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 handful or two of freshly cut flowers embody the laid-back spirit of outdoor entertaining, especially when the blooms are slipped into a mismatched assortment of clear glass bottles, jars, and carafes. The containers go with any color scheme and offer a way to pair unlikely garden mates. At this dinner party, sun-craving cosmos meet shade-friendly astilbes. And the mingling of starburst scabiosa seed heads with the fireworks of astrantia makes the tabletop conversation sparkle.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Follow this guide to determine how much to buy. The primary rule: Buy plenty. You can use it later or return unopened bottles (check store policy before making your purchase).
Item and Quantity
Wine: One bottle per two people per hour
Beer: Two per person per hour
Spirits: One bottle per five people per hour
Mixers: Three bottles for each bottle of alcohol
Ice: At least one pound per person per hour
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
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
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
These mini terrariums make chic table decor when grouped en masse -- and they double as favors, too! Just place sand and rocks in the bottom of a fishbowl votive holder.
Carefully set small succulents among the rocks -- securing them, if necessary, with toothpicks -- and quench their thirst with a dropper. Bubbleball 4 3/4-inch vase, Save-On-Crafts.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009
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