As the hallway is the first place that visitors see, it’s worth creating a show-stopping entrance for the holidays. Two industry professionals show us how it’s done.

More like “festive entrances”A showstopping festive table.

Golden glamour

floral hallway - festive entrances -- SA garden and home

“I’m all for gold,” says Ben Theron, co-owner of Hoy P’loy Flowers and Interiors who chose a palette of gold, green and white for this classical hallway. To maintain focus on the balustrade, he wove fynbos foliage together and attached it to the top of the wooden rail along with gold baubles. He draped the entrance hall table with Spanish moss and peace-in-the-home, and included gold ceramic apples.

floral hallway - festive entrances -- SA garden and home

For added drama, Ben filled two large gold planters with white hydrangeas, and as this space demanded an element of height, he chose tall narrow-necked vases in which green anthuriums and bridal asparagus are suspended.

KEEP READING: Caring for hydrangeas: Essential tips

“The wonderful thing about most of the plants and flowers here is that they need very little maintenance to last the festive season,” he says. The moss and peace-in-the-home require daily misting with water and the anthuriums need a change of water every other day.

Ben’s top tips

  • If you’re decorating for an occasion like Christmas that spans a long period, use flowers and plants that can last several weeks.
  • Look for colours and textures that complement the room. It’s much easier to plan a scheme with harmonising colours than ones that contrast.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with unusual decor elements.

Nature’s way

For this hallway event coordinator Rudie Stoop took his inspiration from the surroundings. On walks around Emmarentia Dam and through the Melville Koppies he collected eucalyptus and willow branches to make two whimsical sprays: one for above the mirror and the other for the balustrade. “After all we live in the world’s largest urban forest so I used plant material that’s easy to find rather than buying flowers.”

As the front door faces a gate-leg table where a tall mirror is mounted, Rudie made this the focal point. “I felt the classical style of the hallway could carry a dramatic look so I decided to go a bit over the top,” he explains.

He intentionally kept to muted shades of greens and greys for the cooling effect it would have in a warm South African Christmas. He filled vases with nasturtium leaves, ivy and leafy branches from his garden. To optimise the table’s narrow surface space, he grouped them at different heights using small wooden boxes. Candles, ornate picture frames and Perspex boxes containing succulents complete the unusual ensemble. “My aim was to show that you can create a lavish effect without breaking the bank,” he says.  

Rudie’s top tips

  • For maximum impact, group vases and vessels in the same material such as white ceramic or glass.
  • Introduce a simple Christmas feel by filling glass vases with baubles and using lots of candles. Floating ones are especially effective.
  • Make it personal by including items you collect or that have a special meaning to you.

READ MORE: Festive tables styled by experts