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Living With the Seasons

Winter can be a trying time. But that need not be so. Flowers can go a long way in banishing the post-holiday blahs. In that respect, floral designers are lucky people. We can plunge right into winter projects that will keep us happy and fruitful.

The key to successful winters is getting in proper tune with the seasons. Instead of wishing for spring or summer to return, try a different approach as recommended by Bonnie Trust Dahan in “Living with the Seasons-Creating a Natural Home,” published by Chronicle Books. Though you can’t necessarily tell from the title, floral designs play a prominent part in Dahan’s recommendations. Many of her designs feature unusual florals, such as branches, stems, foliage, carved tree stumps, and other natural materials.

For winter, the author has many great design ideas. For instance, she creates a beautiful table setting using rose petals and red-berried branches that are sure to banish the winter doldrums. Over a fireplace, she places a gorgeous berried wreath. A bedside table contains a vase with fluffy broom-plant branches. She also makes liberal use of pinecones, fruits, and other florals. These natural materials are sure to lift our spirits and energize us during the winter months.

As the title indicates, Dahan has great suggestions for every season. The book is divided into four sections with one for each season. It begins with a wonderful introduction of how to use natural materials to bring the outdoors inside. To achieve these goals, it isn’t necessary to redecorate one’s house. Instead, you can pick and choose from the suggestions she makes according to your needs.

In the photos, the same room is shown with different projects and color schemes for the various seasons. For example, the fireplace is a cozy focal point for winter, while in the summer it serves as the setting for an impromptu picnic on the floor complete with floor cushions.

The projects she presents are quick and easy. They’re affordable, and are things that anyone can do.

This volume is beautifully illustrated in full color with photos by Shaun Sullivan. The styling is by Anthony Albertus. These folks published an earlier book, “Garden House,” also from Chronicle. Dahan is author of several other books from Chronicle as well. In her California garden, she specializes in herbs and perennials. She is founder and CEO of Pure Seasons, a natural-lifestyle catalog and Internet business.

Albertus is a widely acclaimed San Francisco-based stylist, and art director. He is also an avid gardener.

Shaun Sullivan’s is widely known for his exquisite photographs, which have appeared in books, Country Living and other magazines.



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