Decorative Wreaths: 5 tips for keeping them beautiful!

April 1st, 2008 by Heather Dyer

Using decorative wreaths to enhance the ambience of your home is a very common practice.  With so much tasteful variety available, they can be used on front doors, back doors, mantles, in photo arrangements and almost anywhere an elegant piece of wall décor is needed. 

Follow these five simple keys to beauty in any season.

SizeDecorative wreaths come in a variety of sizes.  From 12” all the way up to two to three feet in diameter.  Some people feel somewhat intimidated to use a very large wall wreath, but they really do make a stunning focal point for any room, especially one with vaulted cathedral ceilings.  Smaller wreaths can be used at the front door or in a photo collage.  Select a wreath that is the right size for its space.  Don’t cram a large wreath into a small space or put a delicate and dainty wreath as the centerpiece of a large empty wall.

StyleDecorative wreaths can be broken down into five general categories of style.  1) The traditional pine wreath.  Typically used during the Christmas holiday, they can easily be decorated with a red bow, a sprig of holly berries, and a string of portable lights. 2) Floral wreaths typically use a combination of real, dried, or silk flowers and foliage.  Depending on the color and tone of the plants used, these can be used in any season.  3) Foliage leaf wreaths.  Typically used in the fall, these wreaths feature such plant-life as variegated grass, grapevine, eucalyptus, twigs, and crawling ivy.  4) Berry wreaths mix a combination of greenery, evergreen branches, and seasonal berries to create a gorgeous wreath.  5) Decorator wreaths are custom made for a specific wall, color, or event.  Decorated with feathers, glitter, or other special ornamental features, these wreaths are designed to fit a specific look.

Placement – The larger the wreath, the higher it should be hung.   If you have a large spacious open wall that you plan to hang a 38” wreath, raise it higher than you would hang a 12” wreath intended as part of a photo collage. 

Accessories – Changing wreaths several times a year in order to stay in –season is certainly an option.  It is, however, costly, and does require storage of some rather awkward and large objects.  Instead, consider purchasing only two or three high quality wreaths that you can add seasonal accessories to.  For example, if you have a pine or evergreen wreath, you can easily add Christmas bulbs, lights, and bows for a quick holiday transformation.  And, using that same wreath in summer, you can instead weave magnolia blossoms and greenery through the branches. 

Care and maintenance – Unfortunately, live wreaths are only beautiful so long as they are fresh.  Dried wreaths can be somewhat delicate and therefore tricky to keep dust-free, but so long as you observe a regular routine, you shouldn’t have much trouble.  It is reasons like this that an artificial decorative wreath is a nice option.  Not only are high quality wreaths designed with a dust-resistant protection, cleaning them won’t damage delicate and fragile details.  Keeping your wreaths clean, dust-free, and beautiful will only add to their beautiful affect in your décor.

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Summer patio parties!

March 31st, 2008 by Heather Dyer

Summer’s finally here and you can hardly wait to fire up that grill and serve up some burgers to your friends and family.  Patio parties are as American as apple pie.  Tanned kids run through the sprinklers while adults relax with good conversation and a cold beer.  Life doesn’t get much better.

Preparing for your next patio party is easier and less costly than you might think.  Here are a few ideas that won’t cramp your budget and can be used over and over during the summer months and repeated year after year.

Twinkle, twinkle little star – Use twinkle lights (or leftover plain white Christmas lights will do) to bring festivity and warmth to your patio.  Hang lights or lanterns from trees.  Line your fence or deck rails to create the cozy atmosphere of an enclosed space.  Wrap your yard umbrella’s spine and ribs to add light to your food table after the sun has gone down for the night.

Shoo fly, don’t bother me – Be prepared for summer pests, and don’t let them spoil your party.  Place citronella candles throughout your party area and especially near the eating tables.  Buy pop-up mesh food tents to protect your dinner and treats.

Hey baby, light my fire – A portable fireplace or fire pit is an excellent source of patio ambiance.  Before the party, arrange a large platter of marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers and once the sun goes down, let the kids gather ‘round for S’mores.

