Table Styling by Molly Sampietro, Photography by Erin Householder



ne might say that inspiration makes the design world go round, and there can be nothing more inspiring than watching a creative at work. Local floral designer Matt Aiklen of Beard and Bloom created Lifestyle Magazine’s beautiful cover wreath this month, and we called upon him to share tips on how to create a holiday centerpiece. The result was a non-formulaic arrangement filled with rich textures and flattering untamed stems, an artistic reflection of Matt’s one-of-a-kind style.

To complete a centerpiece such as this, you will need a water-saturated brick of floral foam, garden scissors, greenery and stems of your choice. Matt recommends using a mix of line greenery to create an outline, filler with clusters to fill in empty spaces and focal stems to make an impact. 

How to Arrange:

Using a water-saturated brick, begin adding the longest pieces of your line stems to the base. These pieces are the furthest extension of your arrangement. Matt used pine to achieve this.  

Next, you want to create peaks and valleys using your filler pieces of mixed greenery throughout the arrangement. Your goal is to create a landscape of rich texture in your own creative way.

You can now start adding your focal foliage to fill open spaces. Matt used variegated hydrangea foliage, blue eryngium thistle and scarlett hawthorn berry.

Complete your arrangement by adding more thick foliage to the base and other areas you think can use more interest. Create dramatic flair by adding whimsical wisps of tallow berry. Ensure to fill in any visible sections of the brick of floral foam. 

Matt encourages you to look around your yard for greenery to forage. Choose stems that bring you joy visually and aromatically. An example would be to incorporate herbs, florals, citrus or whatever elements reflect what is special to you during the holidays. Foraging to curate your arrangement can be a way of connecting with nature, especially during the winter months when we spend a majority of our time inside.

Tip: Evergreens can be long lasting by setting the brick of floral foam into a low dish or tray and keeping it saturated with water. You can change the focal pieces as needed.