20 Centerpieces for Any Occasion

A beautiful centerpiece is the perfect finishing touch to any table setting but it doesn't have to be expensive or even come from a florist -- make your own arrangement with our tips.

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November 25, 2014

©Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

©Image courtesy of Kat Flower

©Image courtesy of Kat Flower

Photo By: photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Throw Out the Rule Book

There are no hard-set rules that state you MUST use only certain colors of flowers for specific times of the year -- mix it up and choose blooms in whatever color you like. Here, designer Manvi Drona Hidalgo used copper amaranth, white astilbe, silver brunia berries, echinacea, gomphrenia, Dutch hydrangea and sweet Annie artemisia to create a real stunner.

Contrast Colors

To create a show-stopping arrangement, rely on contrast. Designer Erinn Valencich contrasts both color and style by pairing magenta cockscomb, dahlia and calla lilies with chartreuse mums for pop then sliding this sophisticated arrangement into an earthy birch-bark container.

Embrace Asymmetry

As Chelsea Fuss of Frolic! blog proves, you don't need to be a florist to create a stunning centerpiece. To recreate this look, use a ceramic pot without a drainage hole instead of a standard vase. Criss-cross florist tape over the top of the pot to keep heavy stems in place. When arranging flowers, allow them to arch out in all directions, don't worry about the arrangement being perfectly symmetrical. For an earthy finishing touch, add fresh fruit, like small apples, pears, citrus or even a pomegranate by inserting a skewer into the fruit then sliding the skewer into the arrangement. Photography by Chelsea Fuss

Grocery Store Flowers? You Bet!

Make your last pre-party grocery store stop in the floral department to pick up a few bunches of flowers in colors that complement your party. Here, we paired peach, orange and yellow ranunculus with white stock and statice for a pretty pastel arrangement. Once home, immediately cut the flowers' stems and place the cut ends in water so they'll stay fresh till you're ready to arrange them.

Create a Succulent Centerpiece

For a sculptural centerpiece that will last (and last and last!), choose succulents. Most garden centers carry these low-maintenance relatives of the cactus year-round. They do well in direct sunlight and when planted together en masse. A shallow container, sandy, well-draining soil and an eye for combining succulents of various colors and shapes are all you need to create a stunning centerpiece that will look great for many months to come. Get more tips for creating one of these easy-care living arrangements.

Add the Unexpected

Flowers are what come to mind when we think of arrangements but other backyard garden or farmer's market staples are equally beautiful. Small veggies still on the vine, like cherry tomatoes, pea pods or baby artichokes will add an unexpected twist. Or, you can make your centerpiece more fragrant by adding herbs, like lemon balm, mint or lavender instead of traditional greenery. Floral design by Poppies & Posies. Photography by Jen Huang Photography

Sometimes, More is More

If one centerpiece looks good, three will look even better, right? Designer Manvi Drona Hidalgo lined the center of her table with white roses and greenery in a square container, then just popped pink cabbage roses in mini glass bud vases for an added shot of color.

Rustic Meets Refined

For this fall-themed centerpiece, designer Camille Styles pairs rustic elements like beeswax candles, gourds and a salvaged wooden board as a table runner with a porcelain footed dish overflowing with greenhouse blooms. Her arrangement contains roses, hydrangea, dahlias, copper amaranth and ranunculus with a few sprigs of fall greenery, grasses and berries to signify the season.

Light It Up

Those old brass candlesticks you have packed away in your garage or basement are actually back in vogue. Time to unpack them and put them to work adding a subtle golden glow to your centerpiece. Intersperse the tall candlesticks with lower floral arrangements to create visual interest with varying heights. And, don't worry about lining everything up perfectly down the center of the table, a meandering grouping creates a less formal, relaxed look.

Stack a Centerpiece

For an earthy fall focal point, skip the flowers and instead stack heirloom variety blue, green and gray pumpkins in graduated sizes to create a rustic topiary, as designer Marian Parsons has here. Remove the stems from all but the top pumpkin to create a stable base. Get more of Marian's tips for setting a rustic fall table.

Craft Your Own Organic Vase

Match your centerpiece to the season by hollowing out in-season produce, like a pumpkin or gourd, to create an earthy vessel. Add water then create your arrangement with a combination of dried grasses, greenery and fresh flowers. The cut gourd should stay fresh about a week, or typically as long as the flowers. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Petite and Personalized

Instead of one large, central centerpiece, add several small arrangements -- one at each place setting. You can use the same flowers for each mini arrangement or customize the color scheme or blooms to each guest. Best of all: When the party's over, your guests can take their arrangement home as a party favor.

Go Crazy for Color

What table couldn't use a cheery pop? Best of all, you really can't go wrong with colors for centerpieces — match your arrangement to your dining room, china pattern, favorite necklace — whatever you'd like. That's one of the great things about flowers; they come in all the colors of the rainbow. Image courtesy of Kat Flower

Bring the Outdoors In

Skip flowers altogether and pull together a free (yes, free!) arrangement using grasses, berries and colorful leaves cut from your own backyard. A heavy earthenware jug is the perfect companion to this centerpiece's laid-back look and will also keep the top-heavy branches from pulling the arrangement over.

Opt for Timeless Elegance

Compact flowers like ranunculus and roses are the perfect choice for a traditional centerpiece. For added texture, fill in with sprays of greenery or fall-blooming foliage like Scotch heather or 'Autumn Joy' sedum. Image courtesy of Kat Flower

Combine Real With Faux

With succulents trending in home decor and gardening, it's the perfect time to incorporate them in your tablescape. Clip live succulents and glue to the tops of real or faux pumpkins to create a rustic centerpiece.

A Terrarium for Any Season

Fill a large glass orb with soil, natural elements and seasonal plants to create a garden scene at the center of your tablescape. We filled this winter-inspired terrarium with rosemary, cedar cones and a mix of polka dot and hypoestes plants. To create a terrarium for any season, fill the glass orb with plants in bloom that are at varying heights.

A Stunning Centerpiece on a Budget

You don't need expensive glassware to create an eye-catching centerpiece. Line up the three vases filled with grocery store flowers in the center of the table. Add (4) 3” PVC couplings to each side of the vases with the vases nestled between. Add (3) 2” PVC couplings between each of the 3” couplings on the side and (1) 2” PVC coupling to each end between the 3” couplings. If your succulent containers fit in the PVC couplings without their pots showing, place them in the couplings. Otherwise, insert a small plastic bowl in the couplings. Then remove the succulents from their packaging and add them to the couplings.

Keep it Simple and Chic

You can put an elegant centerpiece together using only a few items. Fill a small glass with water and whole limes, and tuck flowers – stripped of most stems – in amongst the limes. Pinecones, ornaments or fresh, colorful vegetables like artichokes and radishes also serve as sturdy anchors for blooms.

Incorporate Fruits and Veggies

With most of its materials sourced from the grocery store, this unique, punchy arrangement is not only super fresh, but is also a great low-cost alternative to a traditional fresh flower bouquet. Make your own from an assortment of Granny Smith apples, limes, ornamental kale, green hypericum, Bells of Ireland, Italian ruscus, Silver Dollar eucalyptus and lemon leaf greenery. 

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