DESIGN TIP #5
HOW TO CREATE A CENTERPIECE
TO DIE FOR!
Hello, My Darling Co-Creators!
BOO!! It's me, Nancy Swanton, The Design Doctor!
I'm the designer with a different approach to interior design. I'm not about current trends or pretty pictures! I'm all about empowering you to use the science of design, blended with the power of the Law of Attraction, to make your home a magnet to get everything you want.
I remind you of this different approach to design at the beginning of everything I DO, even something as simple as creating a centerpiece, because I want you to keep the grounding thought that everything YOU DO should be driven by your intentions. Everything YOU DO is part of creating your newlife.
Setting your intentions is the foundation for all you receive! YES, even for a simple centerpiece!
AND THE NOTION THAT SETTING YOUR INTENTIONS IS FUN!
What could be more fun than creating your intentions?!?! Developing a design based on those intentions and then, sitting back and watching the Universe manifest your desires, your newlife, exactly the way you designed.
POOF - LIKE MAGIC! YOU WILL BE LIVING YOUR DREAM!
why should I make a centerpiece?
That is such a great question, right? What’s the big deal! I have so much to do! I’m not creative enough! Every time I’ve tried to do something like this, it ends up looking stupid and costing more money than a pre-prepared, store-bought arrangement!
Seriously, it is pointless!
What I really need is a new sofa to make my house look better, to make me feel better. How can something so small make a difference anyway! I can’t. I don’t. I won’t.
AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE! “Only women do this kind of stuff!”
Does any of this sound familiar to you? It does to me! Even as a professional designer who has created hundreds of arrangements, I still feel insecure when I begin! But, once I get started, the piece starts to take on an energy all it’s own! No two pieces you create will ever be the same AND they will be created with your specific desires radiating from them!!!
The Universe can’t help but deliver!
AND THAT MY FRIEND IS WHY YOU SHOULD CREATE A CENTERPIECE - BASED ON YOUR INTENTIONS - A CENTERPIECE THAT SHOUTS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE UNIVERSE!
EXAMPLE OF AN INTENTION FOR ARRANGEMENTS: I see myself living a life where I enjoy entertaining. I have friends who enjoy spending time in my home. I have flowers throughout my home, even on my nightstand. My home feels like a lovely place to be, even when I’m alone. I am delighted by the interesting arrangements in my home. I feel the abundance of beauty that surrounds me. It’s so fun to see these cute arrangements that I created for the sole purpose of bringing joy to me and my friends.
THE PURPOSE OF ANY ARRANGEMENT IS TO CREATE A VISUAL TRIGGER
Creating an arrangement is one of the easiest AND LEAST EXPENSIVE ways to create energy in a space! It’s even cheaper than paint and certainly easier to accomplish! You can change the tone of your home with the seasons or just based on how you’re feeling that day! When I talk about centerpieces and arrangements, it could be a centerpiece for your dining table or a small arrangement for your powder room or nightstand. It is absolutely amazing the power these objects have! I call them POWER POPS!
IGNITE YOUR POWER POP OPTIONS
As I wrote in great detail in Design Tip #1, the biggest mistake people make in design and in life, is making decisions in isolation. Once you have set your intentions, your first step before you begin creating an arrangement is to assess your existing space. Ask yourself, where would a Power Pop make the most impact? It might surprise you! It may not be the obvious place. View your home with a fresh perspective and look for areas that will give you the most vibrational bang for your design buck!
Once you’ve decided on the location, then think about color and texture! If you don’t know what colors you want to use, one trick I use is to squint and then look at the space through with a blurred vision. It’s weird how this blurred effect turns your space into blocks of color and it becomes super clear what colors you should be emphasizing! Always strive to compliment, NOT MATCH! It’s very difficult to match a color and it ends up looking “off”, like a mistake! Simply compliment and emphasize the existing.
MURDER MYSTERY MASQUERADE
I’m gonna use these Halloween themed arrangements I recently created for a Murder Mystery Masquerade dinner we hosted.