Roses are red, violets are blue – Flowers and plants bring style, sophistication, and a burst of color to your patio.  The more the better.  Fill in empty spaces on the patio with large pots overflowing with greenery and in-season flowers.  Hang baskets from awnings and deck rails.  Place small delicately arranged flower bouquets among the food and as romantic, elegant table centerpieces.  Consider purchasing artificial plants and silk flower arrangements for their hypoallergenic qualities, exceptionally lifelike appearance, and extremely low maintenance.  Especially if you entertain often, spending a few dollars more upfront is a wise and well spent long term investment.

I wanna rock and roll all night — You can create almost any atmosphere you wish with the addition of music to your patio party.  Preset a playlist to accommodate the type of evening you desire.  Exercise care with the volume and adjust according to the tastes and likes of your guests.

Get out there and enjoy summer to its fullest this year.  Spend time and create memories with your loved ones.  Even the smallest touches of preparation can make a huge impact on the success of your party or gathering – plus, it’s a great way to show your guests how much they mean to you!

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Decorating with Asian flair.

March 30th, 2008 by Heather Dyer

The orient is a land rich in culture and tradition. Homes of the orient are noted for their calm and serene atmospheres. Main decorating elements include textures and colors found in nature. If you admire the traditional Asian sense of style and décor but aren’t ready to renovate your entire home, these simple and cost effective suggestions will help you to bring the tranquil essences of the orient right to your finger tips.

#1. Asian design includes objects and textures found in nature such as smooth stones in a miniature water fountain, paper screens, and bamboo accessories.

#2. Asian homes are influenced by colors of their natural surroundings: grays, greens, and tans. However, the Chinese prefer a much bolder approach, using colors such as bright red and mustard yellow.

#3. Asian inspired textiles add far eastern influence to your home.

#4. Figurines of mythical creatures will bring an oriental element of the mysterious to your table or cabinet.

#5. Rich tapestries, silks, and linens embroidered with Chinese/Japanese symbols, birds, or floral patterns are often used as window coverings, table cloths, or to create cushions and pillows.

#6. Accessorize with rich foliage and flowering plants that are native to the orient. Miniature bonsai trees, silk flower arrangements embellished with bamboo shoots, and other ferns are just a few suggestions. Consider a silk plant or artificial flower arrangement. Not only are they hypoallergenic and a long-lasting investment, modern designs have come a long way since our mother’s tacky, plastic plants. With extremely detailed and lifelike petals, branches, and leaves, you can enjoy the benefits of their low maintenance while fooling even your toughest critics.

#7. Wall plaques with Oriental symbols and lettering can be custom made to represent meanings special to you such as your family name or a word of personal inspiration.

#8. Carved wooden figurines shaped as elephants or tigers, flowers, or a miniature Buddha is easy to find at flea markets. Also look for items such as old trays, small delicate porcelain vases, trinket boxes, and jars decorated with hand painted roses or other delicate flowers.

#9. Accent a side table with a porcelain oriental tea set on a beautiful matching tray.

When trying to replicate the look of the orient, one must be careful not to overdo. Less really is more. The oriental are a minimalist people. They never clutter their homes with over-decoration. Before making purchases or changing the look of your existing room, visit some stores and browse through magazines catered to oriental decorating. Having a specific visualization of the desired end result is always a good place to start.

Please visit our site and browse our stunning selection of silk floral arrangements and designer artificial plants before you begin your next designing and decorating project. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is waiting to assist you with your needs!

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Decorative wreaths and silk flower arrangments: making use of above-cabinet spaces

March 29th, 2008 by Heather Dyer


Modern kitchens are often designed with a large nook of space for decorating above the cabinets, but unfortunately, it leaves most people at a loss for what to do with it.  Using a small bit of creativity and thought given to proper arrangement and selection, you can easily turn that space into a beautiful focal point or a subtle addition to your current kitchen décor.

When designing the above-cabinet space, a few rules do apply. 

#1.  You can fill in the full space with accessories of a variety of heights and shapes, tied together by color or theme, or perhaps even a run of garland of greenery or berries.

#2.  If that’s too full, you can make small groupings of accessories, pottery, plants, or art that you place in strategic locations, leaving open space in between for added drama.

#3.  Avoid the monotony of spacing single items evenly across the entire run of cabinets. This lacks drama, artistic creativity, and cohesion.

Here are just a few ideas:

 Pottery.  Decorative “kitchen” pottery is a nice idea if it is in keeping with the desired theme of the kitchen.  Arrange small groupings and add artificial, but realistic, greenery.

