The West is full of possibilities when it comes to foraged, found, and homemade holiday wreaths and tablescapes. We spoke to designer Amelia Posada to get her tips on turning nature into seasonal decor.

Assembling a Wreath
Yana Iskayeva/Getty Images

Floral designer Amelia Posada’s dopamine-inducing arrangements are far from conventional, using unexpected color combinations and bold textures that inject personality and life into a room, especially during the gloomy winter months. Her whimsical perspective is woven into every personalized piece she creates at her L.A.-based business, Birch & Bone, and her fun and funky approach is something you can carry into your own decorations, too. To make your own uniquely dazzling holiday arrangements, here are Posada’s tips.

Amelia Posada Portrait
Designer Amelia Posada

Lorenzo Diego Carrera

What are the essential elements of a great holiday centerpiece? Can you break down texture, color, and symmetry for us?

I am not one who leans towards perfect symmetry, but I do love balance! When creating a centerpiece or building a tablescape, I like to remember that negative space is an opportunity for movement, and I think it’s important to have layers, different heights, and lots of texture. Even if I am creating a monotone arrangement, I will use five different shades of one color to create an illusion of layers and interest. If I place a tall bloom jetting off to the top right of an arrangement, I like to have something on the left that comes down the opposite side to create balance rather than perfect symmetry.

When it comes to holiday decor, the color palette is usually pretty traditional. How can you riff on that?

I like to use burnt orange, mustard, and deep green colors rather than just bright red, white, and green. I use dehydrated oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and apples, and whittle those onto my wreaths or attach them to sticks to pull into a holiday centerpiece. Cotton on the stem is also a beautiful natural and gorgeous lasting bloom that feels wintery and brings in unique texture. Even just a simple bowl of pomegranates, persimmons, and citrus on a table feels festive. If you’re entertaining in a pinch, you can create a quick tablescape with bud vases, glasses, or mason jars of rosemary, and some clusters of citrus or pomegranates.

Amelia Posada with Dried Fruit

Lorenzo Diego Carrera

What are some beautiful foraged and found items to seek out that aren’t easily overharvested?

Here in California, we are spoiled with easy-to-forage trees and bushes surrounding us. I live in northeast Los Angeles, and I can walk out of my door and snip eucalyptus leaves, magnolia leaves, Norfolk pine, and sprigs of rosemary, or pick up pinecones. Bay laurel branches, pepperberries, citrus, and pomegranates are huge staples for me during the holidays!

What are some alternatives to holiday trees and wreaths that people can try to use? Any sustainable solutions?

You can turn any houseplant into a festive holiday tree by placing ornaments on them, hanging twinkly lights on them, or even taking dehydrated citrus slices and using ornament hooks to hang them on your branches. You can also always forage local evergreens and arrange them on a mantle with some ornaments or lights for a festive alternative to a tree.

Wreath Raw Materials

Gage Bantiles

What are the most important tools you need to get started on your own DIY designs?

A strong set of floral clippers, wire cutters, and some 18-to-22-gauge floral or craft wire. You can get these items online or your local craft store.

Why is it that the West is one of the more exciting places to forage and create out-of-the-box holiday decor?

We are so lucky to have such a huge variety of trees and shrubs that stay looking perfect all year round, and such an abundance of fruit trees that grow in neighborhoods all over California. It’s easy to befriend your neighbors and ask if you can snip some of this or that, maybe bring them something from your yard if you have something to offer too! I have a huge orange tree and I am lucky to be able to dehydrate my own orange slices, bring them over to the neighbors’ house, and trade for clippings of their Norfolk pine, bay laurel, or eucalyptus!