When it comes to entertaining, I love putting in that extra effort for the finishing touches. In my opinion, it’s well worth it. Especially for dinner parties, I like to make it a special occasion for anyone attending…no matter how big or how small my guest list is. One way I like to spice up a special night or day is with a beautiful floral tablescape.
As I’ve said before, I love doing my own DIY floral arrangements. They are elegant, colorful, and add style to any occasion. Even if just on a regular basis! I normally keep flowers in my home but for guests, I like to go all out. In a pinch, I’ll call a florist. But, luckily, one of my besties, Mimi Brown, actually has her own studio where she specializes in tablescapes. Oh, and tablescapes are way more than just the florals. She also specializes in designing the event from A to Z: from florals to layout to menus and styling.
Here are some tips straight from Mimi’s studio on how to create a fantastic and floral tablescape for your next party or event:
- Stay Seasonal: I like to go with the season. Flying daffodils in from New Zealand in December may seem exotic but it costs a fortune and doesn't feel right for a winter soirée. Look to nature for your inspiration.
- Keep It Simple: Don't over crowd the table with decor - some simple florals down the center is my favorite look. Play with the china, linens, and flatware for some extra fun or an added punch of color or pattern. I'm not a fan of paper decorations or other kitschy items. It should be pretty and chic but leave room for food. And alcohol.
- Pay Attention To Surroundings: Look to your surroundings for direction. At the farm? Try flax colored linens over a rustic farm table with loose gathered wild flowers in mason jars down the center. At the beach? Mix bright blues and sea greens for the linens, china and glassware and do all white containers with simple blue hydrangea.
- Count Your Containers: In general I like odd numbers of containers. If you have an 8-foot table, maybe 2 medium sized vessels with a smaller version of the same vessel in between for a variance of height (making 5 vessels total). Or do 5 all the same size and keep the height the same.
- My “Candle” Rule: Always votive candles at night! Never during the day - it's tacky. That's my southern roots talking.
- Think Ahead: If you're shopping for China, pick up some matching serving dishes so you have them on hand in case your pattern gets discontinued. I tend to buy things in sets and then mix and match later on.
- Prep Time: Buy (or cut) your flowers the day before. They need to drink water and open properly before you arrange them.
- Cut The Foliage: Cut all of the foliage off - it may seem crazy but I promise it makes a difference. When you put a flower in water, the water has to travel all the way up the stem to actually reach the flower and water it. If you think about it - the water stops on the way to the flower watering mall of those leaves first and often the flower itself has already started to lose some of its steam. Remove all leaves and thorns and cut the bottom of the stem at an angle and put into water within 30 seconds of cutting it. Don't cut the stems and walk away leaving them on the counter and then stick in water a few minutes later. The bottom of the stem starts to seal and if you don't have it in water within 30 seconds then the stem will close off.
- Keep It Fresh: Recut stems every other day and give your arrangement fresh water. No flower foods, Clorox etc. Just plain tap water and proper prepping.
- Cut Carefully: for hydrangea or flowers with woody stems - cut at an angle and then cut a slit up the stem. No pounding the stem with hammers - that's an old wives tale in my opinion and crushes the stem.
- Be Creative: Using oversized scarves as tablecloths, in addition to the colorful florals, can create a fun bohemian look.
To contact Mimi for your next event or just for some more inspiration, visit her website.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.