How egg-stravagant! Proud homeowners reveal their VERY lavish Easter decorations – from a £3,500 flower arch to a Christmas tree re-imagined with chicks and spring garlands
- Easter celebrations were more flamboyant than ever this year due to lockdown
- John Lewis said sales for its Easter range were up 241 per cent from last year
- Five people have revealed why lavish decorations are not just for Christmas time
Unlike the nerve-shredding demands associated with Christmas, Easter has always been the simpler celebration.
But with lockdown easing and spring in the air, this year’s al fresco Easter has been more flamboyant than ever.
We’ve seen a huge surge in Easter trees and arches – John Lewis says sales from its Easter range are up 241 per cent compared to last year – with some families going so far as to repurpose their Christmas firs.
Egg-citing and eggs-travagant or egg-cruciatingly naff?
Here, five homeowners tell Sadie Nicholas why lavish decorations are not just for Christmas…
CLIENTS LOVE MY EASTER TREE ON ZOOM!
Katie Sharpe, 31, from Cambridge, (pictured with daughters Imogen, 11, and Fran, seven) said her clients love seeing her £250 Easter tree over Zoom
Katie Sharpe, 31, is head of UK payroll for an international accountancy firm and lives in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire, with her daughters Imogen, 11, and Francesca, six. Katie says:
‘Bored one weekend in late February, my daughters and I were chatting about what we could do to pass the time and joked that we could always get the 7ft faux Christmas tree down from the loft and decorate it for Easter.
An hour later, I was up a ladder getting it out, much to Francesca’s joy and Imogen’s initial embarrassment!
We then had a shopping spree online, spending £250 on Easter themed decorations including baubles in pastel shades, vintage Peter Rabbit trinkets, multi coloured pompoms, hanging carrots, clip-on birds and silk flowers including blue peonies.
When everything arrived, it took us three hours to decorate it.
I’m known for having my Christmas tree up and decorated super early every year on 1 October, which friends think is crackers, but this is the first time I’ve redecorated it for another occasion.
At Christmas, the tree goes in corner of the living room but that’s currently my home office so it’s now by the patio doors overlooking the back garden, which enhances the spring vibe.
Visible in the background when I do video calls and meetings from my desk, our tree has prompted lots of lovely comments from colleagues and clients who are used to my antics at Christmas but are taken aback – in a good way – by this new Easter theme.
The funniest reaction was when I did a video speech to 2000 people via Teams on International Women’s Day last month, but received more compliments about my tree than what I said!
It’s certainly cheered my girls and me up so much that we’ve decided to keep the tree up all year and will redecorate it for each of our birthdays, summer, Halloween and eventually back round to Christmas.
We’re especially looking forward to creating a summer tree as I’ve found a local lady on social media who makes hanging decorations in bright colours including ice creams, deckchairs, buckets and spades.’
EASTER TREE AND MATCHING DOOR ARCH TOOK EIGHT HOURS TO MAKE
Dina Mackin, 29, from Chester, (pictured with daughter Lior, two) spent £300 making her own Easter tree and matching door arch, while her husband describes her decorations as ‘crazy’
Dina Mackin, 29, designs children’s clothes and lives in Chester with her husband Levi, 34, who works in car manufacturing, and their five children aged 10, eight, five, three and two. Dina says:
‘My three year old son looked at the Easter tree and door arch in the kitchen the other day and told me, ‘You’re amazing mummy… when’s Santa coming?’ I’ve had to explain that it’s the Easter Bunny’s turn this time!
At Christmas, I always have five trees in our large four bedroom house which we’ve renovated over the past couple of years, but during lockdown I’ve really got into decorating the interior whenever there’s an opportunity to celebrate an occasion.
Last Halloween, I decorated one of the faux Christmas trees with seasonal trinkets such as pumpkins and webs, then I really went to town for Valentine’s day with a couple of lavish red-themed door arches inside and a tree to match.
They got such a great response from my 35,000 followers on Instagram (@dinalouann) that I’ve now put myself under pressure to keep decorating trees all year round.
