Showstopping Centerpieces

Style Guide: From natural and organic to over-the-top and elegant, here are ideas for your table.


Hi, I'm Jennifer Berno, associate decorating editor at Southern Living Magazine. Nothing completes a beautifully set table like a show-stopping centerpiece. From natural and organic to over the top and elegant, here are some ideas for that ultimate finishing touch. In a rustic dining room, forget a stuffy arrangement. Instead, place galvanized boot trays end to end down the center of the table. Seal the trays with silicone caulk before filling them with water and floating candles for a glowing display. Instead of one large arrangement, consider staggering four to five vessels down the center of your table. For an autumnal look with a modern twist, try mixing deep red calla lily leaves with blackberries and silver brunia in zinc pots. [MUSIC] When you're setting a table, keep your centerpiece low to ensure that your guests can see each other over the arrangement. Try placing magnolia blossoms in a short brass pedestal bowl for an easy, elegant arrangement. Or a mix of magnolia leaves, pillar candles, and colorful wired butterflies will make for a whimsical look. [MUSIC] Candlelight is the easiest way to set a festive tone. Use simple hurricane lanterns to protect the flame, then surround the candles with grasses for a relaxed look. Or with citrus fruit and pine cones for a classic winter combination. [MUSIC] When conversation isn't at stake, like on a gift or buffet table, go bold with tall, dramatic arrangements in bright colors. Use florist foam to set calla lilies and berries, then fill oversize glass cylinders with pomegranates topped off with the pre-arranged flowers. [MUSIC] A beautiful centerpiece is sometimes all you need to create a festive table. For more holiday inspiration, pick up a copy of Southern Living and visit
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