Monday, April 05, 2010

The Centerpiece, a Focal Point

There are some things each of us consider essential in our homes.  For me, one of those things is a centerpiece at the dining room table that becomes the focal point in the room.  Fresh flowers are always best, although a potted plant, sea shells, whole fruits, nuts, whole vegetables, evergreens, or polished agates also grace the table during times when cut flowers are unavailable.  The best fresh flowers are not those that come from the florist or the grocer's floral department.  Instead, they are the ones that come from your own garden.  Starting in early spring, it's fun to take a basket and shears outside on a walk through the yard, looking for what may be blooming.  Sometimes whatever is blooming dictates the rest of the table decor.  But when there is more than one type of blossom available, choices can be made that allow for spontaneity in table decor.  Simple is always best, since flowers always speak for themselves. Having several simple vases available in varying sizes makes floral design easy and fun.  Yesterday's brunch was casual and brown stoneware was the acceptable service.  As I walked around the yard, still a bit scant in the flower department, I realized that the Thundercloud Plum tree was in full bloom and that the sprigs of branches within my reach would complement the table decor.  Four or five simple snips of the shears, and the casual arrangement of these graceful twigs resulted in a dainty and non-imposing centerpiece.  These delicate flowers set the tone for the table scene and lifted the stoneware from a boring brown to a cozy hue.  

A centerpiece is an object of art that centers the table and draws guests in.  Because it is there, it relays a message of "you are special" to those who sit at your table.  A centerpiece reflects the taste and imagination of the hostess and establishes the theme of the occasion.  Usually, a small decoration with simple lines is much more attractive than one which crowds the table.  Care should be taken in choosing colors that blend, harmonize, or contrast with the china and table linens.  Although magnificent,  the large centerpieces that are frequently featured on the glossy pages of magazines are usually too large for proper table use.  The height of a centerpiece is considered very important in table etiquette.  It should be low enough so that even the shortest person seated at the table can see across to others seated there.  Generally, this means that the maximum height of a centerpiece should be no more than 12" high.  

A centerpiece sets the tone for a meal, promoting quiet elegance, cozy comfort, and personal appeal.  Go see what you have in your yard that could bring some of the sunshine inside to your own dinner table!


  1. Anonymous9:36 AM

    How pretty La Donna. I love to have fresh flowers in the house. With my allergies I have to stick ith flowers that don't smell. So I have tulips right now blooming.

  2. A very beautiful centerpiece. I love fresh flowers on the table and from the garden are the very best.

  3. I've got a lone daffodil on my dining table. At least it is from my own garden, but it's not making much of a statement.

  4. such a lovely centerpiece and how lucky you are to have such beautiful blooms right outside your door!

  5. A nice centerpiece is important to me, too - you can see my table from the front door and I like to share some beauty with guests and visitors at the door, too.

  6. OK! You need to write a book on hospitality!!! This is so wonderful to read and your centerpiece is beautiful and simple!!

    Thank you for sharing your gift in such a lovely way!!

    Have a delightful week, sweetie!

  7. Just beautiful ~ understated elegance and a treat for the eyes!


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