It's only fitting that florist Elizabeth Young should live in a tranquil, picturesque country setting surrounded by nature's offerings.
The home that she shares with her husband Jeff White, son Austin and daughter Madison is nestled between Manotick and Kemptville. But while it's a 30-minute drive to her Ottawa flower shops, Flowers Talk Tivoli in Westboro and Flowers Talk in Wellington Village, the proximity to the 416 makes the commute an easy and peaceful transition from work to home.
The house is a work in progress. Built in the 1970s, the need for updates has given the family a chance to showcase their talents, including the work of 16-year-old Austin. He has not only built some of the furniture, including a barn-board coffee table in the family room, but also worked alongside his father to create a feature wall of pine planks that were weathered with vinegar, black tea and steel wool. The décor is enhanced with a stone fireplace and combines an urban vibe within a country setting.
As the current owner of two of Ottawa's most respected flower shops, Elizabeth is a whiz at creating nature-inspired arrangements that effectively combine imported flowers with local, seasonally authentic materials. Her daughter Madison shares her talents. Elizabeth brings different materials home so the two can work side-by-side to create their home's simplistic décor.
"I like natural and authentic, bringing the outdoors in," she says. "A simple vase of flowers on a table instead of knick-knacks, sand from a family vacation, driftwood from a boat trip; things that show our experiences together as a family."
Her fall décor embraces the colour transitions in nature. "I love the jewel tones for fall - deep burgundy, burnt orange, dark purple with a contrast against the greenery." She adds, "In early fall you can add white or darker pinks to keep a touch of summer and then go deeper towards November."
CREATING A THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE
- Bring in natural elements. Tie a sprig of rosemary or lavender from your garden to napkins with a ribbon or jute.
- Create multiple small arrangements on your table instead of one large one.
- Create a tablescape. Use pieces of driftwood, birch, moss and acorns all flush to the table. Be sure to protect the table underneath and add some lush florals in water tubes to keep the blossoms hydrated.
- Add small white pumpkins to the décor by using them as place-card holders or simply cluster them along the table.
- Set a buffet up in the kitchen to keep the dining room table empty for floral décor.