These arrangements illustrate several conditions that you will want to be aware of for all circumstances, so I think they’re a great and timely example.
My intention for this dinner party is to definitely stimulate and excite, but in a very glitzy, glamorous way, with a touch of MACABRE!
Are you looking to excite and energize or soothing with a tone on tone palette? Do you want strong and graphic or soft and soothing or something in between? What is your purpose ______________________________?
Because of the length of the table, I’ve determined that I will need 3 pieces. One tall centerpiece and two low companion pieces on either side. I drew a quick sketch to get a perspective on seating and spacing.
MY HILARIOUS SKETCH OF THE DINING TABLE FOR 12
The dinner will be a catered plated event, so we don’t need to worry about space for serving dishes.
Don’t you just love my sketches :o)) If this doesn’t build your confidence, nothing will - ha, ha, ha!
Whether you’re creating an fantastical arrangement for Halloween, an arrangement for a formal dinner or just an accent piece for your powder bathroom, there are a few basic practical elements you need to take into consideration.
How will your piece be viewed? 360 or straight on? Even if it’s straight on, make sure the sides are finished.
What height, length, depth and density should your piece be?
The very first question to ask yourself when determining your height is: will people have to look over the piece to have a conversation? Nothing worse than having a gorgeous centerpiece that creates a social roadblock!!
Eight inches is the standard max height for a dense arrangement that is placed in a conversation area. However, you may have a situation where it’s ok to have a tall and dense arrangement 90% of the time, but you want to be able to move it when the occasion to socialize arises. In that situation, you just want to make sure that your piece is portable and can transition easily to a new location.
A good rule of thumb when deciding length is to use the 1/3 rule. Your piece should be about 1/3 of the entire space where it will be placed.
Density is another component that needs consideration. If you want to have a rather large piece, but don’t want to obstruct, you can always use long stems or twigs to give the feeling of height, without being a barrier…..or you can elongate the appearance of the piece by visually extending the central piece with smaller vases, candles or other objects that appear to spread the arrangement over a larger space.
Will your arrangement be permanent or temporary? Do you want to use real or artificial or a combination. Real flowers do need a bit of maintenance and you need to take into consideration sunlight as well. Real flowers do smell lovely and there’s nothing like the real thing, but they do require water and replacement AND there are some artificial flowers that look sooooo real!! You’ve got choices!
You should have a super good idea of the placement, the color, texture and size of the piece. You’re ready to select your container! Do you want to see the stems or hide them? Does your container become a part of the arrangement, like in our Halloween tall example, or disappear as in the companion shorter pieces?
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
Floral Styrofoam for artificial flowers - Floral Wet foam for real flowers.
Floral tape - clear or green depending on your container
Good sharp pliers and/or scissors depending on the thickness of your stems and other materials
Something to cover your work surface - cloth or paper
IF I CAN DO THIS……you can do this
Cut your foam to fit your container
Lay floral tape over the top of your container in a grid. The size of your stems should determine the size of your grid. I usually make my grid about 2”squares. Sometimes, if the tape shows, I’ll snip off the tape along the outside of my container or add a ribbon or something to hide it. In this arrangement, I ended up snipping off the tape.
Lay your foundation, support pieces first. In my example, I’m using the black glitter frons and silver stems.
Next, insert your center blossom or object. Cut your stem a little longer than you think you might need, you can always make it shorter, but you can’t make it longer! Make sure it is securely inserted into the foam. You can always add more tape around the edges if it needs more support. This will be your focal point for the piece. Check your height!
Fill in with your additional blossoms, sticks and accent pieces.
Check for any open spaces, you don’t want to see foam! Add rocks or shells or moss to hide any support mechanics.
THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING YOU CAN’T DO BE OR HAVE
WHEN YOU ARE IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE UNIVERSE
I hope you enjoyed this SUPER FUN FREE DESIGN TIP!
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ALL THE BEST, ALL THE TIME!
Nancy Swanton - THE DESIGN DOCTOR
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