At this time of year, it's tempting to create an everything-in-the-vase display that rivals perennial borders at their June peak. But indoors, simpler can be better. Consider combining just a couple of fine specimens: the amazing varieties of one flower, such as alliums, and the gorgeous foliage of another, such as hosta. We used a fluted white vase to focus attention on subtle color harmonies and contrasting silhouettes. On a practical note, alliums need frequent water changes, so refill the vase daily.
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A bright sheet or piece of fabric makes a lively backdrop for a professional-style photo shoot. Try hanging it at parties, and give guests a chance to strike a chic pose for the camera.
Make your photos even more festive by adding seasonal or occasion-appropriate embellishments. For slumber parties, try our Glittered "Candy" Garland.
SourceThe Martha Stewart Show, October 2010
If you're expecting numerous guests for the holiday dinner and have only one seder plate, create one or two extras so everyone around the table can participate. Arrange five elegant saucers or small bowls on a large plate that matches them, and then use the small dishes to display each of the symbolic foods.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2008
In addition to displaying the main seder plate, incorporate some of the symbolic foods of Passover into individual place settings. (Carafes of wine can double as place-card holders.) With everything in reach, guests will have what they need during the reading of the Haggadah, keeping the passing of the seder plate -- and the risk of spills at the table -- to a minimum.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2009
This display is a centerpiece, a stack of party favors, and a table-number indicator all in one.
Fill small cardboard boxes with cookies or candies, wrap them with bands of paper and slender ribbon, and stack them on a silver compote in the shape of a pyramid. Attach a table number to the topmost box.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, 2004
Just as the coffee is being served, the dancing always seems to begin in earnest, leaving guests with cold coffee when they return to the table. At your reception, offer caramel wafers to rest across the top of the cup -- the coffee will stay warm and the caramel will soften, turning the wafer into a sweet gooey treat. To prevent premature nibbling, the wait staff should let guests know what the wafers are for when they first bring out the coffee.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, March/April Spring 2004
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