This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

How To Create Atmospheric Autumn Dinner Party Decor

How To

The upside to the-end-of-summer-blues is the onset of cosy autumn evenings, comforting foods, roaring fires and, hopefully, intimate evenings with friends. Today, self-taught florist Annabelle Hickson helps us embrace the botanical beauty of the season!

To coincide with the release of her new book, A Tree In The House, which inspires readers to create botanical arrangements for the home, special occasions and every day, she shares a guide on styling a simple-yet-atmospheric autumn dinner party.

11th April, 2019

Self-taught florist Annabelle Hickson is the author and photographer behind new book A Tree In The House. Photo – Annabelle Hickson.

The hardcover inspires readers to create botanical arrangements for the home, special occasions and every day. Photo – Annabelle Hickson.

Annabelle worked as a journalist before relocating to a pecan farm on the New South Wales-Queensland border with her husband and three children. Photo –Luisa Brimble.

Annabelle creates floral installations and teaches classes on how to style flowers worldwide. Photo – Annabelle Hickson.

‘At this stage of its life, cotton does not need to sit in water which makes it the perfect material to be bunched up,’ tells Annabelle. Photo – Annabelle Hickson.

Annabelle Hickson
Thursday 11th April 2019

‘The crunching sound of an autumn leaf underfoot takes me straight back to my childhood’ – Annabelle Hickson.

I really don’t understand why people get bothered about leaves on the floor. Of all the things to clean up, they are the easiest and most pleasant. A quick sweep and everything is as good as new.

Plus, the crunching sound of an autumn leaf underfoot takes me straight back to my childhood, throwing myself into the mounds of fallen leaves piled up on the footpath.

After cotton harvest in autumn, I like to zip tie some bunches of it to the overhead beam in my kitchen, undulating up and down and in and out.

At this stage of its life, cotton does not need to sit in water which makes it the perfect material to be bunched up. Not only does it look like something out of a Seussian dream, you also don’t have to fuss about to keep it looking its best.

The bunches of cotton will stay for several months, until I feel like a change!

 

Equipment

Cotton branches
Dried leaves
Zip ties and/or string
Scissors
Ladder

Method

 

First, create 10 or so bunches of cotton at ground level, securing each bunch together at the point where you would naturally want to hold it with a zip tie.

Then shimmy up a ladder and tie each bunch to the beam with string or zip ties – some higher, some lower, some pointing diagonally left or right.

Occasionally, a little ball of cotton will fall off but, just as with the leaves on the ground, a quick sweep will bring everything back into order.

This is an edited extract from A Tree in the House by Annabelle Hickson published by Hardie Grant Books AU $50.00/NZ $55.00 and is available where all good books are sold.

This Week

News

The Ko's Christmas Market In Geelong

A one-stop Christmas shopping event in Geelong on December 13 and 14th, complete with fashion, jewellery, gardening, ceramics, food, music,
Sasha Aarons

Shopping

Level Up Your Bathroom With Baina Organic Cotton Towels

These modern, organic cotton towels make us want to ditch every weird towel in our linen closets.
Miriam McGarry

Sustainable Homes

A Dream Off-Grid Retreat

The Elemental House in High Camp by Ben Callery Architects is a cosy weekender, designed with sustainability in mind.
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

Architecture

A Sculptural Home Inspired By The Hepburn Landscape

A distinctive Corten-clad house designed by Robert Nichol and Sons, just outside Hepburn, Victoria.
Amelia Barnes

Art

Saint Cloche Hosts Final Exhibition For 2019, ‘Paradiso’

The Paddington art gallery closes the year with their annual group show!
Amelia Barnes
  11 hours ago

Creative People

Get Your Goals In Check, With These Original Artworks By Beci Orpin x kikki.K

kikki K has teamed up with the legendary Melbourne artist to create three original artworks based on new year's goals. Here's how you can wi...

Christmas Countdown

Local Wines, Craft Beers and Gift Packs At Blackhearts & Sparrows - With 10% Off!

We've perused the shelves of our favourite local wine supplier, to create our very own (discounted!) Xmas gift guide for you!

Dream Job

Beatrice Preston Zly, Product Packaging Designer at Aēsop

The RMIT graduate shares how hard work, passion and preparation helped her land her dream job at the iconic Australian brand!

Art

The Art Of Abstraction With Emma Currie

In the lead up to our Art&Artefact exhibition, we visit the studio of one incredibly talented emerging Melbourne painter.

Christmas Countdown

Bookish Gifts For Christmas With Thames & Hudson - And 30% Off!

Today, we’re perusing the bookshelves at Thames & Hudson… who are offering a staggering 30% off all of our Top Picks for TDF Readers!

News

Blooming With Love In This Silent Auction

Join Cecilia Fox, Katie Marx and Georgie Boy in raising funds for beloved creative Shonel Bryant of Nomad Styling, who is embarking on treat...
Miriam McGarry

News

Museum-Quality Art Pieces At An Affordable Price!

