I've been really enjoying exploring more of the South of France in recent weeks. I headed for Mougins a couple of weeks ago to see what it would be like during the winter when there are hardly any tourists.. Mougins is historically known for its abundance of jasmin and as the last place where Picasso lived before his death in 1973. Now the village is famous for its villas and spattering of art galleries that populate the village.

Whilst wandering around the town I was struck by the vibrancy of the colours in the crisp winter light.  The soft peachy, pink and grey tones of the houses and apartment buildings formed a beautiful backdrop against the bold green of the tropical plants and palm trees, which you can find throughout the village. 

 

Since living on the French Riviera I've been really inspired by the foliage and tropical trees and leaves that you can find not only in Mougins but throughout the region so I thought I'd put together some tips for those who are looking to spruce up an interior without using flowers. 

 

1.  Decide on the shape of your leaves

Image credit: Maya Maréchal.  Styling by Native Native

Image credit: Maya Maréchal.  Styling by Native Native

Once you've decided what kind of look you want to create that will determine the size and shape of the leaves you should purchase. If you want the arrangement to be the focal point of your interior then try to purchase large leaves with long stalks. You will also need to find a vase that's big enough with a narrow opening to keep the leaves upright.

2.  Dabble in DIY

If you are looking to create a softer, more delicate look for your event or interior then get your hands on different varieties of leaves and paint them by hand. Chalk paint is very effective at creating a matte finish or you can spray them your desired colour. I sprayed some palm tree leaves gold for a shoot before Christmas (featured in this blog post) and it really added a touch of elegance to what would have otherwise been a fairly classic tropical look.

 

3. Add a pop of colour to a minimalist interior

Image courtesy of Noemie Cedille

Image courtesy of Noemie Cedille

If you have a minimalist interior and want to inject some colour into your space then invest in a variety with coloured leaves such as a Cordyline Terminalis. This would help create a contemporary look whilst breaking up vast blocks of white furniture and decor.

4. Make a statement

Image courtesy of They All Hate Us

Image courtesy of They All Hate Us

If you want to make your tropical arrangement a talking point if you're inviting guests round for lunch or a dinner party then go for the oversize look. Get your hands on some large leaves and mix those with exotic flowers to create a contemporary jungle feel. If you want to make a really bold statement then select spiky leaves to achieve a geometric designer look.

5. No need to add water.

Image courtesy of Prints Project

Image courtesy of Prints Project

If you would like tropical leaves to be more of a permanent addition to your decor then why not invest in a print. You can either find one on Etsy and print it yourself or find an artist who specialises in screen printing and would be able to make you a unique print


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