Monday, November 16, 2009

Guest Blogger - David Tutera

It's that time of year when we start thinking about entertaining, about table settings and tablescapes. Today's guest blogger offers a few tips to help get you into a creative mind set.
David Tutera is a well known event designer, television personality, and author of several floral and party design books. He has locked horns on national television with Joan Rivers. His more-is-more approach to design does not at first seem like something you would want to attempt at home. But his advice for making a centerpiece yourself in your home is practical and accessible.

Create A Centerpiece
by David Tutera

When setting the table for any occasion, always start with your centerpiece. It is the first thing your guests will notice upon entering your dining room and will be the primary visual statement at your table, other than the brief distraction of the courses being served - but remember, you eat with your eyes first! You should create anything that you can imagine with only one cardinal rule: make sure your guests can see scross the table for conversation.

Here is an innovative way to create a centerpiece that you can translate into almost any party. It will make you look a pro and you can simply add or change certain elements to adapt to the appropriateness and time of year.

Start by deciding what type of party you would like to have. The time of day and who your guests will be will help determine the environment you will want to create. I suggest buying a few glass cylinders in various sizes and quantities, depending on the size and shape of your table. The great thing about simple glass vases is that they are inexpensive and versatile - great for indoor and outdoor use, floral arrangements, candles, water with floating candles, or even sand art.

Place five glas cylinders down the center of your table, with space in between (place the cylinders in a line, the tallest one in the center, the the shortest next, and the medium at the ends). It's important to keep the design symmetrical.

Fill the tallest cylinder with flowering branches (such as cherry blossom in the spring/summer or pepper berry in the fall). Fill the shortest cylinders with river rock and a colored but unscented pillar candle. The two medium end cylinders can be filled with a monochromatic nosegay of floral (any flower that is your favorite). If you're intimidated by floral, fill the two ends with water and color them with food coloring. Add a few floating candles and fully opened rose heads. Your tablescape can transport your guests to any environment - fill with sunflowers and grapes for a vineyard style setting, or use sand and shell with sea grasses for a beach setting.

Like your home, your table should reflect your personality. Now that your centerpiece is created, here are some other table tips:

  • Be sure to set your table in advance (but never pre-plate the food_ and always use a cloth napkin accented with a simple napkin ring or a touch of floral.
  • Use place cards, whether formal or casual; it shows your guests that you cared enough to think about where each person should sit for the evening.
  • If you are entertaining a group of people who are not familiar with one another, have everyone switch places at dessert(you can put numbers or directions for guests to move on the back of their place cards).

A truly successful party will entice the five senses: sight, smell, taste, and touch, so even if you are not a great cook, you can easily improve your party-throwing skills by making it look great.

Go to the web site David Tutera Stem HERE (from where these images came from).


Renee Finberg said...

amazing arrangements.

what a talent!

pve design said...

Wonderful! I love changing seating at dinners, at dessert. The arrangements surely set the table!

La Petite Gallery said...

The last arrangement is my favorite.
Are those Gloriosa lilys?


Maria Killam said...

Those were great! I used to spend hours setting the table for dinner (for guests) before I did design for a living, now my guests are lucky to get a napkin :) I could take some lessons here!

Ideezine said...

It's always great to refresh our memory on how poignant arrangements are during the holiday season.


Visual Vamp said...

Yes they are gloriosa lilies! One of my favorites!
xo xo

Kwana said...

Thanks for the advice David. I so need it. Makes be want to have a party.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Thank you Valorie for such helpful info today. I adore David. Joan -Schmoan! He packs quite the talent for gorgeous arrangements to killer cocktails & beyond. If only I had one molecule of his talents. Great post xx

Anonymous said...

What pretty flowers, love them. Great ideas too

Two in one day for me this post and I found a web site called lucky me

prashant said...

I did design for a living, now my guests are lucky to get a napkin

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