Creative Flower Arrangements

Everyday items can be used to create imaginative flower arrangements.

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By Shari Hiller
Home & Garden Television

I have a question for you. What do quartz stones, river rocks, Spanish moss, a dinner plate, a salad plate and a silk flower have in common? Give up? They are the materials needed to create an elegant dining room centerpiece.

Don't believe me? Neither did my decorating partner, Matt Fox, but I made a believer out of him, and I'll make a believer out of you, too!

Matt and I recently redecorated a dining room. Our homeowners wanted more than just function; they wanted elegance. Since beautiful centerpieces are often the finishing touch to a dining room makeover, we felt a unique centerpiece would be the perfect addition to the room.

Obviously, flowers are the focal point of any arrangement, but the container is sometimes as important to the flower arrangement as the flowers themselves. This was certainly the case in this dining room; we decided that a minimalist arrangement, which used space as a design element, would help to create the elegance that our homeowners desired.

I started my project with an ordinary silk plant that resembled a forced white crocus bulb. (I'm no expert in horticulture, but it may actually have been an orchid!) Whatever, I liked the plant because, although it was simple, the protruding bulb added height and interest.

I found the plant at the local fabric store, but similar styles are readily available at craft and discount stores as well.

Originally the plant was "potted" in a terra cotta pot, but since I wanted to create a very chic look, the pot had to go! Because the silk plant I had chosen was so simple, I knew that the container I used would be critical as a design element. It needed to anchor the plant while providing additional depth, color and texture.

I asked our homeowner if I might go on a little scavenger hunt around the house and, as usual, Matt was quite excited when we ended up in the kitchen. Much to his dismay, I bypassed the refrigerator and headed straight for the cupboards, where I found a treasure trove of possible containers in the form of some very unusual dinnerware.

The plates were a very dark-colored stoneware. Even more unusual, they were square. I thought I might be able to create a uniquely interesting centerpiece using a dinner plate as my container. But because a single dinner plate seemed to lack depth, I decided to add a salad plate. I played around with various placements, but finally decided to set the square salad plate diagonally across the dinner plate.

The angles added interest to the piece, but the container still seemed rather flat and dark. To counter these problems, I added white quartz stones, filling in the space around the salad plate. This not only added much needed color, but also created visual interest by accentuating the angled look and adding texture and depth.

Next, it was time to "arrange" the flower. I removed the silk plant from the terra cotta pot and set it on the salad plate. I then glued it in place using my hot glue gun and added a cover of Spanish moss to make it more realistic looking.

Unfortunately, the plant seemed to be floating on the plate rather than anchored to it, so I added some small river rocks to surround the plant. The resulting arrangement was beautiful, but still seemed a bit small for the space, so I decided to create two additional arrangements exactly like the first.

The finished product was greeted with great enthusiasm by our homeowners. Because the three arrangements were identical, they seemed to create a single centerpiece. And, although simple, they helped to create a truly elegant dining room.

As you can see, floral arrangements do not have to be complicated to add drama to a room. Everyday items can be used to create imaginative flower arrangements.

I told you I'd make a believer out of you. And now you'll be able make believers of all your guests, as well. Although they'll be amazed by your use of creative containers, let's not tell them that flower arrangements can be both intriguing and easy to make. We'll keep that our little secret!

(Matt Fox and Shari Hiller alternate writing this column. They also co-host the Home & Garden Television show Room By Room.)

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