One beautiful holiday centrepiece, two ways

Floral designer Tanya List shares her best tips to creating festive floral arrangements for your home.


Photo by Sian Richards

We asked floral designer and stylist Tanya List to share an easy floral centrepiece idea for a festive table, her favourite holiday tradition, and what she hopes to find under the Christmas tree.


The centrepiece: Floral arrangement

I always love holiday arrangements that don’t scream ‘Christmas’ and that look vintage and organic in shape. I never really know what I want to make until I see the flowers — I usually pick whatever is prettiest and suits my mood. The formal centrepiece [image above] is an arrangement of Carolina cedar (that smells amazing!), berries and echeveria in an old soup tureen. If you prefer a more casual display, use the same blooms but split them up in an assortment of small vessels for a more informal centrepiece [image below]. Think outside of vases and use old perfume bottles, cups and carafes.

Tip: Keep the formal centrepiece for the table and double up on blooms so you can spread smaller arrangements throughout your house. They’re perfect for powder rooms, guest bedrooms, a mantel or a windowsill.


Photo by Sian Richards

Here’s what you’ll need

Flowers of your choice



Sharp scissors or garden shears


1. Pick the freshest flowers you can and cut the stems under water.

2. The trend in flowers right now is loose and naturals. You want an arrangement that has a more organic feel and doesn’t look so “designed”. For these types of arrangements my best advice is not to think too much.

3. Start with the greenery first, more than one type is best.

4. Next, add in your largest blooms.

5. Fill in any spaces with your smaller blooms and then finish with more greens.

6. For longer stems you can place tape across the mouth of your vase in a grid pattern to keep them in place, for shorter arrangements (like these ones) use floral oasis at the bottom of the vase instead.

Flowers, tureen, vintage glass bottles, vases, Goblets,


Favourite holiday tradition: Every Christmas our family heads to my parents’ house in Muskoka. We always open all the gifts on Christmas Eve and perhaps drink a little too much holiday cheer.

Under the tree: I hope to find all of my renos done!



Floral designer Tanya List