bud vases nestled within your holiday greens would make a beautiful fresh-flower option for a mantel. I personally love a single magnolia blossom in a glass bowl; it is quintessentially Southern! I will keep my eyes open for photos of magnolias in garlands. I think that would make a beautiful tabletop arrangement for a wedding. Thank you again for your question.

      Kind regards,
      Kathleen at Janet Brown Interiors

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