The Jolly Green Garnish: Plant Clippings As Decor

When Meghan Carter came to interview us, we tried to pull out all the stops to make our house look its absolute best. We were sure to have a tasty assortment of apples in our clam-shell-turned-fruit-bowl in the kitchen and fresh towels in each of the bathrooms. Heck, we even Fabrezed a bit for good measure. But we opted against bringing in bushels of fresh flowers after deciding that lush leafy greenery looks just as fresh with our simple neutral palette (and conveniently grows in abundance just steps away in our backyard.

So we were sure to snip some fresh ferns for a few bud vases in our bathrooms:

And to bring in some heavier artillery (in the form of some big leafy branches) for our oversized glass bottles in the living room.

And just look how good those leafy greens look with the red front door… gotta love complementary colors.

Do you guys have any rituals to get your house ready for special guests? Or any cheap decorating tricks like robbing your yard of some not-to-be-missed branches and twigs? Do tell.


  1. Jennifer says

    i love to use the variegated pittosporum from our front yard shrubbery in the house. just a snip of it in a pretty vase with some water warms up our bathrooms and guestroom for company!

  2. says

    This is such a great idea! I just discovered your blog and am in love with your home – it’s gorgeous! I just posted some of your info and pics on my blog (about how fabulous you two are) to share with some friends who I know will also love your style and your sassy framed prints :) Thanks for sharing photos of your beautiful home!

  3. Gina says

    Loved your ideas — using bright leaves and twigs to cheer a room up.. Totally free, too!!

    In my bedroom, i have this large broken branch, I sanded it a little bit and tied 3 of my favorite pictures hanging with silky white ribbons.

    All under $2.

  4. says

    Looks fabulous you guys!! Great tip.

    A friend of mine stripped some gnarly branches (from her yard), spray painted them white, and stuck them in a glass vase. Perfect pop of “color” and they’ve lasted forever.

    Not decor-related, but I always simmer a couple sticks of cinnamon & some orange rind in a little water on really low heat when we have a dinner party. Such a home-a-licious aroma.

  5. Kelly B says

    I love the greenery! And I love your taste.

    Can you tell me where you got the striped towel that is behind your door in the bathroom picture? Thanks!

  6. says

    Typically, at our house, I always have at least one nice arrangement of fresh flowers, even if it’s just a grocery store arrangement. However, we do have a couple of arrangements that are just greenery and I do have a vase with spray painted branches. Here’s what we do when we find out we have guests coming: Open all the windows to freshen the house up – use the Citrus Febreeze downstairs (the fresh smell wafts upstairs), light some candles and typically we have something in the oven – my personal favorite is the BF’s famous banana bread!!

  7. YoungHouseLove says

    Mmm, you guys have lots of yummy ideas (including aromas that far exceed my Fabreze tactic and crafty ideas like spraying branches or adding silky ribbons to gussy things up). Thanks so much for sharing!

    Kelly B- The striped towels in our bathroom are from Target (they’re white with blue and tan stripes which is our whole house’s color scheme so we couldn’t pass ’em up). Here’s a towel tip for everyone. If you find a towel you love, don’t just buy two. Buy enough for everyone in the home plus a few guests (we got 6) so everything in the linen closet will match and your guests won’t get stuck with the old ratty towels if the good ones are in the laundry pile.

    Ben- The jugs are from, and my sweet in-laws actually got them for me in March for my b-day. I’ve never seen such big, glass vases for such a good price. Here’s the link:


  8. says

    Before guests come over, we do a toy sweep – picking up any toys our 2 year old has pulled out. Okay, that’s honestly a constant chore that gets done about, oh, a million times a day.

    Back to guests… we often light a candle or two. In the summer we love “Shore” from Restoration Hardware. In the winter we lean towards peppermint or cinammon scents. We use pumpkin candles in the fall. We don’t really have a set “spring” candle scent. As soon as the Christmas stuff is out at Williams-Sonoma, we pick up their Peppermint cleaning supplies. They have a peppermint countertop spray that is to die for. It cleans AND freshens the kitchen! You can’t go wrong with that. :)

    We also open all the blinds to let natural light flow into all of the rooms.

  9. Charisa says

    Hey Sherry, what is that “p” on the wall near your front door? Looks really fun and inspired especially if your last name starts with a p or something like that! Can we get a close up? Pretty please :)

  10. says

    Wow. It was almost eerie looking at this post but in a very very good way! I have that SAME recycled glass vase on my coffee table and the SAME Objects of Curiosity book on my coffee table too. Weird! We are definitely on the same page design wise it appears. I’ve been looking for a little cowhide too–I see you found the perfect accessory.

    I found your blog via a comment on my blog. I’m grateful for the referral!

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