Lighting.  This can be as complex as installing fixtures such as track lighting or can lights, or it can be as simple as placing a string of white miniature Christmas lights or a long strand of rope light on the inside of the cabinet’s molding.  This affect is especially dramatic for holidays or special occasions.

Plants and flowers.  Because of their low maintenance and hypoallergenic indoor qualities, artificial plants and silk flower arrangements suit this purpose most closely.  Select blooms that accentuate the colors of your wood and paint.  Add greenery that has both depth and height – perhaps a draping ivy on one side and on the other, a pot of variegated grasses and earthen balls.  A topiary collection is also a very suitable option so long as the rest of the kitchen’s flavor is bold and elegant.

Art and photos.  This is where the line between tacky and tasteful needs to b e delicately tread.  Start by creating your arrangement, but be sure to give yourself room for change.  In other words, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.  Don’t use your cabinets as a place to display senior pictures or wedding photos.  If you have photos or prints of still art that are framed with exceptional quality, that is a good place to start.  Otherwise, scrap the art/photo idea altogether.

Baskets.  Again, this is another design element that can easily be done wrong.  Use only fine, high-quality baskets and only a few at that.  Perhaps you could fill one or two of the baskets with the artificial plant or silk flower arrangements mentioned in idea #3.

Holiday décor.  For Christmas, decorate a miniature Christmas tree.  For Easter, perhaps an Egg Tree or a lovely silk floral arrangement of calla lilies displayed in acrylic water.  For fall, an arrangement of tall block candles of orange, brown, and rust accompanied by autumn leaves and a bound stalk of wheat or straw.  For summer, perhaps a lovely floral decorative wreath would be perfect.

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Silk Flower Arrangments: The Silk Advantage

March 28th, 2008 by Heather Dyer

Silk floral arrangements are available in nearly every flower type found in nature. However, the advantages they boast simply don’t exist in their live counterparts. Not only are they hypoallergenic, completely non-toxic, and poison free – making them a family friendly option for households with infants, toddlers, or small animals – they are also a great way to turn the cash spent on a live plant into a long term investment that will provide decoration and enjoyment for years to come.

Today’s silk flower industry has come a long way in terms of design and realism. From delicate veins running beautifully through flower petals to the seamless meeting of stem and bloom, silk floral arrangements are often so convincing that only a smell and touch test proves them artificial.

Extremely low maintenance is also another very enjoyable benefit of Silk floral arrangements. No skill is required. No watering, no trimming, no replacing flowers every week. In fact, by selecting an artificial flower arrangement treated with a dust-resistant finish even eliminates the work of dusting your plant to keep it looking new and healthy. Just an occasional spritz with a silk floral arrangement cleaner is all they need.

Silk floral arrangements are now available set in high-quality glass vases that are filled with special acrylic water. This crystal clear acrylic provides stability to keep the whole arrangement looking as new as the day you purchased it for many years. And the best part is that these silk floral arrangements look just like fresh-cut flowers standing in cool water, however, they will still be being enjoyed a year from now instead of being in next week’s trash can. And with an array broad enough to please any stylistic palette, finding the perfect silk floral arrangement for your home, office, or place of business is an enjoyable experience.

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Swags and Wreaths – not just for the holidays

March 27th, 2008 by Heather Dyer

Often used as holiday décor, swags and wreaths needn’t be put away for the rest of the year. Typically we think of pine needles and red bows, but they not only come in many spring, summer, and fall colors, they are very purposeful year-round décor for the front door, the family room fire place mantle, and a host of other locations.

Swags and wreaths are generally designed in three ways:

Dried swags and wreaths are made of flowers and leaves that have been dried either in a controlled environment or by exposure to natural sunlight. These wreaths work best for people living in a humid climate. Without dense humidity, breakage and flower crumbling occurs quite easily.

Preserved swags and wreaths are made of live flowers that have been chemically preserved. Some preserving agents also add a boost of color to give the wreath a longer life and more vibrant colors. These wreaths work best for people living in a dry climate as humidity often causes their artificially added color to run or their preservation to be compromised.

Artificial swags and wreaths are made from synthetic materials and are made to withstand all types of weather and humidity levels. They are also hypoallergenic and have very low maintenance. Most high quality artificial or silk wreaths look extremely lifelike and are built to endure beautifully season after season, year after year.

