As fall approaches and the weather starts to cool, entertaining makes its move indoors. Elevate your next occasion with a centerpiece inspired by the harvest season.
For a low profile that encourages dinner conversation, set a block of floral foam into a shallow pewter dish and created a dome of sedum flowers, filling in the spaces with purple Queen Anne's lace, mauve hydrangeas, round star scabiosa, fuzzy foxtail grass, and spiked sea holly.
Birds' castoff plumage can add interest (and a shot of fall color) to an arrangement -- or make one all on their own. The striking graphic patterns on this collection got us thinking about new ways to use a bell jar. Stand feathers up in a little vase, and add a few acorns. Another easy fall combo to display under a dome: a bird’s nest and some dried oak leaves.
During the last months of the gardening year, the color palette is more limited than in spring and summer, so texture becomes key. In this tall display, impressive on a buffet or a drinks table, Kevin Sharkey paired feathery heads of rust-red amaranth with pale-green protea, a more muscular tropical flower. Both stand out among lanky millet grasses, and lady's mantle fills in any gaps like a wispy green cloud.
Pointy green-and-russet sweet gum leaves star in this earthy arrangement, with support from the vegetable garden. Kevin Sharkey added contrasting shapes and textures with prickly deep-purple artichokes and smooth green (unripe) persimmons. This would work well on a coffee table where people are hovering over a cheese board.
A white-pumpkin shell becomes the vase for an arrangement of roses, daffodils, ranunculuses, calla lilies, tulips, and hypericum berries in fall colors -- yellows, peaches, and shades of orange. Smaller pumpkins and votive candles in orange-glass holders fill out the centerpiece.
A cluster of towers made from stacked patterned ceramics forms a graphic, sculptural centerpiece that will decorate your table day in and day out -- no green thumb needed. If you don't have an extra set of dishes lying around, you can buy great inexpensive rice bowls at an Asian outlet or pick up mixed sets at flea markets.