Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘centerpieces’

Flower Arrangements 101: The Low Down on Decorating with Blooms

In Features on March 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

Adding flowers is one of the easiest ways to turn up the volume in your party space.  They take up limited room and when done right can make a big impact. Here are some simple guidelines to help simplify the arranging process.  Remember, this is a creative process.  Don’t be afraid to let your artistic juices flow. There’s no right or wrong way to create a masterpiece, I mean, centerpiece!

Keep it Low – Make sure arrangements are low enough for guests to see across the table.

Think outside the Table – Try placing arrangements in other locations besides the dining table.  Try the mantel, bookshelf, sideboard, buffet table, coffee table and even the bathroom.  Fresh flowers brighten even the smallest of spaces making them feel more alive and fresh.

Big isn’t Always Better – Arrangements don’t have to be large and expensive.  A few small grouping of flowers can be just an effective as large sprays of lilies and roses.

Quality over Quantity – Pick flowers just like you would produce in the grocery store.  Look for what is fresh, vibrant and not fully bloomed yet.  Choosing flowers just getting ready to blossom will last longer, giving you more bang for your buck.

Be Creative – A centerpiece doesn’t have to be just one vase in the center of the table.  Try scattering small arrangements down the middle of the table, or grouping several at each guests’ place.  A single large bloom floating in a shallow bowl can even make a powerful statement.  Another fun technique, use large vases and completely submerge flowers in water.  Add a waterproof LED light for extra sparkle.

Less is More – Keep the colors simple.  Choose a palette of 1-3 colors and no more than 3 shapes or textures.

Odds are Better than Evens – Odd numbers work best.  Work in groups of 1,3 or 5 of each color, texture or shape.

Color, Color, Color – Monochromatic arrangements are simple and stunning.  If you’re more comfortable blending color use shades that are near each other on the color wheel.  For instance, red/orange or red/pink.  These combinations are more sophisticated and easier on the eye than contrasting colors.

Think Seasonal – Let the season be your guide. Soft shades of pinks and greens for spring, bright vibrant yellows and oranges for summer, white for winter and deep jewel tones for fall.

There’s More than Just Flowers – Branches, leaves, and vines can all make cost-effective and long-lasting centerpieces.  Arrange in tall glass vases to create a dramatic and simplistic effect.

Make Sense of Scents – Avoid flowers with strong scents on the dining table.  The aromas can conflict with the food and overwhelm the senses.  Leave the stronger smelling flowers for bathrooms and entryways.

Steal if you Need to (no, not flowers, ideas) – Don’t be afraid to look to magazines, books and the Internet for inspiration.  If you see something you like bringing it with you when you go shopping.

Go Local – Whenever possible support local farmers and growers.  If you have access to a farmers market make an effort to buy your flowers there.  You’ll get the best quality for your money.


Tip of the Day: Sweet Centerpieces

In Tips on March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Cookies, candy, chocolate, and fruit all make wonderful, whimsical, and delicious centerpieces.  Using edible decor is a super easy way to create a beautiful table that will take your guests by surprise.  And using dessert as a centerpiece saves time and money!  It doesn’t get better than that! Here are a few DIY suggestions, but experiment, the possibilities are endless.

Cookies and Meringues

Stack homemade or store-bought meringues, cookies, amaretti, candy, or chocolate on tiered or regular plates in the center of your table.  Too add some extra visual interest, scatter tea candles and flowers around the plates of sweets. At the end of dinner pass the plates around for your guests to enjoy.

Lollipop Flower Pots

Lollipops are fun, colorful and make great “flower” centerpieces.  Gather a metal buckets or flower pots and shove a piece of flower foam in the bottom of each. Stick the lollipops into the foam so each lollipop is a different height.  Fill in the space between the foam and the top of the pot with loose candy like jelly beans or gum drops.  *Photo Courtesy of Rachel Ray

Jars of Candy

Use the color palette of your table decor as a guide and fill apothecary jars with candy that matches.  Take it one step further and give your guests cellophane bags to fill with the wonderful confectionary treats they can take home.

Bowl of Fruit

Nothing is easier or more elegant than this.  Use a large wooden, glass or ceramic bowl and fill a single kind of fruit.  For instance, if you are having a fall brunch, use apples or pears.  For a summer garden party, try lemons or limes. * Photo Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine

Tip of the Day: Fruit Infused Water Centerpieces

In Tips on February 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Fruit infused water not only looks beautiful, tastes wonderful but is so easy to do.  Gather a variety of different carafes and bottles, you can pull from what you have or check out flea markets and antique stores.  Add raspberries, cucumbers, lemongrass, limes, mint leaves, you name it, to each vessel and add water.  Let the infusion sit for an hour or so.  Before guests arrive add ice and place the collection of fruit infused waters in the center of your table along with some whole fruit.  This creates a beautiful, functional, and inexpensive centerpiece.

Great Finds: Submersible LED Lights

In Great Finds on January 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Okay, so you’re probably wondering what a submersible LED light is.  And to tell you the truth it was news to me too.  These little guys are water proof and can be used to bring light to everything from flower arrangements to decorative vases.  They add just a little bit of extra sparkle to help set the mood and highlight centerpieces. To purchase, check out these sites:

Save-on-Crafts, $2.99 each

100 Candles, $1.99 each, $18.49 for 10

Photo Courtesy of Save-on-Crafts

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