How to deck your tablescapes this holiday season

Floral designer Michael Gaffney says it’s all about practice when it comes to creating your own centerpieces at home.

We all want that perfect centerpiece to set the scene when we’re entertaining during the holidays, but how can you wow guests without dropping major cash at the fancy florist? Floral designer and founder of American Schools of Flower Design, Michael Gaffney, gives us a crash course.

Get inspired

“Page through magazines looking for a style you like. ‘Copy, copy, copy’ is my motto. Arrangements in magazines are by designers who know the looks; those are the looks that everybody admires. Sometimes if you just pick it apart, you’ll figure it out.”

The vessel is key

“Avoid wicker baskets — in other words, choose the right container. Go out on a limb and use something modern, such as concrete or metal.”

Think beyond poinsettia

“Use flowers that you normally don’t see. It doesn’t have to be poinsettias and white mums, it can be hydrangeas, kale or white stock — which is actually a spring flower, but with pine and cedar it looks beautiful. Use lots of branches –  not only the pines and cedars, but dark woods and curly willows can be incorporated into really modern arrangements.”

Easy tricks

“Take lots of one type of flower and collar it with different materials. Take four bunches of white stock and collar with magnolia leaves, then collar it with another material like pine — very chic, very high-end looking.  I also like ornaments where you stick a [branch] in it and you use them as flowers in your design.”

Preserving your work

“Designers put bleach in the water. A couple of drops of bleach in an average size vase stops the bacteria from destroying the drinking mechanisms.

Also, submerge your flowers underwater for a half hour to 45 minutes — they’ll hydrate through the surface. Use a product called Crowning Glory, which is a wax sealant that keeps them from dehydrating. If you don’t have that, just spray them with water daily. Flowers are all about water.”

Source the best blooms

“Start knowing your source, whether it’s your  grocery store, florist or wholesale market. When you feel flowers, they should feel almost plastic — which means they’re  just plump with water.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.