Holidays by Design
How to Deck the Halls with Style
This holiday season area residents will deck the halls with boughs, bows, and lights. For some, it’s the highlight of the season: taking down boxes of decorations from the attic, sorting through ornaments, and untangling strings of lights to create a twinkling wonderland of holiday cheer. For others, it’s an overwhelming task best left to the experts. Whether you’re looking for someone to create a simple but beautiful table arrangement, artfully decorate your tree, or add holiday flair to every room in your house, Wilton has the professionals you need.
When Lynn Fiorentino started The Gardening Gals in 2011, she began by creating beautiful container gardens for clients. That led to tending perennial beds and doing informal garden designs. “I guess you’d call us private gardeners,” she explains. After numerous requests for holiday-themed front-door containers, Lynn expanded her services to include interior holiday designs, like garlands for mantels and bannisters using magnolia leaves, lemons, and other fresh elements. She decorates living rooms, foyers, and even kitchens.
“Many clients tell me their colors and just say ‘go for it’ and let us do our own thing,” Fiorentino says, “while others like to be part of the creative process.” To get started, a member of the Gardening Gals team, which in addition to Fiorentino includes Susie Klein, Kathy Kiley, and Patty Angione, goes to meet with a client at their home. “I like to get to know my client’s personality so that I can create
holiday decorations that reflect their taste and style,” Fiorentino explains. Later, the team returns to install the creations at the client’s home. “The best compliment I can receive is the compliments my clients receive from family, friends, and guests during their holiday festivities. It’s really about bringing out the holiday spirit through personalizing their home decorations.”
Nancy Gorkin of Earth Garden is also a big fan of “bringing the outdoors inside” when it comes to holiday decorating. “Our look is very natural,” she explains. “We use a lot of shrubs, birch branches—both painted and natural—plus pinecones and berries.” Her holiday floral arrangements range from indoor planted creations using amaryllis and cyclamen to outdoor containers and wreaths using fresh greenery like pine, spruce, cedar, arborvitae, juniper, Carolina sapphire, magnolia, and fir. Previously, clients would need to visit the New Canaan retail location to view all Earth Garden’s designs, but this fall, the Wilton design studio opened a retail component with fresh-cut flowers, pre-made arrangements, and planted creations for interior and exterior.
When it comes to trimming the tree, Courtney Kleeman Designs has you covered. An interior designer by trade, Kleeman broadened her serv-ices to include holiday décor after a few clients requested her help. “It really expanded by word of mouth,” she says. Once Kleeman and a client decide on a theme, she comes up with a budget that includes all the decorations, the install, and the un-install.
“I always decorate and un-decorate,” she explains. As for style, Kleeman is adamant: “It’s not about me, it’s about the client.It’s about what you want your house to say about you.” She gives holiday flair to the entire house (including bathrooms) and she also designs Christmas trees. Most of her clients have both a “family tree” and a designed tree, but Kleeman is more than happy to integrate family items into her designs.
“I can incorporate family ornaments, but then will have other cohesive elements to tie it all together, like perhaps three sizes of mercury balls or a repeated color,” she explains. “Unlike at other times when less is more, at the holidays, more is more!”
Festive centerpieces, decked-out entryways, or beautiful Christmas trees, these designers bring the fa-la-la to the season.
The Gardening Gals
200 Danbury Rd., Wilton,
Courtney Kleeman Design