• Saturday, February 28, 2015


TABLE DECOR Centrepieces

By Monica Islam

Table centrepieces are central objects of attention, which either set the theme or enhance the overall decoration of the venue. They have been popular since the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations, and only differ from today's ones in terms of creativity, but not in significance. In earlier days, centerpieces used to be rustic, involving evergreen boughs and seasonal blooms. They have evolved to delicate decorative items made of crystal, porcelain, and glass. With social gatherings soaring during this festive season, it is wise to familiarise yourself with table centerpieces of different kinds and to get the most out of your event planner's expertise.

 Photo: LS Archive
Photo: LS Archive

What is trending this year?
In 2014, event planners are blending rustic and contemporary styles to create distinctive table centrepieces. Fruits, such as apples and grapes, are cost-effective elements of centrepieces. They also add a desirable splash of colour. Choose seasonal fruits, place them in a tall, slender, and transparent vase, and top the creation with flowers of your choice, but most preferably with white and lavender bougainvillea flowers.
The key to getting this creation right is to focus on the season. In autumn, for instance, select fruits in shades of red, amber, and yellow, to reflect the hues of the season's foliage. In spring, fill a large bowl with oranges, lemons, and limes. Equally important are the containers. Since fruits will make you incur minimal costs, you need to invest a bit more on the attractiveness of the containers in which the fruits will be placed.
Apart from using fruits, you can opt for sand and tiny shells to fill in clear glass vases. Surround these vases with larger pebbles, corals, and sea-shells for a dramatic “by-the-beach” effect. Similarly, thematic ornaments can be used. Play around with the contents of the container till you find the right pick!
Experiment with bright colours and unusual shapes while selecting your table centrepieces. Place fuchsia-hued flowers in a vase of contrasting colours, such as teal. Containers do not have to be restricted to just bowls and vases, and are increasingly being replaced by giant tea-cups, used bottles that are dark and heavy, and multi-tiered vessels made of bamboo stalks. Sleek metallic candle-stands make an interesting container for fresh flowers.
Event planners have moved away from the traditional centrepieces to incorporate rare items. For instance, a few poetry books and romantic novels, each stacked on top of another, have been used as table centrepieces for wedding receptions. Blank guest-books can be used instead, so that guests can leave notes for you on the special occasion. Another alternative is the large, vintage-styled bird-cage. Weave vines or flowers around the cage or light a few candles and place them inside the cage, for an intimate setting. Other popular options for table centrepieces are antique musical instruments such as the French horn, lanterns, and hour-glasses.
For those who want to retain the traditional natural centrepieces in their fullest sense, dried leaves and small branches are the trendier options. Cotton-sprigs with flowers in softer hues such as onion-pink, are ideal for winter. Plain branches arranged with candles and crystals are appropriate means of matching the interiors of a venue with the realities of the wintry season outside. To turn the venue completely “organic,” place herbs such as basil, in sleek terracotta pots, and use them as table centrepieces. This usually works for daytime lawn-parties.

A major trend dominating the centrepiece scene is displaying towers of food or stacks of food-platters as table centrepieces. Many people find it rather uncomfortable when table centrepieces occupy too much space on a table that has barely any room for the necessary cutlery and serving dishes. This has led to event planners placing food (which is the most important part of any event, secondary only to the hosts) right in the middle of the table. A shared container for sauces, a bowl of chocolates, and a tower of cup-cakes have all been used as a table centrepiece on different occasions.
Lastly, table centrepieces are best when they are of a size and height, preferably below eye level, that does not hinder people from talking and making eye contact with each other.

What are the options in Bangladesh?
Ifat Rahman, founder of the newly-launched event management company Ifat's Sparkles, informs us that table centrepieces involving candles and flowers remain popular in Bangladesh. For nuptial events, such as 'gaye holud' and 'mehendi night,' stands of glass bangles as centrepieces are in demand. Pearls, imported flowers (mostly artificial ones), and mirrors accentuate these centrepieces.
Ifat's Sparkles is planning to include acrylic flower vases in future centrepieces. Bright colours, such as red, metallic gold, magenta, yellow, and parrot-green, are widely used for matrimonial events, while the colour white dominates corporate events.
Depending on your preference of colours, styles, and materials, the price of each table centrepiece varies between Tk.500 to Tk.3,500. Usually orders for table centrepieces are taken along with the overall table decoration (including seats) and separate orders are rarely placed.
With event management companies nowadays paying as much attention to centrepieces as any other aspect of the event's decor, there is hardly any excuse for not paying due attention to table centrepieces. Instead, it is high time to go out n search of the one centrepiece that will leave you content and your guests impressed.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Last modified: 9:43 pm Tuesday, January 07, 2014

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