With such variety, using swags and wreaths to keep décor in-season is easy. For a light, happy spring feel, look for swags and wreaths made with a combination of morning glory, petunias, eucalyptus, dainty ferns, hydrangea, daisies, peonies, or other brightly colored blooms. White magnolias are a lovely summer selection. Magnolia blossoms are pure white with dark green leaves on a vine base. Its stark contrast is both elegant and refined. If floral isn’t your preference, consider a more earthy approach. Textured balls, pine cones, variegated grasses, wheat head/stalks, feathers, leaves, and moss are popular items found on such wreaths. For a Victorian, romantic ambiance, select a swag or wreath of roses accented with ivy, berries, grapevine, eucalyptus, or small blooms and buds of other flower types.

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Silk Flower Arrangements: hypoallergenic benefits

March 26th, 2008 by Heather Dyer

As spring approaches, allergy sufferers often miss out on the warmth of new plant life and gardens in bloom. A season meant to be invigorating and uplifting is spent with a box of tissues and a good seasonal prescription. Even the safety of the home becomes a hostile environment when potted plants are brought indoors to bloom to be enjoyed as a centerpiece or side table decoration. This year, consider purchasing silk flower arrangements as a means of enjoying spring with the rest of us without the watering eyes and headaches.

One of the great advantages of owning silk flowers is the fact that they are hypoallergenic. They contain no allergens such as pollen, and are disease free and nontoxic. Unlike many common household plants, their blooms are completely safe for small children and household pets.

There are hundreds of varieties of silk flower arrangements that are available year-round, and you never have to worry about watering them or pruning dead leaves or branches.

Take part in all of the natural beauty of the real flower but without the highly allergen producing smells and pollens.

Don’t let allergies keep you from enjoying the beauty of the seasons. Select silk flower arrangements and artificial plants that appeal to your inner artist while sparing yourself a seasonal migraine.

We at Designer Silk Plants and Flowers would love to be of assistance to you. Each of our silk flower arrangements is hand-made by design professionals, and we guarantee that you’ll love our product so much you’ll come back for more!

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Outdoor wreaths: helpful hints for selection and usage Part 2

March 25th, 2008 by Heather Dyer

The previous installment of this article dealt with the keys to successfully using outdoor wreaths and what questions you need to ask yourself such as lighting, colors, and season before making your purchase. This continuation will focus in on hanging your outdoor wreath, wreath storage, and accessorizing your outdoor wreath for holidays or special occasions. We will also cover discussion about credit card fraud and how to make a safer, more secure online transaction.

Now that you’ve purchased your outdoor wreaths, you’ve left to simply hang them in the desired locations. Wreath hangers are available at most craft stores and where wreaths are sold for under $15. The most common wreath hanger is an over the door holder. One part of the wreath hanger fits snugly over the top of the door while the hook part hangs down for the wreath to be hung from. Another popular display method is a wreath stand. While obviously not a good choice for a front door, it can work nicely in a corner of the porch arranged next to a wicker rocker. There are also various weighted ledge hangers that work by placing the weighted base on a ledge and fixing the wreath into place on the hanger that comes down from the base.

Wreath storage boxes are available in cardboard and in durable, air-tight plastic. Their circular-shape will help maintain your outdoor wreath’s shape while stored far better than plastic wrap and tape. Stacking wreath-storage boxes help greatly in organizing both small and large houses. They make for quick access and great space utilization. Just pull out the storage box, open them to see ‘like- new’ sets of wreaths.

Accessorizing your outdoor wreaths uniquely for different holidays is a great way to get maximum enjoyment out of your investment. Carefully wrap your outdoor wreath in a red velvet ribbon and add a sprig of holly berries and perhaps a string of white Christmas lights to bring an evergreen wreath to life for the Christmas holiday. Attach a tied cluster of variegated grass and straw stalks with a rust colored bow for autumn flair. In spring and summer, add in-season silk flowers to a simple grapevine wreath. If this method isn’t preferred, many people have several different outdoor wreaths that they rotate each season.

Finally, be kind to yourself and be spared some time, aggravation, and gasoline by facilitating the use of the internet to shop for the perfect outdoor wreath. Cyberspace offers a huge selection to shop from, but exercise some caution before entering your personal information and be sure that the site offers excellent guarantees and security policies.

