On October 2nd it was a glorious day, warm weather, bright fall leaves on the trees, calm breezes and I was fortunate enough to get to spend that afternoon outside at 1006 Summit Avenue decorating the front of the Governor’s Residence.
By my side was my partner in creative catastrophes, Dan Wentzel. Dan has been the Visual Coordinator here at Linder’s for the past 4 years and while I am a new addition to the staff we have found there is a chemistry between us that not only leads to beautiful creations but also a lot of fun and laughter.
Our goals for the space were to develop a bright eye catching display
that showcases some unique textures and
highlights the grand architecture of the home.
Dan’s thought was to use the existing planters in the foreground of the entry and create a “tower of pumpkins”. To do this we used heavy gauge orchid stakes to pierce the various pumpkins and gourds, stacking them atop one another in alternating textures and colors. We used large rust mums to fill in the back and the sides of the space. Bunches of curly willow and preserved fall leaves were used for stability and to cover some mechanics. A bunch of bittersweet and some outdoor safe faux berries complete the look.
The residence has two cedar topiaries that frame the front door and we wanted to use these areas to provide a small pop of color but also accentuate the door without overwhelming it. Grapevine was the key to this idea. It’s rustic but the movement it provides adds sophistication. We presoaked 2 large rolls of grape vine overnight so that it would be malleable for installation. We inserted the free end of the roll into the soil of the planter slowly unwinding the roll as we traveled up to the top of the trees. Then we wired in groupings of various sized grapevine spheres accenting with a few bronze willow ones for color. Ribbon to match the front planters was strategically placed within the tiers. Silk leaves in bronze and gold provide a splash of light. We also added a few sprays of curly willow branches to balance out the heavier spheres. Finally Pumpkins and yellow mums were added to the base of the pots to tie everything together.
Lastly we made two door hangings out of metal scoop baskets. We used a medium and small size and filled them with bittersweet, dried lotus pods, bronze berries and cattails. The same rust and copper ribbon was added as a bow and to secure the baskets to the scroll work of the door.
Dan and I left that day with a great sense of accomplishment but nothing fills a designer’s heart with pride like a compliment from the client themselves. A few days later Amanda Simpson the Governor’s Residence Manager sent a note of thanks and in it she had this to say “Everyone who has come to the house today has raved about the décor- even the Troopers, which is really saying something for them to notice and comment”. What more could we have asked for? It was a terrific day!