Bring love into your home with the leftovers of nature and second-hand treasures
By Tara Sloggett
Styling Tara Sloggett
Photographs Warren Heath, Bureaux

Never has there been a period where we spend so much time at home and appreciate the nature around us. Combine the two and you have something really special. Bring the rawness and innocence of nature into your home with delicate dried specimens, pods, flowers and grasses and fulfill your soul by choosing to re-love furniture cast aside by others.

ABANDONED TREASURES
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as creating something beautiful that costs virtually nothing. Grasses and dried bushes, fallen pinecones or twigs picked up whilst on a walk on the common can be transformed with little know-how. You can even extend the life of your shop-bought flowers by using dried hydrangeas and eucalyptus.
• Foraged finds with texture and detail-sometimes that’s all you need.
• Always be conscious of where you’re foraging. Only forage where there is plenty of everything and if in doubt, just ask if it’s okay. You’ll find most people only too happy to share. Always have a pair of good secateurs with you.

DISPLAYING AT HOME
• With such beauty and form in the simplest and most subtle of ways, single stems, especially if displayed together can look elegantly striking. Think about creating different heights and textures with a subtle underlying unison.

• The secret to keeping them standing upright is to use a flower frog, a tiny, weighted surface of spikes that secures stems in place. For dried flowers just push it into place and you have an instant display, and if you prefer a more finished look, you can disguise it by placing it in a pretty dish. For fresh flowers, just add water.

• Hanging installations are very much on-trend and although they look too tricky to handle, they’re actually very simple. Create a basic structure by making a hollow sausage shape out of chicken wire and secure the shape with the wire itself or with cable ties. You’ll need some wire cutters for this. This creates a “housing”through which to poke your dried pieces. It’s easier to create your floral piece whilst it’s hanging, so tie the fishing gut on each end to hang, (the fishing gut will make it look like it’s floating in the air). Then start feeding your dried flowers through the chicken wire. Favourites are often dried hydrangeas, grasses and dried eucalyptus. Poke them through, taking time to build up layers and once you’re happy, tidy up the ends by cutting with secateurs. Fill in any gaps with additional dried pieces or flower heads and if needed, secure any stems with clear cable ties or twine. If your
piece is only seen from the front, you won’t need to worry about the back, but if you can walk around it, then make sure it looks fabulous all the way round.

• A wreath isn’t just for Christmas, adorn your walls all year, inside and out. Create your own base with twigs or add foraged finds to a shop-bought ring.

NATURE’S PALETTE
Neutrals work all year round, but a splash of blue and mustard can bring a rich, inviting, cosy feel just in time for Autumn.

• Combine key pieces in warm woods and bamboo. With linen floppy soft furnishings, a vintage print, you have relaxed modern country living at its finest.
• Just one huge, dried piece in a vase is so simple but creates a huge impact.
• Mix blue tableware with mustard pops, and cutlery in a mix of woods with just a touch of gold.
• A single stem makes an elegant place setting and twigs displayed with the initial of your guest add a fun personal touch.
• Take your style outdoors. An old factory bench, relaxed washed out cushions dried tumbleweeds and the best yet, bamboo hula-hoops, all make for the perfect Autumn Day.

SHOPPING CREDITS
Travelling Willow plate, @sarahjanejordaan_ sarahjanejordaan.co.za, Mustard napkin, part of set, @homewarestore, homeware.co.za. Candle,
@okra.candle. ‘Al-hurra’ clay boob cups, @farahhernandexceramics. Flower frog, @superfloral.co.za or all good floral suppliers. Bamboo
sideboard, Malawi chair, factory bench, Tretchikof Chrysanthemums, mirror, all second-hand finds.