Flowers

5 Steps to the Quickest Spring Centerpiece

Take it from a pro floral designer: It doesn’t have to be complex.

February 20, 2020
Photo by FlowerGirlNYC

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Suddenly we find ourselves approaching spring, or... tis’ the season to be floral. But why does arranging flowers seem like such a precious and learned skill? Well...it doesn’t have to be, as this truly simple centerpiece maintains.

I’ve never really been a fan of giant, overly-styled centerpieces. I’ve seen some pretty over-the-top arrangements—you know, the ones that obscure your view across the table—with citrus plastered to the sides of the vase, huge branches craning toward the ceiling, and the impression that they probably required a loan to finance.

This Spring, instead of a centerpiece that lords over your guests at brunch, try out a cluster of bud vases (or jars, empty bottles, juice glasses) with a few beautiful stems; i.e. the art of holding back.

We teamed up with FlowerGirlNYC, a boutique flower shop in New York, that has worked with the likes of Vogue, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs, oh, and Food52! Here, Denise Porcaro (also known as “Flower Girl”), gives her best suggestions for a more laissez faire approach to a floral centerpiece—fit for any season.

Step 1: Choose Vessels

“Pretty much anything can be a vase,” Denise says, “here we just mixed bottles collected through years of antiquing with a few new blown glass vessels.” The bottles add a bit of height, and the blown glass tones down “the overly rustic edge,” as Denise points out, “and they work well all together as a runner-style centerpiece.”

Step 2: Choose a Color Scheme

For a stripped-down centerpiece like this one, Denise suggests sticking to 2-3 colors that compliment each other, or going for a monochromatic look with a few different shades of the same color. You know the grocery store bouquets with like, eight different color flowers? They tend to lean kitschy, so keep it streamlined.

Step 3: Pick Seasonal Flowers

“Stay seasonal,” recommends Denise, as “flowers are always prettiest in their prime.” Go for a bunch of flowers from your local farmer's market, and ask if they grew close by and are in season. Flowers with a shorter supply chain will not only be more affordable than imported ones, but will last longer since it will have been less time since they were cut.

Step 4: Add Greens and Texture

Remember that “pods, textures, greens are your friends” Denise emphasizes, and “depending on the season and where you live, foraging these can add to the fun, and give you a few extra bragging rights.”

Step 5: Add Interest to the Table

Don't forget the tabletop itself—bring the eye down by scattering greens and flower heads on the table itself. Here, the FlowerGirl team used eucalyptus, and before the occasion (be it an extravagant dinner or Sunday brunch), would add a few flickering votives to further elevate the mood.

Voila! Photo by FlowerGirlNYC

Do you prefer delicate arrangements or big, bold ones? Let us know in the comments!

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Assistant Editor, Lifestyle, Food52

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