Easy and Beautiful Table Centerpiece Ideas

The beautiful table centerpieces you see in Pottery Barn’s catalogs and website photos aren’t made by magic alone. Talented hands have created them too, and with a little know-how and the right materials, you can make your own table look just as wonderful. Let Nico De Swert, our floral designer, show you how. After watching this video, you’ll be able to make these table centerpiece ideas your own in no time.

These centerpiece ideas go beyond beautiful flowers to create looks that last several weeks at a time. You can use these ideas to help get your table ready for a big party or holiday well in advance and make necessary touch-ups the day of the event, something you aren’t always able to do with most cut flowers. If you don’t have access to the materials Nico uses or they don’t match the aesthetic you desire for your table, use them as a springboard to get the look you’re ultimately going for; the arranging techniques are those you can use in almost any display. Simply replace materials like river rocks with glass baubles, or swap rosemary or pine for lemon leaves.

Nico's first idea is a fruit centerpiece using a footed bowl display vase, fresh citrus and some lemon leaves. The key to this look is to find voluminous greenery to create the base of the look. With this lush base, you can build up a seasonal fruit arrangement with what’s available in your area. Nico uses lemon leaves as his base, which creates a glossy bed for the fruit to sit on. You can find lemon leaves at some garden centers or specialty produce markets. If you live in California or another warm area where citrus grows easily, you may even be able to find lemon leaves in your own backyard or in that of a friend or neighbor.

Place your greenery in the footed bowl with the stems pointing inward toward the center, allowing the leaves to spill out from and over the bowl’s edge. It’s fine to place the leaves unevenly; just arrange them in a single layer and make sure there are no large gaps around the edge of the bowl. Next, take some lemons still attached to their stems and secure them in small groups to create bundles that you can place around the perimeter of the bowl on top of the leaves.

Finish by placing satsuma mandarins with leaves still attached in a random arrangement at the center of the bowl. The leaves and lemons’ stems should prop up the mandarins to create height in the center, much like a citrus pyramid. Using random placement with each layer creates variations of depth and texture in the arrangement, which helps lend the unique aesthetic that can fit in with almost any kind of decor.

If you don’t have access to these fruits, use faux fruit on top of greenery to create a beautiful arrangement. You can adapt the basic concept presented here to create an arrangement with almost any kind of fruit, real or faux. Branches of berries, crabapples or cherries, for example, could stand in for the lemons, while apples, oranges, pears or any other colorful, firm fruit that can sit out at room temperature can fill in the center.

The next centerpiece idea centers around metallic and glass candle lanterns. Nico uses three, with the center lantern being larger than the two on the sides to create a sense of unified variety. Gather smooth, attractive stones or river rock and some moss, either palm or Spanish, to complete the look.

Arrange your lanterns in your desired number and configuration, and then use your moss to build a miniature landscape around your lanterns. Part of this look’s appeal is the variation in color, texture and size of the moss, so it’s fine to have uneven edges and placement that feels casual. Then, select river rocks and place them one at a time around the moss to fill in any gaps and create another layer of visual interest to the arrangement. If you’re using fresh moss, use a spray bottle filled with water to keep the plant green and fresh.