LUMAS Gallery’s Melbourne outpost makes limited art editions and photographic artworks more accessible for all.
Sponsored

News

Share The Cheer With ‘Cake + Kindness’ Christmas Edition!

The wonderful Merchant Road Events, La Marzocco Home and Market Lane Coffee are coming together December 7 for a bake sale that supports wom...
Miriam McGarry

Giveaway

Our Sustainable Summer Edit + Giveaway!

WIN our edit of summer essentials, made from organic, sustainable, biodegradable materials, recycled plastic, and even ocean waste! In partn...

Stays

A Magically Restorative Waterfront Getaway In Tasmania

Once a dilapidated shack, Captains Rest is now one of the most in-demand boutique accommodations in Tassie!
Amelia Barnes

View Comments

Similar Stories

Styled Settings

Styled Settings · A Floral Soirée

In partnership with Jansz Tasmania, we style a bright and colourful table, with handmade details.

Interiors

Karen McCartney Takes Us Inside The Most Fascinating Homes

The esteemed magazine editor and author takes us inside the homes of global creatives in her new book 'The Alchemy of Things'.
Elle Murrell

TDF Films

Styled Settings · A Winter Feast

A new video series of easy styling ideas to elevate your next dinner party or social gathering, inspired by Jansz Tasmania’s collection of...

This Week

Stays

A Magically Restorative Waterfront Getaway In Tasmania

Once a dilapidated shack, Captains Rest is now one of the most in-demand boutique accommodations in Tassie!
Amelia Barnes

News

Share The Cheer With ‘Cake + Kindness’ Christmas Edition!

The wonderful Merchant Road Events, La Marzocco Home and Market Lane Coffee are coming together December 7 for a bake sale that supports wom...
Miriam McGarry

Christmas Countdown

Bookish Gifts For Christmas With Thames & Hudson - And 30% Off!

Today, we’re perusing the bookshelves at Thames & Hudson… who are offering a staggering 30% off all of our Top Picks for TDF Readers!

Giveaway

Our Sustainable Summer Edit + Giveaway!

WIN our edit of summer essentials, made from organic, sustainable, biodegradable materials, recycled plastic, and even ocean waste! In partn...

News

Blooming With Love In This Silent Auction

Join Cecilia Fox, Katie Marx and Georgie Boy in raising funds for beloved creative Shonel Bryant of Nomad Styling, who is embarking on treat...
Miriam McGarry

Sustainable Homes

A Dream Off-Grid Retreat

The Elemental House in High Camp by Ben Callery Architects is a cosy weekender, designed with sustainability in mind.
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

News

Museum-Quality Art Pieces At An Affordable Price!

LUMAS Gallery’s Melbourne outpost makes limited art editions and photographic artworks more accessible for all.
Sponsored

Architecture

A Sculptural Home Inspired By The Hepburn Landscape

A distinctive Corten-clad house designed by Robert Nichol and Sons, just outside Hepburn, Victoria.
Amelia Barnes

Dream Job

Beatrice Preston Zly, Product Packaging Designer at Aēsop

The RMIT graduate shares how hard work, passion and preparation helped her land her dream job at the iconic Australian brand!

Christmas Countdown

Local Wines, Craft Beers and Gift Packs At Blackhearts & Sparrows - With 10% Off!

We've perused the shelves of our favourite local wine supplier, to create our very own (discounted!) Xmas gift guide for you!

Shopping

Level Up Your Bathroom With Baina Organic Cotton Towels

These modern, organic cotton towels make us want to ditch every weird towel in our linen closets.
Miriam McGarry

Art

The Art Of Abstraction With Emma Currie

In the lead up to our Art&Artefact exhibition, we visit the studio of one incredibly talented emerging Melbourne painter.

News

The Ko's Christmas Market In Geelong

A one-stop Christmas shopping event in Geelong on December 13 and 14th, complete with fashion, jewellery, gardening, ceramics, food, music,
Sasha Aarons

Creative People

Get Your Goals In Check, With These Original Artworks By Beci Orpin x kikki.K

kikki K has teamed up with the legendary Melbourne artist to create three original artworks based on new year's goals. Here's how you can wi...

Art

Saint Cloche Hosts Final Exhibition For 2019, ‘Paradiso’

The Paddington art gallery closes the year with their annual group show!
Amelia Barnes
  11 hours ago

Similar Stories

Styled Settings

Styled Settings · A Floral Soirée

In partnership with Jansz Tasmania, we style a bright and colourful table, with handmade details.

Interiors

Karen McCartney Takes Us Inside The Most Fascinating Homes

The esteemed editor tours the homes of global creatives in her new book 'The Alchemy of Things'.
Elle Murrell

TDF Films

Styled Settings · A Winter Feast

A new video series of easy styling ideas to elevate your next dinner party or social gathering, inspired by Jansz Tasmania’s collection of...