So you’ve read our posts how to set your table and international ideas for your holiday table, and we’ve inspired you to get creative this year. First and foremost, may we say… you’re welcome, we aim to please! But now perhaps you’re looking at your gorgeous table and wondering what the heck to put in the middle of it. All of your magazines and social media apps are showing you these breathtaking creations and telling you how easy they are. “Easy for a pro,” you may say, “but how do I get started?”
Not to worry. We have a post for that, too! We are not pros either, but we’ve got some amazing ones here in York Durham Headwaters. Branching Out Florists in Port Perry has some good advice for you to consider as you set about creating your centrepiece masterpiece (…your cen-sterpiece?). If you are not familiar with the Port Perry area, this boutique florist, home décor and gift store is a beloved fixture. “We pride ourselves on providing unique custom floral designs for all tastes and personal styles while providing a great customer experience,” says co-owner and floral design professional Jane Eksten. “Branching Out Florists has proudly been serving Port Perry and surrounding areas for the last 11 years.”
To get you started on the crowning jewel of your holiday table, here is some of Jane’s best advice.
1. Your centrepiece is a reflection of yourself
Centrepieces on the holiday table can be a statement of style. With an endless variety of sizes, shapes, colours and themes, it can definitely say something about who you are. With the volume of requests for custom centrepieces Branching Out receives each year, variety is something Jane and her team know a great deal about. “We get all sorts of requests for centrepieces,” she says. “Some are very traditional with a nod to the past using Christmas greens and flowers in typical colour palettes of red, white and green. Other clients request rustic themes using lots of natural elements such as birch and bark, pheasant feathers, botanical seed pods, and varieties of pine cones.”
And then there are the occasional requests from the client who is, as Jane says, not faint of heart. These may be something unusual and contemporary using unique blooms such as protea and cymbidium orchids in non-traditional colour palates. Ultimately, though, she stresses that there is no right or wrong way to do a holiday centrepiece. It is all about what resonates with you, and how you want your personal tastes to be represented.
2. Consider a unique container to add style
To further the idea of a centrepiece being personal, using a unique container is a great way to add your own element of style. This is why Branching Out has brought in a number of stunning centrepiece containers this year that can serve as gorgeous vessels for holiday arrangements, and as décor gifts that can be used year-round.
“Whether you bring in Grandma’s handed-down punch bowl or purchase one of our containers, our expert designers love nothing more than to use their creative talents and abilities to work with a customer to achieve their desired look.”
Note: If you think you would like a custom centrepiece, whether from Branching Out or from another florist, it is always best to call ahead to ensure that you have the time to discuss your ideas.
3. Consider hunting for items in your own backyard
Greenery and other natural items are a popular feature for centrepieces. They are a nod to the pagan festival of Yule which brought evergreen boughs and other plants indoors to symbolize life during the bleak midwinter. To give your own little nod to Yule by adding greenery to your centrepiece, you often don’t have to look any further than your own backyard. Your neighbourhood can be a plethora of inspiration that can bring a personal element to your table.
Sourcing your own natural elements is also a great way to make memories with friends and loved ones—especially at these times where social distancing is required. An outdoor stroll to collect evergreen boughs, cones and other items such as branches for your centrepiece is time well spent. Jane suggests, “A quick visit to Branching Out, and you can pick out some unique flowers or potted plants such as Poinsettias or Christmas cactus to put on your table as a focal point. Then you can arrange your greens around them, along with any other sort of forest treasures you may have found.”
4. Do as the pros do: get creative
We know what some of you may be thinking at this point: “But YDH, I have so much to do this holiday season. Where do you expect me to find the time to make a centrepiece?” Well, putting together your perfect centrepiece doesn’t have to be another box on the ol’ Xmas list to check off. You remember all those Christmas crafts you did as a kid, right? Consider this project as the grownup version of potato cut-outs and paper chains.
Creating your very own personal centrepiece is a time to let your creativity shine. It is a time to stretch your imagination and allow your personal tastes to guide you. Do it alone for some introspective “me” time, or pull in a family member to add to your quality togetherness. But, of course, if you really are in a time crunch and don’t have the energy or ability to make your own centrepiece, a custom design from your local florist is always an option. Jane Eksten says, “Design is our passion, and for us at Branching Out, the holidays are the most exciting time of the year!”
173 Queen St.,
Port Perry, ON L9L 1B8
https://www.portperryflorist.com/ (905) 985-3033
Story by Katherine Ryalen