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by Aggi Stevenson

From this…                                                            To this!

Big Lots planter folds for easy storage. At $12.99 each, they are cheap enough to buy several and spray paint them in designer colors to meet every occasion.

Opening the plant stand provides four serving levels.  The rest of the table is filled with various containers/holders. A beautiful wire two tier basket from Ross, a vanity tray from Southern Living, a napkin holder and plate holder from Costco. Notice the same turned leg on the metal pieces even though they were purchased at different places, the style is similar. More on those later. For now we are focusing on the plant stand transformation.

The shortest item is placed on the highest level. The glasses are Luminarc Prism cut glasses from Costco that reflect light and are perfect for formal or every day entertaining.  The middle glass is filled with water and holds two floating tea candles. The cut design in the surrounding glasses, turned upside down, bounces the light around the top of the server.  Note: When the glasses are removed from the top shelf, the candle holder left in the middle may become a little unstable unless it is sitting just right on the middle wire. To guard against tipping, the middle glass needs a larger base or more support. A clear plate or anything of your choosing should be placed underneath the glasses.

The Southern Living Savannah Beverage Server, the tallest item, is placed on the left level to balance the height of the server when loaded. This level also provides room to fill glasses from the spout.  Bread plates and bowls are loaded onto the remaining two levels.  The bread plates are placed between the clear glass pieces to break up the glass. The arrangement wouldn’t be as pretty if the glass was on one side and the serving pieces on the other.

This is a bare bones arrangement without flowers or any other embellishments.  Want more ideas on how to further decorate your walk-around serving table?  It’s coming soon…

A cheap plant stand becomes an elegant server…Imagine that!

 

 

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INTERIOR DECORATING

Adding Drama to Your Ten Minute Flower Arrangement

by Aggi Stevenson

 

This is the same flower arrangement I put together literally in about ten minutes. This arrangement is beautiful on a table except when we are having dinner. It is much too bold and large. Yesterday we discussed the correct size flower arrangement to use for a center piece during dinner. Remember, if we can’t easily see every guest at our table, we would be better off with no centerpiece than one that is too large.

When this arrangement is not on the dinner table, I place it on a buffet in front of a mirror in the breakfast nook of my kitchen. It gives the illusion of having flowers on the table when in actuality the arrangement is nearby. By placing the arrangement on a buffet, it is now at eye level. The beautiful vase is more prominent. The added bonus is the mirror reflecting the foliage making the arrangement seem even more grand than it already is. Wallah…instant drama!

The arrangement will appear to be a different or new arrangement just by setting it in a different place and/or at a different level. We can get a lot of mileage from this arrangement because it lasts much longer than cut flowers. Mirrors positioned to reflect light from a door or window help add drama to the flower arrangement also.

Now go have fun. Make your mirrors do double duty!

 

Just when you think there is nothing more you can possibly do with the ten minute arrangement you have assembled…there is more!

Tomorrow I will show you how to take that same ten minute arrangement and create cheap and beautiful artwork for your home.

Coming soon: Using what you already have for a centerpiece. Do the unexpected. Say you have a collection of little brown jugs…great! I will show you how to make a centerpiece from that collection.

Coming soon: Think outside the box when it comes to home furnishings. I will show you how we made a buffet for our dining area from a bar.

Coming soon: “I can’t entertain because all I have is mis-matched dishes.” Oh that is wonderful! I will show you how to make a mis-matched table shine!

Coming soon: “I can’t entertain because I can’t afford table cloths and napkins.” No problem! I will show you how to make those with things you already have!

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Easy, quick, cheap and beautiful flower arrangements

Easy, quick, cheap and beautiful flower arrangements

 
INTERIOR DECORATING
 
Ten Minute Flower Arrangements
by Aggi Stevenson
 
You don’t have to be a florist to create beautiful flower arrangements for your home. There really is no substitute for live flowers. I have very little money in the flower arrangement above. I picked up the vase at a yard sale for a couple of dollars.  I simply go outside and clip some of whatever is growing around my house. You will see a couple of clippings from my Japanese maple tree, red burning bushes, green and yellow Eponymous and the green and white gaiety variety, Rose Glow and Crimson Pigmy Barberry bushes, Boston Ferns, and purple Dyanthus. Sometimes I have no idea what a plant is called but if it has pretty colors I will use it. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to make it look like it came from a florist. I let it take on it’s own personality. If you love it…that is all that matters.
 
Who says you can’t use sprigs from your shrubs and trees in a vase? They make beautiful free style arrangements and last longer than cut flowers. I get lots of compliments on my arrangements. Unless you have a landscaper or florist in most people will never know the difference. Even if you do have a florist or landscaper in, it just may give them a different perspective on what you can put in a vase and display. Just select a variety of colors. Fill the vase with water and presto…you have a live arrangement.
 
This arrangement is big, bold, beautiful and cheap!  It is not intended to stay on the table during dinner. You should never have an arrangement that your guests cannot comfortably see over. Many people think this rule does not apply to bud vases. Nothing is more annoying than constantly having to lean and peek around a flower arrangement to converse with your guests. I was at a dinner recently with eight people at a round table with a high bud vase of flowers in the middle of the table. The arrangement was nice but someone finally laid the vase on it’s side so we could see each other. It is better to have no center piece at all rather than a tall arrangement.
 
Now go have fun. Make your own arrangements!
 
Tomorrow I will show you what I do with the same arrangement to make it even more dramatic.
 
The next day I will show you how to capture the beauty of your arrangement and make cheap and beautiful artwork…even a series!

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