Fruit and flowers are centerpiece classics, but chances are, your pleasing arrangement could sit on your neighbor’s table and look equally at home.
Want something a little different? Look to your dining room decor for inspiration, and use the space’s other design elements as creative fodder. An imaginative tableau can be the crowning touch to your cohesive scheme, and need not be kitschy or contrived. Here are some examples.
These oversize animal statues stand up to the fearless zebra-striped rug and are an intentional addition to the room’s design. But the sculptures’ toned-down finish (and the lack of other animal prints in the room) keeps the look from shouting “safari.” The solid chair fabric and neutral wall paint balance the room’s bolder measures.
This Nantucket dining room, with its blue and white palette, is the epitome of casual beach style. The rope knots on the antique farm table continue the nautical thread. They also add rough texture to the crisp space and—lined along the middle of the table—make a bigger style splash than they would have piled in a bowl. In a centerpiece grouping such as this one, use an odd number of items for best effect.
Reading and tea drinking, for me, always go hand in hand. So these whimsical teapots seem the perfect centerpiece choice for this multitasking dining room and library. Pulled from the book collection’s brightest spines, the energetic colors pop against the glass tabletop and dark wood elements. The teapots’ vintage feel marries well with the midcentury modern chairs.
A large-scale ikat print gives this room’s host and hostess chairs a worldly presence. And the table’s pagoda-style birdhouse picks up on that global vibe. The faux-feathered friend inside provides another lively shot of the turquoise that unifies the space, from the tablescape and chairs to the window panels and chandeliers. The avian centerpiece also connects with the woodland view.
Nature, it seems, provides endless inspiration for table displays—well beyond the fruit and flower standards. Offering another avian approach, these bird figurines look just right against this live-edge wood tabletop. With their unstudied, off-center placement, these birds appear to have just flown in. And their burnished metallic finish offers a reflective counterpoint to the matte table.
A single log is juxtaposed against a sleek glass tabletop, creating an interesting tension between materials in this contemporary dining room. The natural element echoes the wood-paneled accent wall, giving it a rationale in the space. Foliage displayed on the smaller tray table repeats the natural theme in an otherwise stark environment.
Here nature’s inspiration takes the form of a colorful stone. Like the metallic birds in the earlier example, this sparkly formation somehow manages to both peacefully coexist and contrast with the rustic wood tabletop. The stone’s vibrant blue-green hue picks up the watery colors in the abstract artwork. The glass-droplet chandelier appears to rain down on the natural landscape below.
Against a lush backdrop like this, a space needs little else. Turning the traditional fruit centerpiece on its head, this quirky arrangement of larger-than-life gourds pays homage to the natural setting but doesn’t detract from it. The gourds’ warm wood tone connects with the other wood elements, both inside and out, yet spices up the interior’s otherwise neutral palette. And how magical would this space be with the candles lit at night?