When preparing your home for Thanksgiving, or any gathering, sometimes finding inspiration when creating eye-catching centerpieces can be difficult. So, to help inspire you this Thanksgiving, we turned to Peter, at Florisity in New York City, and Pilar, at Gorgeous and Green in Berkeley, California, for help. In addition to sharing some of their favorite floral arrangements for Thanksgiving, each designer answered some of our questions when it comes to creating beautiful Thanksgiving centerpieces at home.
When creating centerpieces for Thanksgiving, what inspires you?
Peter: The foliage in Central Park is magnificent during early fall. I stroll through, gathering inspiration for autumn- inspired flower arrangements. I like to incorporate squash and pumpkins, as well, to give the centerpiece a hearty feel—similar to the cornucopias this time of year. Anything from nature during the autumn season can be inspiring.
Pilar: With any of my arrangements, I always look to what is locally in season. Follow the seasons around you to find colors and themes; in the fall to use browns and yellows and reds, because as plants and leaves die, we get to see some magnificent colors. Squash is also prevalent, so we see the use of pumpkins and gourds and squash in a lot of displays and arrangements.
Peter, do you have a go-to tool that is helpful when creating stylish and beautiful arrangements at home?
I recommend purchasing a pin frog, which is a spiked objects used mostly when creating ikebana style arrangements. You can put them in the base of any container and create a styled floral centerpiece that will not require a lot of flowers.
Pilar, what about creating stunning centerpieces, without breaking the bank?
In a lot of my arrangements, I use vintage and reused containers and items that a lot of people may have around their house but never thought to combine with flowers or plants—I love unique containers. Sometimes an old gravy boat, candy dish or an old bird cage make for a stunning display. Plus, it's all about reusing and reinventing and that means it's also eco-friendly.
Peter, when spending time and money beautiful arrangements, it is nice to extend their life as long as possible. What do you suggest I do?
Clean the vase thoroughly with bleach and water and recut the stems. Refill the vase with fresh cold water. This should be done on a daily basis, and will help the flowers last longer.
Pilar, what are some "green" floral decorating tips that people should remember when purchasing materials?
In addition to reusing and buying local/in season, it's also important that people pay attention to pesticides, organics and fair trade as well. As with food, flowers can be sprayed with a lot of toxic chemicals that affect everyone involved, from the cultivators of the flower to those who cut, sell, arrange and end up enjoying its beauty. I try to use as many growers as possible who don't use sprays, so that we can have fewer toxins that affect our people and the earth. Fair trade is also important to think about, and is directly linked to the health of communities and the environment. Hopefully, when you buy local or fair trade, you are supporting businesses who can then support and pay their employees fairly.
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