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EyeSwoon TV Design Therapy:

Foraging in Nature: How to Style Decorative Branches

If there’s one thing I’ve become known for, it’s my affinity for decorative branches. Clipping large-scale stems outside my home and arranging them in vintage vessels is the simplest, most joyful way we can bring the outside in.

I always want to engage something seasonal and natural into my home. I also love the sculptural quality and slightly wild and unruly nature of branches in a refined space. I love that they offer verticality.

And I know you do too because I have received an abundance of requests on how to style decorative branches to adorn our homes. The best advice I can offer is to take a pair of clippers and step outside your door. Nature is our greatest source of inspiration, always!

My favorite part is when they’re all dried out. This inspires a new arrangement using the fallen or dead branches. They offer a new life to our homes, imparting both a sculptural and textural quality. And best of all, it’s free! So, go on and forage in nature and see what you can find.

Watch my styling video above and read on for some quick tips and tricks below—then shop the look!

Foraging in Nature: How to Style Decorative Branches
Foraging in Nature: How to Style Decorative Branches

Three Things to Consider Before Clipping Fresh Branches…

  1. Shake them out in an attempt to get rid of critters. That said, you must embrace the possibility.

2. Use sharp clippers. It might seem simple enough but investing in secateurs or gardening shears is essential for clipping branches of this scale. Kitchen scissors just won’t cut it.

3. Be sure the branch is not poisonous—especially for animals. That said my husband broke out in hives once all over his body and we discovered weeks later it was from our Sumac branches!

Foraging in Nature: How to Style Decorative Branches
Foraging in Nature: How to Style Decorative Branches

Tips & Tricks for Choosing Your Branch…

  1. Trim your branches and smash the cut edges with a hammer. This allows water to absorb into your branches and prolongs their lifespan.
  2. Spin your vessel or walk around it as you arrange the branches so you can really get a 360 approach.
  3. Embrace asymmetry and do not cut them all to be the same height. Remember these branches are a piece of nature that you’re bringing into your home and thus are imperfect—but that’s the beauty!
  4. Repurpose them when they die! Branches can look equally as beautiful once the leaves have dried out.
  5. Add water! These branches are thirsty. Make sure to water them every day.
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