For a splash of style, adorn your table with autumn's brightest accessories: vivid fall leaves. Simply clip sprays of young leaves from a tree in your yard (ours are from a maple). Arrange the clippings at each place setting, and top with transparent glass plates. Come dinnertime, you'll be basking in the oohs and aahs of your guests.
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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
Think of this as no-decorating decorating: Dress up your favorite Bundt cake with a bouquet in the center.
Choose dainty nontoxic flowers; we used muscari, brodiaea, and bupleurum. Cut the stems short, and arrange them in a glass that fits your cake. It's perfect for Mother's Day, and Mom can admire the arrangement after nothing is left but the crumbs.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, May 2010
Shake things up with a dish that's distinctive but doesn't abandon traditional flavors: fall-foliage lasagna. The secret? Pasta colored with beet and carrot puree, and shaped with cookie cutters.
Your caterer can incorporate these tricks into her recipe; we layered fresh ricotta cheese between beet and carrot pastas, which were cooked, then sauteed in -- and drizzled with -- a brown-butter and sage sauce. The combination is hard to, ahem, beet.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2009
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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