The Easter tree is a 5ft faux fir that only cost £30 but looks much more expensive and not unlike the trees that I’ve seen people pay a fortune to have installed professionally.
In January, I started collecting Easter decorations. Since then I’ve scoured local garden centres for other trimmings including organza ribbon, silk daffodils, toy chicks, ducks and adorable bunnies made from straw which sit around the base of the tree and cost from £15 to £35 each.
I suspect I’ve spent over £300 on the tree and matching door arch – which is made from a large garland attached to the door frame – and it took me eight hours to create them both.
Thankfully, my toddlers haven’t tinkered with the decorations so far and my older children are more interested in playing outside on their trampoline, although they’re very excited about Easter.
Levi thinks I’m crazy and just rolled his eyes when he saw these latest decorations, but I think secretly he probably quite likes them.’
£3,500 DOOR ARCH WITH 5FT RABBIT IS A LOCAL ATTRACTION
Royston Blythe, 62, lives in Shropshire with his partner Nick, 60, (both pictured) spends a staggering £3,500 on his floral door arch – which features a giant 5ft rabbit
Royston Blythe, 62, lives in Shropshire with partner Nick, 60, with whom he owns two hair salons in Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton. Royston says:
‘You might be able to tell that my only brief to the wonderful florist who created our door arch was to ‘go as OTT as humanly possible’!
I have to keep going outside to steal a look at it because it makes me smile so much. Everyone who walks past the house in the little country hamlet where we live makes lovely comments such as, ‘This has made my day!’ and ‘Wow, I love your Easter decorations!’.
The children who live locally absolutely adore it and say it’s cheered them up no end, which is the reason we had it done – to make other people happy at a time when we all need something to smile about.
I found my florist Kelly at Kelly Louise Floral Artistry (klfloralartistry.co.uk) last year on Instagram and was so wowed by her exquisite and flamboyant creations that I hired her to build a Christmas door arch with a nutcracker theme.
It was such a hit that I couldn’t resist hiring her again for Easter. In normal times, Nick and I would be throwing a party in a marquee in our garden for friends and family with an Easter egg hunt for the children. There’ll be none of that this year, so our beautiful but bonkers door arch is the next best thing.
We went out grocery shopping and running errands while Kelly and three of her team spent five hours creating the door arch earlier this month. Our jaws almost hit the floor when we arrived home to see it all finished – it’s magnificent and made me quite emotional.
At around 20ft tall, it features 1500 stems of realistic looking faux silk flowers including daffodils, peach roses, blue hydrangeas, dahlias, pink poppies, and mimosa. It’s intertwined with fresh, living foliage attached to oasis to keep it moist including eucalyptus, pistache, willow and cherry blossom that should flower in the next week and make it even more beautiful.
At the top of the door arch is a 5ft tall fibreglass Peter Rabbit surrounded by oversized daffodils and roses, which is a bit of fun for all the kids who come to have a look.
You wouldn’t believe how many people drive here from neighbouring towns and villages to take photos.
In fact, the house will look a bit naked when Kelly returns at the end of April to take it down, so we might have to ask her to make us another one in the summer – any excuse to have some fun!’
FOUR HOURS TO MAKE DOOR ARCH THAT MAKES STRANGERS SMILE
Jo Coan, 37, from Whitley Bay, (pictured with daughters Isla, six, and Isabella, three) said her Easter door arch brings smiles to strangers’ faces and ‘brightens’ their day
Jo Coan, 37, is an implementation director for an investment management company, and lives in Whitley Bay with husband Shaun, 41, a mechanical engineer, and their daughters Isla, six, and Isabella, three. Jo says:
‘My daughters are at the age where the anticipation of a visit from the Easter Bunny is almost as exciting as Father Christmas, so their little faces were a picture of pure delight when I unveiled our pretty door arch to them two weeks ago.
When people walk past our house, do a double take at the huge display of faux flowers and tell me, ‘Oh isn’t that lovely!’ it makes me smile. A chap wandered by the other day and said he’s going to bring his wife next time so she can see it, while someone else told me it had brightened their day.
