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pillow cases vintage How to style your flower centrepiece accent pillow case baby

Updated: 2020-01-19 16:12Font Size: LMS

With Christmas coming to a near, flower arranging master Katherine Dorrington gives us some insider tips on styling your flower centrepiece.

With so many beautiful flowers to choose from, how do we choose what will best suit the look and feel of our home?

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I’m a complete flower addict so I find it almost impossible to narrow down my choice, particularly for important occasions. However, I come back to the seasonal beauty of flowers as the guiding factor in my decision. What makes a flower particularlybeautiful for me is the short amount of time that it is available. For example peonies are only around for such a short period, roughly 5 -6 weeks and they are so evocative of late springpillow cases vintage, early summer for me. I love them intensely during the period they are available and then I move onto the next seasonal beauty. So, visit the flower markets, or make friends with your local florist and findout what is going to be at its peak when you need it. It’s also important to think about how long you need the flowers to last, if it is only one day then most flowers are fine, but if you want to get a few days out of your table display it is really important to think about which flowers last the best. This is particularly important given our hot and dry summer!

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Once we’ve chosen the flowers, what are the steps to putting together a beautiful masterpiece?

I generally try and have a rough idea in my head of what I’m trying to achieve when I put together a display. Is it going to be free form and wild, structured and tight or highlighting one key element or flower? Once I’ve worked that out I then clean all of my flower stems, removing leaves that will sit in water and giving the blooms a bit of a tidy or prune. If I know what vase or vessel I am going to display them in I will trim the stems if they are too long for the vase, but I will try and keep as much length on them as possible until I’m really sure of the vase.

The other key point for me is to try and apply afive minute rule to almost everything that I style. What works best for me is to try and stay intuitive about arranging rather than forcing something that is not working. Sometimes if you’re just not getting anywhere with your display it’s best to plonk the flowers in water as they are and walk away for ten minutes to clear your head. I often find I can make a better display when I come back to it fresh rather than labouring it too much.

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Once the centrepiece is complete, how would you style your table around this?

I try and have a sense of how I want the centrepiece to work with the table setting. Is it something that will be there for the duration of the dinner, or will the flowers be removed when guests sit down to eat? That can change how you arrange your table – to either allow you to talk over the flowers if you want them to remain in place, or if you’re going for high impact at the beginning but are happy to remove the flowers when people sit down, a bit of height is fine.

We will be hosting Christmas at our house this year and our table is not big enough to seat everyone for dinner. With that in mind I’ve decided to set up a serving table with a big centrepiece that can remain in place. The idea is that my guests will help themselves to food at the table and then find a seat at another couple of tables we will bring in. It also means that I can go a bit over the top with styling the table, and set up a beautiful and whimsical tablescape.

Of course, we always want flowers to last forever, what are your key takeaway tips to increasing the longevity of flowers?

The biggest tip I can give is to do the prep work at the beginning. Make sure that you take a bucket of water with you when you pick up your flowers for the car ride home, whether this is from the market or a florist. As soon as you are home trim the stems and stick them in icy cold water. Once you start arranging them be sure to remove all the leaves that will be sitting in the vase of water, and only put your flowers into clean glassware or vases. If your flowers need to last a few days over the Christmas period be sure to change the water regularly and give the stems a little trim to allow them to take up fresh water. Then sit back and enjoy their natural beauty!



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