You don't have to be a professional floral designer to create a stunning centerpiece -- you just have to think like one.
That's why we reached out to a few of the 30 designers who participated in this week's New York Flower Show, an annual event hosted by the Horticultural Society of New York where the region's top florists gathered to create elaborate tablescapes centered around this year's theme, "Couture en Fleur."
From blooming shoes and handbags to life-size statues made entirely out of moss, the centerpieces on display were all about making a statement. But it surprisingly doesn't take much skill to create a simple table setting at home that's just as impressive -- all you need is a glue gun and a little creativity. But don't just take our word for it. For help, we spoke with three designers about how to put together an easy yet elegant centerpiece.
Reed McIlvaine of Renny & Reed floral design firm
His design: For his display, McIlvaine drew inspiration from the colorful Cirque de Soleil, suspending a life-size mannequin molded from fresh flowers over a table accented with fashion-themed details like shoes and purses, all crafted from different blooms. While we might not see this fantasy piece in homes anytime soon, we can borrow his simple secret for turning any handful of blooms into a focal point.
His quick tip: Nearly anything can be used as a "base" for your centerpiece, including items you wouldn't normally think of using. For instance, instead of putting flowers in a vase, try an interestingly shaped water pitcher.
Laura Clare of Laura Clare Design
Her design: Clare opted to go with a black and white color scheme for her 1920s Parisian chic display at the Flower Show.
Her quick tip: For an interesting effect with little effort, choose different flowers in the same hue for your arrangement.
Bella Meyer of Fleurs Bella
Her design: For her Flower Show centerpiece, Meyer molded a large statue made entirely out of moss and used the lush green material to cover her table linens.
Her quick tip: While colorful flowers might seem like a natural choice for some, she suggests playing around with more unexpected materials, such as moss. It's easy to mold and can be used to decorate anything from a vase to a wide serving tray.
To see the designers' looks from the New York Flower Show, flip through the slideshow. And, be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below.
All photos by Borowski Muller Photographers
Floral designer Reed McIlvaine of Renny & Reed used flowers and decorative grass to form a life-size mannequin suspended over his Couture en Fleur-themed table.
McIlvaine used fresh blooms to create colorful purses and shoes to place around his table, but you can make a similar look using items you have at home. "You can start with a little handbag that you were going to throw away and cover it all in grasses, or use an old heel or something that you have in the closet," he says.
Designer Laura Clare of Laura Clare Design opted for a unique black and white color scheme for her flower show display. "Color is sort of predictable, and this is high fashion for flowers in my eyes," she says.
Clare suggests using plenty of soft candlelight to give your table an elegant look.
For a lush, organic look, floral designer Bella Meyer of Fleurs Bella decided to create her display entirely out of moss.