Making the door arch has also been a welcome distraction from work and childcare for me.
It comprises several hundred silk flowers including daffodils, tulips, daisies, hydrangeas, peonies and winter jasmine, all bought from online floristry shops. I deliberately chose a riot of bright and beautiful spring colours, but I don’t want my husband to know how much I spent on them so my lips are sealed as to the cost.
It took four hours to create it, tying the flowers to what’s called a Christmas tree arch, which basically looks like two tall, skinny Christmas trees and is tied with wire and hooks to the brickwork.
I can’t draw to save my life but I like decorating things and being creative and I’ve ramped it up during lockdown.
Last Christmas, I made a festive door arch for the first time and for previous Easters I’ve made table decorations and trees, but nothing as extravagant as this.
I even created a Valentine’s balloon arch at which point Isabella told me, ‘Oh Mummy, you’ve gone crazy again!’
Why a floral Easter door arch? Well, obviously nobody’s allowed inside our home at the moment, and I follow a company on Instagram that makes spectacular door arches for the likes of The Ivy in London.
I thought one would look just as stunning on the front door of our four bedroom detached home as on that of a fancy restaurant. And judging by the compliments from my daughters and strangers who pass by, I was right.
I’ll keep it up for a good few weeks after Easter and may even consider making another arch with a summery theme in a few months.’
MY SON ASKED SANTA IF WE COULD KEEP OUR TREE UP FOR THE YEAR
North Wales homeowner Clare Green, 38, doesn’t hold back on Easter decorations and plans to keep up her tree until mid-April for her two sons Jacob, ten, and Lucas, seven (all pictured)
Clare Green, 38, is a maths tutor and lives in Conwy, North Wales, with her husband Mattias, 49, a professor of oceanography at Bangor University, and their sons Jacob, 10, and Lucas, seven. Clare says:
‘When Lucas wrote to Santa last year he asked for just two things – a laptop and to keep our Christmas tree up for a year.
In normal times I’d have said, ‘No, buddy, we’re not keeping the tree up past early January’, and I did try to talk him out of it telling him the tree would still be close by, stored in the rafters in the garage. He said he’d miss it too much.
Then I thought perhaps I’d just take it down and sneak it into the garage one day when the boys went back to school in January – but of course the schools were closed.
In the end, I had to agree with Santa that this was a heartwarming request from Lucas at a time when he and Jacob have missed out on so much, and decided to embrace it.
We’d put the 7ft tree up for Christmas last November, earlier than normal because the pandemic made us think, ‘What the heck!’
In February, we used homeschooling as an opportunity for Jacob and Lucas to make lots of heart themed decoration for a Valentine’s theme on the tree.
Then they went a bit crazy when we redecorated it for Easter a few weeks ago. My husband is Swedish and Easter is a really big celebration there. We already have lots of traditional decorations that we’ve bought on visits to see family over the years, including lovely cardboard and wooden Easter eggs that we fill with sweets.
We also made some bunny decorations using a crafting kit, as well as paper chains, and incorporated the colourful plastic eggs that we used for an outdoor hunt in the garden last year.
Pre-pandemic, our house was always organised and tidy and I’m always eager to get the Christmas tree down in January. But because the boys have been at home so much during the various lockdowns we’ve changed our mindset and turned a blind eye to any mess because we want the house to feel like a fun and relaxed place for them.
Our Easter tree will stay up until they go back to school in mid April then we’re going to decorate it with a Swedish theme as Jacob and Lucas are really missing their family in Sweden.
After that, we’ll start planning how to decorate it for the midsummer solstice which falls on 21 June, the same date the government is hoping to lift all remaining lockdown restrictions.
I’m envisaging a pretty tree trimmed with lots of colourful flowers that we’ll pick from the garden and dry in the conservatory.
Of course, nobody has been able to come and see our Easter tree but I’ve shared photos of it and everyone thinks we’re totally bonkers – but also brilliant!’
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