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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.

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