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Table Bouquet Tips by Barbara Jennings

Besides the food and dishes, I don't know of any decorating element more necessary to create a beautiful dinner party than flowers. Table bouquets created with flowers bring life to the party. Flowers are living sculptures, works of art and expressions of the taste and style of the host/hostess. To help you create your next table bouquet, read on.

In planning the flowers for your party, there are six elements you should consider. They are: the type of design, the size, the colors, the textures, the fragrance and the containers. Size will often be dictated by where the arrangement will be placed. So you should choose the locations first and then plan accordingly.

Each bouquet created is a one-of-a-kind original. Flowers can be used in conjunction with other decorations, but are often the only decorating element used at all. Besides the room itself, flowers add color and life to the space and tend to become the focal point. Making the right choices is critical to the finished ambience.

If you're working with a professional floral designer, tell the designer if there are any types of flowers that you just dislike. Sometimes it's easier to finalize your choices by elimination. You can save money usually if you choose flowers that are in season rather than asking for ones that require special ordering and handling.

Your first assignment will be to decide the type of look you are seeking. Would you believe that historical periods influence floral designs? Consider these three categories: classical, traditional and contemporary. One you and/or your designer know the look you want to achieve, the appropriate flowers and varieties can be selected to achieve the goal.

At the top of this page is a traditional floral arrangement. Can you see the baroque influence? Roses are often chosen to create a pave look, giving you "blocks of color". Traditional arrangements can be some of the most difficult arrangements to create. Each stem must be very carefully placed.

The classical floral design (left) has the look and feel of Victorian fabrics and architecture. They burst with variety and color and are usually very, very feminine. You'll typically find several layers of depth through the utilization of short, medium and long-stemmed flowers. Picture your favorite impressionist painting. The colors blend beautifully and are usually soft and muted. You won't find an empty space. They are equally beautiful close up or viewed from a distance.

Then there is the contemporary arrangement. Minimalism is a feature of the contemporary arrangement. These arrangements generally are sleek, strong and full of straight lines. The stems of the flowers are often straight. They have a sturdy look and require a minimum of placement. You'll often find Asian designs are quite at home and very popular in the contemporary look as they share the same type of minimalist concepts. Asian designs are clean, pure and simple. They are often asymmetrical as well.

For more indepth training on table bouquets and decorating for parties, may I suggest you acquire my ebook called Great Parties! Great Homes!. Now is the perfect time of year to sharpen your skills, not only in decorating your home for a holiday party, but ensuring that all your guests have a fabulous time as well. For more information, check out this link: Planning Parties.

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(2004-05 Copyright Barbara Jennings)

Barbara Jennings
is the West Coast Pioneer in Redesign, author of 7 decorating books, a published artist, corporate art consultant, and furniture arrangement consultant. For training in professional furniture and accessory arrangement, or to start your own redesign or art consulting business, please visit:

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