Sure, you’ve cooked for three days straight, but no self-respecting holiday table is complete without a centerpiece. “I’ve seen rooms with the best linens and crystals, but they’re not alive until you drop the flowers on the table,” says Michael Gaffney, founder of the New York School of Flower Design. (He’s responsible for the gorgeous arrangements in movies such as “Black Swan.”) “I often wonder why, and I think it’s because it adds another element to the room. Instead of metals and linens and materials, it adds life.”
And let’s face it — your guests are going to need some resuscitation from the food coma that’s about to go down. So to give our dinner tables a little more pep, Gaffney shows us how to craft a chic yet inexpensive arrangement (you can do this for less than $30).
1. Place soaked foam block into the urn. Cut the foam so it’s just above the rim. With the extra foam, fill the sides of the urn.
2. Cut the stems of eight roses down so they are about an inch and a half long.
3. Starting at the rim of the urn — what Gaffney refers to as the lower deck — place each of the eight roses into the foam at a 45-degree angle. “It’s like setting eight chairs around a table,” he says.
4. Cut the stems of three flowers down so they are about eight inches long.
5. Place the three flowers straight down in the center of the foam forming — what Gaffney calls the penthouse.
6. Cut the stems of eight to 10 roses down so they are about five inches long. Place these in between the lower deck and penthouse at a 45-degree angle.
7. Fill in any holes with extra roses.
8. Adjust each layer so you end up with a dome shape.
9. Add pieces of pittosporum or another green flower in any open spaces for the finishing touch.
10. Place on table and wait for compliments.