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Decorating with Summer Flowers and Foliage

Liven up your home, both inside and outdoors, with these beautiful bouquets and easy, breezy decorating ideas.

Produced by Christopher White

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Table with yellow and pink candles
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
Victor Schrager
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A scattering of small arrangements makes for a laid-back alternative to one big centerpiece.

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Bring out a few patterned pillows and napkins to brighten up leafy green foliage.

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Urns come in a variety of sizes, shapes and finishes. Look for vintage versions with rich patinas at flea markets and thrift shops.

More Ideas

  • A spray of flowering dogwood adds a dramatic accent to a low-slung sideboard or console. Put a balled-up piece of 1-inch mesh chicken wire into the container to hold branches in place. Then insert tulips around the edges of the vessel to disguise the wire.

  • "Urns are so versatile—they're eye-catching empty as sculpture but look stunning filled with a dense cluster of blooms like hyacinths or a mound of florist's moss," says New York stylist Christopher White.

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Create a charming drink station on a separate table tucked away in a corner.

Cool Idea

  • Stage the scene for an outdoor gathering on a patio or deck. "Cluster potted herbs for a pretty, subtly fragrant centerpiece," says White.

  • Two lengths of homespun linen as a tablecloth complement the rustic setup. For an inexpensive no-sew option, buy burlap from your local garden-supply store. Cut two pieces and place widthwise across the table.

  • Set out an old-fashioned dispenser for iced tea or lemonade so guests can help themselves.

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Flower Power

  • "Pick flowers and foliage of different sizes, textures and colors," White suggests. Narrow-necked bottles and vases support long-stemmed blooms. Rest large full blossoms on the rim of a wide-mouthed vessel.

  • "Arrangements that look fresh-cut from the garden are the loveliest," says White. His advice: Cut stems at different lengths. An elastic band wrapped loosely around stems allows the flowers to fall naturally in the vase. Use a colorless one for clear glass vessels.

  • "Mix and match glassware and dinnerware," White adds. For example, try rose-tinted goblets with blue tumblers for a contrasting pop with white dinnerware.

  • To keep the table from feeling formal, forget the place mats and use a runner instead of a conventional cloth. Cut a strip of inexpensive loose-weave linen 12 to 18 inches wide, depending on the size of your table. "For a rustic appearance, pull several threads on each side to fray the edges," recommends White.

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Honeycomb Blue Highball Glasses, macys.com, $27/set of 4

Originally published in the June 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.

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