I spent the summer studying textile design in Copenhagen, Denmark and have been plotting my return every since. Karma worked in my favor and somehow, Copenhagen came back to me when we, three students from the Corcoran, Caryn Cramer, Breeze Giannasio, and I, and two from the Danish Design School, Louise Havndrup and Tirsdag Kjoller, were asked to design the annual Christmas party for the Royal Danish Embassy held at the Ambassador's House.
Using all recycled/recyclable materials, and drawing on inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen" as their starting point, the five creative engineers went about turning stacks of the Financial Times, coffee filters, plastic bags, and other recycle-bin finds into enchanting cascades of Snow Queen-esque ice roses, crows, and wintry fare. Trash to treasure, indeed!
They also strove to incorporate the Danish idea of hygge, "coziness", into the decor, using mounds of candles, light-filled jars suspended from trees, and luminous wintry snowballs. Their creative pursuit also led to a couple of exciting visits to the Christmas tree farm for pine trees and stumps that would later be the magical stage for a host of glittery candles gracing the entrance, as well as centerpieces for the holiday spread, and displays for the crafty chutney party favors.
One of Brittany's specific tasks was the creation of a wintry wreath, five feet in diameter, and filled with paper mache birds, including a life size Japanese Red-Crowned Crane. Taking a cue from her wreath creation, she also fashioned a headpiece out of an extra paper mache bird to wear in her hair to the party!
The decor was such a hit that the Ambassador has decided to leave up the winter wonderland for the entire month.
To see more of the insane behind the scenes work that went into this process, check out Brittany's blog, The House That Lars Built.
And in case you missed the Danish Ambassador's residence pre-magical snowstorm, check out Rachel's post here.
(Images: Brittany Watson, Breeze Giannasio, Emily Eisinger, Jodi King, Chris Svetlick for washingtonian.com)