Iwona Danika. Kitchen Islands. May 07th , 2017.
Let's start with simple and classic: candles. You can't go wrong here—nice tapers are super-affordable and the golden light complements everyone's skin tones, making your guests feel warm and beautiful.
Traditional candle arrangements use two tapers, evenly spaced, in crystal candleholders. You can add a vase of flowers between or just leave the candles to shine on their own.
Contemporary arrangements feature candles en masse. Buy 8-10 pillar candles in the same color and varying heights (3" to 10") and group them in the middle of a beautiful silver tray or charger. Or float candles in tall glass holders for more drama.
If you like rustic, cottage our country style, arrange tea lights down the table on a bed of greenery. Fresh rosemary makes a fragrant background, as do holly or branches of oak leaves.
An alternative to a candle grouping is to place a single, large pillar candle—creamy white makes a beautiful, clean appearance—in a hurricane lamp or a low-slung vase. You can fill the vase with cranberries and nestle the candle in them, perfect for a holiday party. Or rest the candle on a small plate and arrange a wreath of greenery or flowers at the candle's base.
Just remember, when you're using candles on greenery or branches, make sure safety comes first and that the flame can't come in contact with anything. Setting your table or your guests on fire: not cool (though it would make a good story).
Tip: Keep your centerpiece tall and thin or below eye level so that your guests are talking to each other instead of the flowers.
Next up: flowers. Sprinkle some rose petals around tea lights or on top of your greenery. Or cut flowers and branches from your yard and arrange them in several small vases, which you can then place down the center of the table.
Sometimes trad is rad—so when you want a traditional, romantic centerpiece, fill a soup tureen (we love silver or china with an old-fashioned floral pattern) with roses or peonies. For a more modern, but similar look, use a Jadeite vase—square or rectangular would really appeal—or lean flowers in a tall, thin, rectangular vase. That gives your centerpiece a sense of motion, while letting you use tall cuttings without blocking your guests' view.
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