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Divine Decor: Standout Centerpieces

Divine Decor: Standout Centerpieces

Retro, outré, architectural, eclectic. One thing is certain — here are no shrinking violets among today's best centerpiece designs.




One of the youngest inductees into the American Institute of Floral Designers and a favorite among Los Angeles A-listers, Tic-Tock's Eddie Zaratsian knows a thing or two about the power of flowers. And he says that nothing packs a bigger visual punch for wedding tables than striking white, whether in the form of orchids, gardenias or calla lilies.

“The focus is really on clean lines and the type of flower, and we're frequently using singular types of flowers,” he notes. “For a round table, we adore the elegance created by using groupings of glass cylinders in varying heights,” he says, while banquet tables might get “a lot of low, rectangular containers in Lucite and glass, or clusters of small containers along the table, again with single flower types in each container — keeping it very clean and simple.”

With all that white in sight, the right lighting is key: Zaratsian loves bathing white florals in “blues and purples, amethysts and ambers.”




It may be a carryover from last year, but retro-eclecticism is still huge for 2011 wedding centerpieces, says designer Courtenay Lambert. The owner of Covington, Ky.-based Courtenay Lambert Florals is creating table arrangements using “vintage glass pieces, antique Mason jars, and unexpected antique vessels like small drawers from an old piece of furniture or a glass bobèche,” often from her clients' own collections, she notes. She'll fill vintage vessels with “an eclectic mix of botanicals — which could include succulent plants, romantic blooms like ranunculus, garden roses, anemones, dahlias and stock — and small accent flowers like Veronica, sweet peas and uhule curls.” As for illuminating these nostalgic table displays, Lambert likes “lots of candlelight” — a fitting nod to days gone by.




Named by the New York Daily News as one of “Fashion's 50 Most Powerful People,” alongside Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenberg, Sandra de Ovando sees flowers as one fabulous accessory in a table's overall look. The acclaimed Manhattan floral guru approaches the “tablescape,” as she prefers to call it, as a harmonious weaving-together of “color palettes, the flowers themselves [and] materials above and beyond flowers.” De Ovando might blend elegant glass vases with cube vases, rectangular Vision vases, silver pedestals and hurricane vases in a single arrangement. She will then work with “repeated floral patterns” — perhaps aubergine calla lily shoots, green cymbidium orchids or moss balls accented with purple vanda orchids — “to create a more cohesive design.” Also big among de Ovando's eco-minded clients are centerpieces that feature fruits and vegetables — including broccoli, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, asparagus and carrots — along with flowers, succulents and candles. The veggies, of course, “can be locally sourced and organically grown,” and are, she adds, “a really fun way to bring more dimension and life to a tablescape.”




San Francisco's Natasha Lisitsa, whose Waterlily Pond Floral and Event Design is a darling of press and clients alike, sees “composition centerpieces” — where architectural structure and the mix of materials is equally important to selected blooms — as the major trend in table floral. Her centerpieces are likely to feature containers of varying heights, sizes and materials (think: glass, ceramic, metal), along with decorative objects. Also big (and small) are candles: “Compositions of varying height cylinders with floating candles are very good for both long tables and round tables,” she notes. As for color, Lisitsa says turquoise is hot, especially with black accents.

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