The sites you will most want to shop from will offer money-back guarantees, satisfaction guarantees, excellent return and exchange policies, and free shipping. Be sure to shop on sites that use secure encryption for every credit card transaction and are scanned daily by Hacker Safe, Geo Trust or a major website security company. These services ensure that the websites they protect are 100% safe and secure and that there are no loopholes by which fraud can occur and credit card information can be stolen. It is truly shocking how many retail sites offer no such protection at all to their consumers. Be sure to look for the Hacker Safe logo.

We at Designer Silk Plants and Flowers would love to assist you in your outdoor wreath purchase. Each of our outdoors wreaths is hand-crafted by our design professionals. Contact us by phone or email to reach our helpful and knowledgeable staff.

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Outdoor wreaths: helpful hints for selection and usage Part 1

March 24th, 2008 by Heather Dyer

In this article series, we’ll discuss the elements of shopping to select the perfect outdoor wreath to compliment the area you have in mind. Artificial outdoor wreaths are a very effective way to bring color and texture to a front door, a back patio, a porch, or just about any outdoor area. We’ll also discuss how to be sure that your online transaction is safe and secure.

To start, determine the area which you are seeking to add enhancement. Ask some basic questions – What size outdoor wreath am I looking for? What sort of durability will I need to handle the outdoor elements? Is there a theme or particular color in the rest of my outdoor décor that my wreath will need to flow with? Will a live wreath, a dried wreath, or a silk outdoor wreath suit my purposes best?

Now that you’ve determined answers to your first question, next, let’s talk a bit about lighting. What is the temperature of your room? Because your wreath is outdoors, it is true that the lighting will technically be “natural” but does it have direct sunlight or does it bear the blue tones of sun shadow because direct natural light never shines in that room? Keep in mind that natural light will greatly enhance the beauty and vibrancy of your wreath. Is your current lighting adequate? Will the lighting of the space determine the hues of greenery or flowers in your outdoor wreaths?

Also be sure that your outdoor wreath is appropriately sized for the space you would like to hang it. Oversized wreaths look very nice as house ornaments while small dainty wreaths look very inviting on individual doors.

Next determine the season that your wreath will express. Use warm and bright colors of flowers, bright fresh greenery, and seasonal berries for spring and summer. Use rust colors, deep browns, grasses, or earthen accessorized wreaths for fall. Individual holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and July Fourth can be accentuated by a simple red bow, set of Easter bulbs, or decorative flag added to your current in-season outdoor wreath. You will want the blossoms and blooms of your outdoor wreaths to correspond with the blossoms and blooms of nature for that season. For example, in early summer, flower blooms will be bursting with vibrant color, but by early autumn, those blooms will have withered up and fallen off. Don’t display outdoor wreaths overflowing with spring bulb plants as fall is setting in.

Having determined the season, context, and lighting, you can now shop for the perfect outdoor wreath to compliment your area of need.

In our next installment, we’ll look closely at how to find the widest selection of wreaths with the smallest amount of effort and how to make a safe and secure online transaction. Stay tuned!

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laundering the green…

February 20th, 2008 by Heather Dyer


One of the many benefits of investing in silk plants vs real is their low-maintenance upkeep. Most quality silk flower arrangements, silk trees, and silk plants are now being made with a dust resistant spray applied to their leaves and petals to make sure the job of keeping them clean is as quick and efficient as possible. However, if your current plants and floral arrangements are not treated, here are some time-saving tips for keeping your investment in tip-top shape.

  • A weekly dust over with a swiffer duster sprayed with Endust is a good way to avoid the need for heavy cleaning.
  • For heavily soiled silk plants and silk trees, use indoor shower or outdoor garden hose to wash plant of buildup. Apply Simple Green or Windex to leaves and petals before spraying with water to restore your silk to its original vibrancy.


  • For small silk flower arrangements, place flower part of arrangement into a bag with a cup of salt. Shake until dust has been lifted and salt has fallen back into bag. When finished, use a dry rag to gently dust off the salt residue and wipe off any dust or salt on the vase.

I don’t suggest blowing your plants with a compressor or hairdryer or even aerosol air spray can as that will only send the dust and dirt in a million other directions.

For your next silk plant or silk flower arrangement purchase, save yourself time and energy and consider one featuring a dust-resistance coating.


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