DIY Clean-Lines Centerpiece

DIY Centerpiece
DIY Clean-Lines Centerpiece

Last month, Hubby and I hosted a big family event.  Hon, you know what I love about a party besides celebrating happy occasions with friends and family?  The theme!  I love coordinating colors and carrying the theme through the details. It fires up my imagination.

Since the theme of the party was Broadway shows, the Manhattan skyline became a design element on the favors, large scale decorations and the centerpieces. I created the vessels and then handed them off to florist Kristen Carlberg*, who brought my vision of happy, bright, colorful bouquets to life.  I must give a shout out to my good friend, Ina Wallman*.  Not only does she have an exquisite eye for design, she helped me focus my many ideas into one cohesive plan.

Each table was set with cream tablecloths and fuchsia napkins.  Round tables featured one larger (6 inches by 6 inches) centerpiece while larger oval tables featured three smaller (5 inches by 5 inches) centerpieces, lined up in a row.

*If you are interested in getting in touch with florist, Kristen Carlberg or interior designer, Ina Wallman, please leave a comment or email me at bmoreenergy@gmail.con and we’ll exchange contact info.

Happy decorating, hon!

Supplies:

–Unfinished wooden boxes. I bought mine at G & G Distributors, a wholesale floral and craft store and website.

–White paint.  I used leftover water-based wall paint, semi-gloss.

–Paintbrushes or foam brushes.

–Drop cloth.

–Decorations to wrap around the boxes.

–Varnish, optional. (I didn’t varnish the boxes, but wish I did.  Water-based paint tends to run when water touches it.)

–Glass inserts for flowers and water. The florist supplied these.  She measured the insides of the boxes ahead of time so she’d know what sizes to get.  The unfinished wooden boxes came with thin, plastic liners.  If I was using floral green foam, then the plastic liners might have sufficed, but they wouldn’t hold cut flowers in water.

Steps:

–Gather supplies, including wrap-around stickers or whatever you are using for decorating the boxes.  Hubby has a talent for graphic design so he worked up a Manhattan skyline and ordered the custom-designed stickers an online site.  Or a paper design (not on paper that’s too thin) that coordinates with your theme can be used.  Paper designs can be secured around the perimeter of the boxes using craft glue.

–Measure designs by wrapping them around boxes and cutting them to fit.  They’ll be ready to apply once the boxes are painted and dry.

–Paint boxes and dry thoroughly.

–Apply designs.

–Varnish, optional.

–Add glass inserts and flowers.

–Set your tables and enjoy!

1. Unfinished wooden boxes were painted white with leftover wall paint.
Unfinished wooden boxes were painted with leftover water-based, semi gloss wall paint.
2. Custom-designed stickers were wrapped around each fully-dried, painted box.
Custom-designed stickers were wrapped around each fully-dried, painted box.
Boxes decorated with wrap-around stickers.
Boxes decorated with wrap-around stickers.
Three 5" x 5" boxes were lined up on oval tables. One 6" x 6" box was set in the center of round tables.
Three 5″ x 5″ boxes were lined up on oval tables. One 6″ x 6″ box was set in the center of round tables.
The florist measured the insides of the boxes, so she could pick up the correct sized glass inserts.
The florist measured the insides of the boxes, so she could pick up the correct sized glass inserts.
I love the contrast of the colorful flowers against the white box.
I love the contrast of the colorful flowers against the clean lines of the white box.
Bright, pretty, happy!
Bright, pretty, happy!
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Trendsetter

"Peacock" chair for Cappellini, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base
“Peacock” chair for Cappellini, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base
Departures cover, May 2013
Departures cover, May 2013′

Guess what’s featured on Departures‘ May cover? The very same chair whose felt folds intrigued me enough to include them in my recent post “Patterns at the Met.” The flash on my camera washed out the chair’s color, but the distinct design is a show stopper. The Peacock chair was included in the glossy mag’s “Please-be-Seated” layout of “the six most beautiful chairs in the world.”

Back in the day when I was an assistant buyer at Bloomingdale’s, my buyer and I visited a color forecaster to pick yarn colors for our own line of cashmere sweaters. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, only I was surrounded by hundreds of yarn samples with intriguing names. Who wouldn’t want to know how “Bunny Gray” compares to “Feather Gray” and “Gray Timber Wolf”? Picking colors for the next season was as exciting as buying a few of my own lines of women’s clothes. (I’d like to be the person who comes up with color names!)

I left the world of department store retail to research starting my own business. Treks to Manhattan’s fabric district yielded bolts of fabric. A season later, I’d see the same fabric on clothes in stores.

I packed up my business along with that part of my life when I became pregnant with triplets.

But, even though my designs are still sitting in my attic and my aspirations have transformed into something else, a funny thing happened. Those triplets have a knack for picking out trends. One daughter invariably picks out outfits that subsequently appear on  Pretty Young Things in magazines. She once bought an owl necklace at a mall kiosk months before the same necklace became all the rage.

My son considered wearing multi-crayon colored sneakers when all the other seventh grade boys’ sneakers were white and black. (He likes color as much as I do.) I said, “Buy them, they’re fun!  You’ll be a trendsetter.” My hubby thought they were hideous and a magnet for obnoxious comments.  Hmmm, bet you can figure out which sneakers made the cover of the New York Times Style section!

The third triplet, an artist, started her own business selling her designs on IPad and IPod covers as well as pillows and canvases. She’s put a lot of thought into what designs will sell and is constantly working on new designs.

I’m not sure what happened to those trendsetting days and I sure can’t predict if my new aspirations will come to fruition.  But, the Peacock chair opened up the window in my attic where dusty boxes of designs and my past sit, waiting to be cleaned out.